New freeholder requested backdated ground rent

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    New freeholder requested backdated ground rent

    Hello,

    I have been living in a leasehold property for the last 8 year. I have always paid ground rent to the freeholder every year via bank transfer. Recently a new freeholder has taken over and is under the impression that I have not been paying and has sent a formal demand for backdated ground rent for the past 6 years. I have shown bank statements with my payments to the previous freeholder but the new one does not think this is sufficient proof. The previous freeholder never gave formal invoices so I have no other form of proof.

    To complicate things further. The new freeholder won't invoice me individually just for this year as he wants to be paid all 6 years. So now I do actually owe for this year but I can't pay as he won't provide me with the separate invoice.

    What can I do? Do I wait for this to go to court? Do I need to seek legal help? Will I have to pay again since I don't have formal invoices from the previous freeholder?

    Thanks

    #2
    Do they admit they never invoiced you?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
      Do they admit they never invoiced you?
      I am no longer in contact with the old freeholder so I have no proof that they did not invoice me.

      Comment


        #4
        You do not have to pay ground rent at all if not invoiced. I presume you have exiting amounts on your bank statements. There is no requirement that you get or that they provide proofs of payment (receipts).

        I'd just tell them that you have paid in full and to get lost.

        "Invoices" by the way are requests to pay - not receipts for payment.

        Comment


          #5
          It would appear that the new freeholder is trying it on by saying you owe 6 years ground rent unless you can prove otherwise. Be careful if you make a payment, make it absolutely clear which year you are paying, pay by cheque, keep a copy and obtain proof of posting.

          Comment


            #6
            Have you received a rent authority letter from your new freeholder solucitor

            Comment


              #7
              Tell them to do one , but I would pay this year's otherwise you might be in trouble. Try and get bank details (say you want to pay the lot??)so you can pay direct , otherwise they can bin cheque.

              Comment


                #8
                I would definitely not pay by bank transfer, otherwise the freeholder is likely to apply the payment against the oldest ground rent which he is claiming. It doesn't matter if he bins the cheque (he won't) as long as you keep a copy and you hold proof of posting.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Anna1985 View Post
                  Have you received a rent authority letter from your new freeholder solucitor
                  No I have not received a rent authority letter. Although the freeholder said his solicitor sent one. I asked him for proof that it had been sent or to resend and then I received an email from his solicitor with a copy of the land registry showing him as the freeholder in response.

                  From the freeholder, I have also received a formal demand for the backdated ground rent in this format: https://www.lease-advice.org/files/2...ce_England.pdf

                  It states that I have 14 days to make the 6 payments.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    In any event unless the previous freeholder actually assigned the claimed arrears they are not due to the new freeholder. I am sorry that your new freeholder is behaving badly/ignorantly. Address yourself to the new freeholders solicitors. They will eventually tire of trying it on, I would hope.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Were the leaseholders offered RFR ( right of first refusal ) to buy the freehold title before the sale of freehold title ?

                      Make a complaint against new freeholder's solicitor to SRA , the Regulator for solicitors . It must be fraud situation to demand payment for 6 years if the GR has already been paid to previous freeholder. Show the bank payment receipts to SRA.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        We haven't been told that a solicitor issued the demand so I would hold fire on complaining to the SRA. It is definitely worth reporting this to your local MP because the fleecing of leaseholders is to be discussed in parliament.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Gordon999,

                          I was sent a text message by the previous freeholder asking if I would be interested in buying. But nothing official from any solicitor.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            eagle2,

                            The demand came directly from the Freeholder by email, not from their solicitor.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              If you are interested in purchasing the freehold, you can probably exercise the right to acquire it at the price paid by the purchaser as you do not appear to have been given a proper notice, which does not need to be issued by a solicitor, but should be more formal than a "are you interested" text message, it should set out the terms of the sale. You should seek legal advice if you intend to proceed.

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