Letter requesting a fee for Subletting leasehold flat

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    #31
    My point was that it didn't matter. I had gone for 9 years of subletting, the landlord knew I was subletting from the beginning and I was not asked to pay and was not asked for the name of my sub-tenants, so the contract was "varied" by the actions of the landlord. So because they had not been asking for that information, it could be assumed under law that the agreement had been mutually changed. As you could see, they did not know how to respond to my reference to the legal judgements that I referenced!

    I actually am not sure, as my documents and in a loft in the UK that I can't access because I am in Canada at the moment. They sent me a document that had a clause in it, but it had the wrong name of the landlord company, so i think they just sent me any document. i did ask them to send me a copy of the contract with my signature on it to verify it (which they have not been able to provide). As I said before, what was in the contract did not matter because according to the law, the contract had been varied by the actions of the previous landlords. If they wanted to pursue the charge, I also asked them to prove that I had made subletting payments to the previous landlords (which I hadn't done), and then it would be their dereliction of duty to not have found out the income from subletting before purchasing the freehold.

    I know that I would not have purchased a property with those conditions, as I was buying for the purpose of renting it out, and read through the documents at the time. So I have a very strong suspicion that they are trying to swap a new contract for my original contract.

    If they pursued it, I further, I was also going to bring up GDPR law and not disclose information about the tenants without their permission, as that is personal and identifiable information that I am not at liberty to disclose. As a data controller for the properties I rent out, I have a legal responsibility. The tenants would have to give permission for me to disclose that information and I would need to have checks but the company that I am disclosing it to to ensure that they are compliant with the law, are registered with the FCO office and have a data controller. Also that they will not pass that information on or sell it to any third parties, etc. They can't just ask for personal information about other people to be disclosed. One of the companies was not based in the UK or Europe, so then there could be problems with compliance with data protection laws, as they would not have to comply in the same way.

    Finally, if I did have to pay anything (which I wouldn't) the max i would pay would be £40 plus VAT.

    I believe these companies are fishing for money. I think they bought the freeholds thinking that they would try to get as much money out of the tenants as possible.

    Comment


      #32
      From the beginning, my address was different to the property address, and I had a buy-to-let mortgage. I had also told them when I bought the property that I was buying for the purpose of subletting.

      I also confirmed that I was doing the right to rent checks and that the subtenants had their contract with me, so they were not liable for that. They had wanted me to state that they were not liable for the right to rent checks anyway... so then there would be no justification for them having the tenant information. Also, they are not doing the checks with the passport or ID and checking the photo with the name and person either, so by just having a name of the tenant means nothing, as they are not doing the checks.

      Comment


        #33
        Firstly, this is an old thread that had not been active for over 7 months (and the user who started the thread has not 'logged in' for 7 months so is probably unlikely to still be seeking information regarding the issue).



        Originally posted by DrShona View Post
        ... As I said before, what was in the contract did not matter because according to the law, the contract had been varied by the actions of the previous landlords. ...
        I would be interested in knowing if their is any case law that actually supports this.

        The first cases that you quote ('Globe Motors ...' and the EWCA 'Rock Advertising Ltd v MWB') have been overturned by a 2017 Supreme Court decision that found in favour of MWB, and concluding that any variation had to be in writing, as stated in the contract.

        The 'Reveille Independent' case went to the EWCA and they upheld the High Court decision, but that case has no real relevance here.

        What you are therefore basically trying to rely on is an 'estoppel by convention' - and I would be interested to know whether it could successfully be argued that an estoppel exists after the freehold has changed hands.
        The new freeholder has not agreed to vary the terms of the lease by their actions (assuming that your lease does indeed contain the 'clause 9' that they were claiming payment for). It would be interesting to know whether the courts would decide that the actions of a prior freeholder (or leaseholder) estopped a new freeholder (or leaseholder), and I suspect that it would be found that they did not.

        Comment


          #34
          This is the section of the contract that they said was relevant:
          "9. Disposals
          1. Not to transfer underlet or otherwise part with possession of part only of the Property
          2. 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 to 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 (together with any Value Added Tax which may be payable in respect thereof) and if appropriate to pay 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)”

          My understanding of Clause 9 is that it relates to the Title of the Lease of the Property, and that (a) does not allow me to subdivide the Property for ownership and (b) if someone else is added to the Title of the Property or the Property ownership is changed in some way, I need to inform them and pay the fee. However, the Title of the Lease does NOT change is I sublet the property and is unaffected if I rent the property out. Subletting to tenants under an ASD agreement does NOT affect the Title of the lease in any way because it is NOT a disposal of the lease to the rental tenant or a change of the mortgage lender’s charge. Therefore this Clause does not relate to normal ASD rentals. Would this be correct?

          Comment


            #35
            DrShona,

            I would agree that Section 9 refers to "disposals" and does not apply to a letting under AST agreement.

            Comment

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