Backdated Ground Rent

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    Backdated Ground Rent

    Hi all. My Freeholder never charged me the £50pa ground rent until Sept 2020 but now wants to charge me for the past twenty years. I was of the understanding that he could only go back 6 years. I then wrote to him stating this and he ignored it and did not amend the invoice. I also owe him building insurance for the past year which I've agreed to pay once an invoice was sent separately which he refuses to do. He sends me letters through a management company he doesn't know I know he's a shareholder in and the admin fee for each letter is £50. I then reported that myself and the downstairs flat could not open the front door from the inside. Rather than ask, he went ahead a put in a new door and without receipts or inclusion in the seeking of quotes his "management company" sent me a further invoice with all of the above plus £560 of apparently my half of the front door installation despite not showing me any quotes, receipts or inviting me to get my own quotes.
    Now the neighbour downstairs has damp on her wall. He was trying to claim it was a leak from my bathroom but a plumber confirmed it was coming from the guttering and that the neighbour's wall needed re-pointing. He then asked how I would like to proceed suggesting I should be paying for half of the re-pointing and clearing of the guttering.
    Can someone please advise if you know what my legal right are regarding the
    Ground Rent
    How invoices should be sent
    The front door
    and the re-pointing and clearing of guttering (which is where the wall and roof meet). I am the first floor flat and am a Leaseholder and my neighbour downstairs is just a regular tenant.
    Thank you in advance.

    Ill just answer the first part, GR is only payable if and when you receive the demand as per here > and yes he can only go back 6 years and if he didnt send the demands then he cant add any penalties or extra fees.

    GR and Service Charges are 2 complete separate legal entities, you may wish to split your questions up as its in one big paragraph at the moment and many people dont have the time to go through it all.
    Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

    I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

    It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

    Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.


      Is it the same freeholder? Has he given you any reason why he has not charged ground rent for the last 20 years?
      Insurance and service charges should be charged in accordance with your lease, so please refer to that document and let us know what it says if you have any remaining questions.
      The service charges should be reasonable and you can apply to the First Tier Tribunal if you consider that they are unreasonable.
      An administration charge is only payable if your lease permits it.


        As others have already said, ground rent needs to be demanded in a notice that contains specific information.

        Service charges are only payable if demanded in accordance with the terms of the lease, and even then don't become payable until demanded with specific information included (e.g. freeholder name and address and a proper summary of 'Leaseholder's rights and obligations').

        You may have lost the right to challenge the insurance, even if there are problems with that demand, by accepting responsibility for paying it.
        The door replacement should have been preceded by 'Section 20 consultation' if your contribution is £560, but to challenge that you will have to be able to demonstrate that the cost is unreasonable - either by provided quotes that show that the replacement cost should have been much lower, or by demonstrating that the door could easily have been repaired rather than replaced (unlikely to be easy if you don't have photos/quotes from relevant contractors from before the replacement).

        As has been said, much of what you ask will depend on what your lease says, and can't really be answered unless you find the relevant clauses in your lease.


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