Who is my landlord?

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    Who is my landlord?

    Ive been lurking on these forums for ages so finally decided to take the plunge and register

    Basically within a couple of months of buying a flat I was accused of not paying the service charge. I contest that the Service Charge demand was ever sent but its largely my word against theirs. The service charge was £370 and the admin fees for me not paying had amounted to £250 for something that is only a couple of months late.

    Ive checked the copy of the service charge bill they sent me and there seems to be a discrepancy. Basically the landlords name on the notice refers to xxx property management ltd, but on land registry the freeholder is named as xxx Development Ltd. The bill was sent by the managing agent.

    Who is actually my landlord - I would have thought it would be whoever owns the freehold or am I looking at this too simplistically? Would it make any difference if xxx Property Management Ltd was named as the Lessor on the lease even if that company doesnt own the freehold?

    The other discrepancy is that my name was not spelt correctly.

    All Im looking to do is to get the admin fees wiped out, and as the law seems quite prescriptive I want to see whether I can defend on the basis that the demand which I never received was not served properly anyway.

    Secondly, does anyone know from past experience whether £250 of admin fees is reasonable - would the leasehold tribunal deem this to be ok?

    #2
    Just one other thing to add the invoice states:

    Acting as agents for:
    xxx Property Management Ltd
    C/O xyx Ltd, Street Address, Suite x, Location, Post Code

    And in a separate section:

    Address for notices:
    c/o Street Address, Location, Post Code

    The address for notices makes no mention of any company.

    Taking into account of the above post, does this meet the prescribed form?

    Many Thanks

    Comment


      #3
      It is common that the freeholder appoints a managing agent which is most likely the case here which is why the company name is something Management Ltd.

      When you bought your property your solicitor should have contacted the managing agents to find out if there was any unpaid service charges and insited that they were paid up before you completed on the sale.

      Any unpaid charges stay with the property and you become responsible for that debt when you move in as the freeholder can not take forefeiture proceedings against someone who no longer owns the property.

      I can understand that you may be concerned it is a scam, in which you should make contact with the real managing agents anyway. You should also be able to look up the company on companies house as the are a private limited company to investigate things further. The address for notices can be any UK address that you can reach the freeholder on, it is often the case that this is different.

      Comment


        #4
        It is the norm for the managmenmt company to send you demands and collect the money, basically the freeholder just sits back and the mc do the day to day woprk and you deal with them.

        1. Notices

        Section 47 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 states that any written demand provided to a tenant must include the name and address of the landlord (or managing agent, if one is employed by the landlord);

        Section 48 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 confirms that no rent or service charge will be due from the tenant unless the landlord has served a written notice giving the tenant an address in England and Wales at which notices can be served on the landlord;

        Section 153 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 requires a landlord to issue with every demand for payment of service charge a summary of the tenant's rights and obligation in relation to such charges.

        I think the above means that your freeholder has complied with the laws (assuming you got service charge - summary of rights.

        As for admin fees, only payable if all lease obligations and laws complied with and also lease must have provision for admin fees, even then £250 sounds step, i had mine reduced from £130 and £75 to £25 at an LVT.

        Andy
        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.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks both - the bill relates to post completion onwards so there is no question of it relating to a period before I took ownership. Im not trying to shy away from my obligations - in fact Ive paid the service charge element as soon as I was made aware - the admin fees look steep.

          The key for me is that the freeholder is not mentioned on the demand at all. In effect we have a 1) managing agent who collects the monies and quotes on the invoice that they work as agents for a second company (but this company is not the freeholder). The freeholder is not mentioned in any form on the service charge demand.

          Are you saying that the freeholder (which I assume is the same thing as landlord) does not need to be on the notice by name?
          Last edited by hillwalker2004; 17-02-2012, 23:34 PM. Reason: Did not explain very well!

          Comment


            #6
            To be a bit more explicit this is exactly what I have.

            On Land Registry my freeholder is listed as:
            Walton Homes Limited - Lichfield

            The Service Charge Demand is from a company called HLM who are the managing agents. The invoice states that they act as agents for Walton Property Management Ltd in Shrewsbury.

            I was under the impression (perhaps wrongly) that Walton Homes Ltd had to be listed on the Service Charge demand as they are the freeholder?

            Comment


              #7
              Section 47 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 states that any written demand provided to a tenant must include the name and address of the landlord (or managing agent, if one is employed by the landlord)
              The bold section is incorrect; it is only the landlord. It is only the managing agent if they are named in the lease ie an external company, and not a resident owned, party to the lease manager

              On Land Registry my freeholder is listed as:
              Walton Homes Limited - Lichfield

              The Service Charge Demand is from a company called HLM who are the managing agents. The invoice states that they act as agents for Walton Property Management Ltd in Shrewsbury.

              I was under the impression (perhaps wrongly) that Walton Homes Ltd had to be listed on the Service Charge demand as they are the freeholder
              Unless Walton....PM limited are named in the lease, or a successor thereto, have a head lease of the premises and are your landlord, with "homes" being the freeholder, then it should be Walton Homes Limited in the Notice.
              Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                The bold section is incorrect; it is only the landlord. It is only the managing agent if they are named in the lease ie an external company, and not a resident owned, party to the lease manager



                Unless Walton....PM limited are named in the lease, or a successor thereto, have a head lease of the premises and are your landlord, with "homes" being the freeholder, then it should be Walton Homes Limited in the Notice.
                So a demand from a Managing Agent (that isnt party to the lease) must give name and address of Landliord ? Didnt think mine did but just noticed it has a cheque to section where it does indeed give name & address of Landlord, although in my case mine seems to forget when he is writing to me as MA or LL.

                Andy
                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.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by andydd View Post
                  So a demand from a Managing Agent (that isnt party to the lease) must give name and address of Landliord ?
                  Yes, but note the address can be any address in E&W (s49 was added to clarify this - you'll find some conflicting LVT decisions on the requirements for an address). I think the 1987 act (it might be 1985) has a clause that says if the LL is company, then the address must be the registered office address. I think this is also a requirement of Companies Act, though I'm unclear if this applies where a MA has demanded the SC. (Companies Act requires company details to be on all Company Documents, including invoices)
                  I am not a solicitor, I am a lessee/shareholder in conflict with the management. Please seek your own legal advice before relying on my comments in this forum!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It is the 87 Act, but the address can be any address in E & W.

                    Don't forget that the agent is managing the building and funds, not "taking over" all the landlord functions, but doing/arranging them on his behalf, as an agent.

                    Section 49 was only added to allow service on the addresses under either 47 or 48 where the landlord appears to have moved, but has not served notices providing a new address.
                    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                      It is the 87 Act, but the address can be any address in E & W.
                      The section I was thinking of is s38 1985 act
                      “address” means a person’s place of abode or place of business or, in the case of a company, its registered office;
                      Which implies to me that is the LL is a company, then the address required by s47 & s48 would need to be the reg office.
                      I am not a solicitor, I am a lessee/shareholder in conflict with the management. Please seek your own legal advice before relying on my comments in this forum!

                      Comment

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