Sub Letting Fees

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    Sub Letting Fees

    Another topic on this, sorry I can see there have been plenty.

    I have today received a letter from {Mod - name removed} on behalf on {Mod - name removed}. They are saying I have not replied to their letter dated May 19 2017 (I haven't) and things will be passed on to external solicitors if I do not pay their fees within 14 days.

    £130 New tenancy
    £65 renewal

    I've seen the blogs and articles that suggest £40+VAT is an appropriate amount but after reading my lease I can't see any section that specifies my need to request permission nevermind whether a fee is payable or not. There is one longwinded legal sentence horrifically absent of punctuation with seemingly endless ifs nots and ors but it is referring to disposals/transfers so I can't see this being a problem either

    So, my question is essentially this;

    Am I creating a problem for myself if I engage in discussion with them denying my lease requires this? I still need to sort out the deed of variation issue to prevent the ground rent doubling clause so could get a solicitor to cast an eye over the lease at the same time for absolute peace of mind.

    Is it foolhardy to treat the letter like a penalty charge notice 'parking fine' and just ignore it (again)? The original letter is at work so can't recall if it had the same 14 day threat in it.

    #2
    You need to type out the long clause, and we can deconstruct it.
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

    Comment


      #3
      There's no point ignoring demands for money.
      You either pay what's requested, tell whoever that you decline to pay or ask what it's about or on what basis they think you owe them money.

      That applies to penalty charge notices as well.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        I was hoping to avoid that on a phone!

        Ok;

        Under 'Third Schedule Covenants by the Buyer'

        8. Disposala
        (a) That the buyer shall not transfer the Property unless the Rent the Maintenance Charge and the Estate Charge has been paid at least up to the date of such transfer.

        (b) not to transfer underlet or otherwise part with possession of part only of the Property.

        (c) within one calendar month of every transfer underletting assignment other form of disposal mortgage or legal charge of this Lease of the Property and also of every Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration Order of Court or other instrument effecting or evidencing a devolution of the title of this Lease being executed or operating or taking effect or purporting operate or take effect to provide the Company's solicitors or agents and the Management Company's solicitors with a certified copy for the purpose of registration and to pay to the solicitors or agents for the Company a reasonable fee of not less than £100 per notice per notice (together with any Value Added Tax which may be payable in respect thereof) and if appropriate to pay to the Management Company such reasonable fee as the Management Company shall require (together with any Value Added Tax which may be payable in respect thereof).


        So (a), they are all up to date and I assume this states they must be if I am to sell the property so the buyer is not lumbered with them

        (b) I take to mean i can not sell only part of the property outlined in the lease, the designated parking spaces for instance.

        (c) Not the not and buts but more than enough 'ors' to last a lifetime! My brain can't process that but it seems far too complicated to refer to getting permission to sublet.

        Comment


          #5
          within one calendar month of every...underletting...of this Lease of the Property....to provide the Company's solicitors or agents and the Management Company's solicitors with a certified copy...and to pay to the solicitors or agents for the Company a reasonable fee of not less than £100 per notice (together with any Value Added Tax which may be payable in respect thereof) and if appropriate to pay to the Management Company such reasonable fee as the Management Company shall require (together with any Value Added Tax which may be payable in respect thereof).
          Looks like the landlord's agent didn't read the lease. You might just get back the excess £10 on the first tenancy, but they should have billed you £120, for the second one.

          The £100, in the lease, overrides any attempt to reduce to £40, on reasonableness.

          Comment


            #6
            If that does indeed indicate a need to pay them does “within one calendar month of every transfer underletting assignment other form of disposal mortgage or legal charge of this Lease of the Property" imply I am supposed to inform and pay if my mortgage provider changes?

            Comment


              #7
              Oh, one other point, they are asking for names of the tenants. I am assuming I don't have to identify them by name and can just confirm that any necessary checks have been made and give the dates.

              Not getting myself GDPR grief just to hand money to leeches.

              Comment


                #8
                Presumably, if you supply a copy of the tenancy agreement, it will have the tenants' names on it, won't it?
                To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think informing of mortgage provider changes ("charge") is a very common requirement.

                  Generally the both the freeholder and management company want to know who to go after for missed payments, and the lender wants to be told when the lease is at risk of forfeit.

                  The management company would want to know who the sub-tenants are, although there seems less excuse for the freeholder, but remember you are dealing with freeholder designed to extract money.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I use a letting agent so they will have the copies of that. Hmm,get the feeling this is going to end up being expensive. I provide the agents details then they pester the agent for all tenancies and I end up with a bill for the 5 or 6 tenancies over the last 9 years or so. Would this fall under the 6 year limit or is it effective indefinitely as it was in the lease up front. Just trying to calculate how big the wound is going to be.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Your letting agent manages your tenant and cannot help you fight against the freeholder excessive demands.

                      In this type of situation , you need to .get advice from a solicitor ( specialist in L&T Act problems). .

                      Clause 8(c) is under a heading called "Disposals" .

                      The wording in Clause 8(c) applies to "disposal of the lease" or to "change of mortgage lender's charge on your lease".

                      And you are required to pay £100 +VAT if you are required to register, within 30 days , for a change of leaseholder or change of mortgage lender with a solicitor firm . .

                      If you are subletting under a AST agreement, the AST does NOT affect your lease because it is not a disposal of your lease to the rental tenant or a change of mortgage lender's charge and so you do NOT pay £100.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        underletting is a synonym for sub-letting.

                        Headings in legal documents are to help you find your way around, and only affect the meaning if the text proper is ambiguous, in which case they can be used as a clue to what he drafter intended. Sometimes they explicitly say that the headings are not part of the legal document.

                        I believe the fee is payable.

                        I also believe the the management company needs to know who the sub-tenants are, not that telling the landlord's agents is likely to achieve that, in this case.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The amount specified in one of my leases is a precise amount of 8 Guineas.

                          Would there be some legally viable system by which this can be translated that would permit any demand at all? (none has ever been requested so far).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Well, unless they read this board, they will not know for sure how many tenancies there have been. And of course there were no renewals, as there is no need anyway.

                            So you could choose your own quantum of bloodletting.

                            Your GDPR notice (and hopefully your agents) will have mentioned sharing details with freeholders and agents, one of those no consent needed gateways, to share AST (err... perhaps if there was something special in there about disability alterations etc - complicated ain't it).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              What is your recommendation if the freehold was sold without Right of First Refusal offer to leaseholders and current freeholder is using a managing agent to demand extortionate subletting fees ?

                              Comment

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