Ground Rent Query?

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    Ground Rent Query?

    In the 10 yrs I have owned my leasehold flat I never received a request to pay ground rent..

    Subsequently, I assumed that the GR was a peppercorn or something insignificant.

    Recently, I queried the cost of the GR with my managing agent who are in charge of my property/building

    They then responded by stating that GR is £120 per annum and that as I am in arrears of 3-4yrs and that I will no have to pay approximately £500

    I found this to be outrageous, because if I did not query the GR cost, they would not have request this fee. Moreover, I asked the managing agent for a copy of my lease and they have responded by stating that they do not have a copy.

    So, I want to know, how it is possible for them to levy these fees (inc service charge) on me without a copy of my lease?

    #2
    The Land Registry, my solicitor and mortgage lender all state that they do not have a copy of my lease

    The solicitor, stated that they do not have a copy as they destroy records after 7yrs

    I have approached the freeholder (who happens to be a solicitor) for a copy, however they informed me to request this from the managing agent in charge of the building...

    However, the managing agent has also informed me that they do not have a copy

    I have written to the freeholder to request this info, however I wanted to know what my options are in case they do not have a copy?

    Will a new one be drafted? Typically, if this is at a cost, how much could I expect to pay? How quickly could I expect for this to be done?

    Comment


      #3
      Ask a neighbour?

      Maybe threaten to stop paying all service charges, ask them the lease terms that say you have to pay, I bet they will find it pretty sharpish then

      Comment


        #4
        You should have been given a copy when it was assigned to you, although it won't be an official copy.

        If the managing agent doesn't have a copy, how do they know what they are allowed to charge you?

        What does the title register entry, at the Land Registry, say? It surprised me that they don't have a copy. I assume that the Land Registry do have a title register entry, which will identify the property and give details of the ground rent, lessor, and lessee.

        The main problems in recreating the lease is that you will need a complete new lease document, not just a deed of variation, and the solicitors are almost certainly going to insist that it modernised, at least as far as the figures for administration charges are concerned. If there is an opportunity to extend it, it might be worth doing so, to save on legal ocsts.

        Comment


          #5
          The managing agent which collects the service charges must hold a copy of the lease for another flat ( in your building ) .

          All the leases in your building will have the same clauses , except for the annual ground rent and % contribution to service charge account which may be different for each flat.

          Alternatively , you may be able to buy a copy of lease from Land Registry for another flat in the building.

          Comment


            #6
            The ground rent will be in the Land Registry title register entry, so will only cost you, or they, £3. I think this will give the annual figure, not the details of when it should be paid.

            Whilst I'd agree that they may have difficulty justifying the service charge, without access to the counterpart lease (they will not have the lease), I'd also suggest that you cannot be a responsible leaseholder without your own copy of the lease, and you should have been given a photocopy of it when it was assigned to you. In fact, you should have been given an opportunity to read it, and been given guidance on interpretation, before it was assigned to you.

            At least for ground rent, the managing agent doesn't have to have seen the lease, as it is the freeholder that is due the ground rent, and they could have just told the agent the details. It is more difficult to deal with service charges, without sight of the leases, but sufficiently detailed guidance from the freeholder could also achieve that. (Freeholder could be head leaseholder, in some cases.)

            Ground rent debts remain live for six years, and they must issue demands in a specific format (which also means one for each year) for it to be payable, or for any penalty to start accruing. They will have to give you at least 30 days to pay.

            Comment


              #7
              Given that you need to have access to the lease text, yourself, and there is no absolute right to a copy of the counterpart lease, you should be applying to the Land Registry for your own copy. In total it should cost less than £15, unless there are also variations.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                If the managing agent doesn't have a copy, how do they know what they are allowed to charge you?
                Exactly. And they have just requested £500 in ground rental charges too.

                Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                What does the title register entry, at the Land Registry, say? It surprised me that they don't have a copy. I assume that the Land Registry do have a title register entry, which will identify the property and give details of the ground rent, lessor, and lessee.
                The LR document says the following

                Short particulars of the lease(s) (or under-lease(s)) under which the land is held: Date XXXX Term : XXXX years from 1 January XXXX Parties :
                (1) XXX Housing Association
                (2) My name

                NOTE 1: The lessee is under and obligation to surrender the lease in the circumstances therein mentioned
                NOTE 2: No copy of the Lease referred to is held by Land Registry.

                Is this helpful in anyway? If not, would you mind specifying what I should look for the land registry document?

                Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                The main problems in recreating the lease is that you will need a complete new lease document, not just a deed of variation, and the solicitors are almost certainly going to insist that it modernised, at least as far as the figures for administration charges are concerned. If there is an opportunity to extend it, it might be worth doing so, to save on legal ocsts.
                The lease has over 100yrs, so I am happy with it at the moment

                I am interested in how long, this process could take and approximate costs I can expect

                Comment


                  #9
                  You can try to buy a copy of your lease from Land Registry. ( You should have been given a copy when you purchased the flat 10 years ago. )

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
                    The managing agent which collects the service charges must hold a copy of the lease for another flat ( in your building ) .

                    All the leases in your building will have the same clauses , except for the annual ground rent and % contribution to service charge account which may be different for each flat.

                    Alternatively , you may be able to buy a copy of lease from Land Registry for another flat in the building.
                    That is an excellent point.. Thank you..

                    In the first instance, I contact the LR to see whether they have the lease of anyone within the building

                    Regarding the Managing Agent, am I allowed to request a copy of the lease for another flat?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
                      All the leases in your building will have the same clauses , except for the annual ground rent and % contribution to service charge account which may be different for each flat.
                      Although the leases are normally going to have most of the same clauses, that is not strictly true.

                      In my blocks, leases have been extended at different times. This has resulted in:

                      - differences in administration charges;

                      - differences in payment dates;

                      - additional categories of transactions needing to be notified;

                      - additional means of funding enforcement of covenants;

                      - some coming under the old rules for how covenants are handled on assignments, and some under the new rules.

                      and, of course, different start dates and duration of the lease.

                      Also, even with the original leases, there are differences in easements; ground floor flats have no right to use the stairs.

                      We could easily have ended up with differing ground rents, and the ground rent dates do differ.

                      Whilst it is probably difficult to operate, different flats could contribute to different items. There must be some leases that implement what people seem to expect, that ground floor flats should not pay for lifts, although I think that is more often handled by varying percentages. The only requirement is that, in each category, the proportions should add to 100%, but there can be more than one category.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Mr. Sparkle View Post
                        Regarding the Managing Agent, am I allowed to request a copy of the lease for another flat?
                        I think the only basis on which you could insist on your own is a GDPR subject access request. Not having a copy is a valid excuse for nor complying with one of those.

                        They will not, in general have copies of the leases, but rather the counterpart leases. Those will contain personal information about the witness, and the signature of the original lessee, that is not on the public record. As such, as well as not being under any obligation to provide the information, they would need to either redact the document, or obtain a copy lease from the Land Registry. If they obtained it from the Land Registry, I would imagine they would add a significant mark-up to the Land Registry fees.

                        They would need to provide whatever they were relying on as part of the disclosure before any legal proceeding.

                        In any case, in my view, it is the duty of leaseholder to have a copy of the lease text and to understand it.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          It seems this person is posting multiple threads on the same issue and has said, in the other one, that the Land Registry doesn't have a copy.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                            The ground rent will be in the Land Registry title register entry, so will only cost you, or they, £3. I think this will give the annual figure, not the details of when it should be paid.
                            I have gone through the Title Register and I do not see any mention of ground rent fee..

                            Is there a specific part, I should attention too?

                            Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
                            You can try to buy a copy of your lease from Land Registry. ( You should have been given a copy when you purchased the flat 10 years ago. )
                            I have contacted the LR and they stated that they do not have an electronic or hard copy of the lease unfortunately

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                              It seems this person is posting multiple threads on the same issue and has said, in the other one, that the Land Registry doesn't have a copy.
                              One thread is asking how to obtain a copy of the lease when you have tried virtually all options..

                              Conversely, this thread is asking about the legitimacy of managing agent requesting GR/SC fees when they admit that they do not have a copy of my lease and my rights (in terms of paying)..

                              Comment

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