Sublet Problems at small apartment block

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    Sublet Problems at small apartment block

    Hi

    This is my first post and hopefully I will get some help.

    I am an owner in a small block of 4 apartments, each apartment when purchasing had to sign a lease agreement. This lease was held by the management company and lays down the rules managing the block. The Company is owned by the 4 apartments - in effect we self manage.

    Recently we have had two flats that have owners that have moved out of the area, and have installed tenants. One flat installed a lady who was said to be a friend and was care taking the property, which later was found out to be a complete lie and that she was renting through a local estate agent. This tenant left and a family have been installed renting. Another flat has also installed renters which have left and is currently being advertised for another tenant.

    Now the lease clearly states that the apartments cannot be sublet. How do we stop them being sublet and can we evict the ones already installed.

    There has never been any formal request from either owner to install renters to the management company or the other resident owners.

    The owners have been told they are in breach of the lease. Don't know what to do. Though I have formally asked the management company to write to the estate agents dealing with the lets informing them of the situation. Where do we stand on this.Thank you in advance if anyone cares to answer.Kind Regards

    #2
    You can't evict the tenants.

    However, you take whatever action the lease allows you to take against the leaseholders for this breach. Hopefully, the consequences specified in the lease are sufficient to encourage the leaseholders to evict their tenants as and when they can.

    I can see this could be difficult though as 50% of the freeholders (ie the 2 letting ones) will probably not be willing to pursue action against the recalcitrant owners, so the other 50% (yourself included) will not be able to get a majority.

    Comment


      #3
      Any leaseholder can apply to the LVT to assertain that a breach
      of the lease has been commited.
      Once a ruling has been made, then you can take court action
      to force other owners to stop sub-letting.

      you can also state that the freeholder is not observing the lease, and
      get a ruling on that too.

      Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002
      Section 107

      107 Enforcement of obligations
      (1) A county court may, on the application of any person interested, make an order requiring a person who has failed to comply with a requirement imposed on him by, under or by virtue of any provision of this Chapter to make good the default within such time as is specified in the order. .
      (2) An application shall not be made under subsection (1) unless— .
      (a) a notice has been previously given to the person in question requiring him to make good the default, and .
      (b) more than 14 days have elapsed since the date of the giving of that notice without his having done so.



      R.a.M.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by ram View Post
        Any leaseholder can apply to the LVT to assertain that a breach
        of the lease has been commited.
        Are you sure? I thought it had to be somebody acting on behalf (i.e. with full authority) of the freeholder.

        Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002
        Section 107

        107 Enforcement of obligations
        (1) A county court may, on the application of any person interested, make an order requiring a person who has failed to comply with a requirement imposed on him by, under or by virtue of any provision of this Chapter to make good the default within such time as is specified in the order. .
        (2) An application shall not be made under subsection (1) unless— .
        (a) a notice has been previously given to the person in question requiring him to make good the default, and .
        (b) more than 14 days have elapsed since the date of the giving of that notice without his having done so.



        R.a.M.
        The Chapter that that refers to is Chapter 1 'Right to Manage'. Are you sure you are not getting confused?
        I accept no legal responsibility for comments/advice I make on this forum. Please check with a solicitor before acting on statements made in a public forum.

        Comment


          #5
          Poor RAM as he is packing to move perhaps he picked up the wrong file !

          Snorkerz has the right of it in a vote of action to be taken, it's a tie. RAM does have a point in that of the 2 any to letting folks one could under their lease require the company to investigate and if a breach is found ( subletting) to enforce the terms of the lease. The company irrespective of votes are forced to act, even if the complaiant may need a court order to force them to do so.

          Unless the company owns a head lease or freehold they are unlikely to be able to forfeit and would be taking performance action under the lease. A court is unlikely to terminate the letting early, only order it on expiry ( which in doing so, opens up another "hill of worms")

          Given the time and cost does the OP really want to enforce the rule? Wwhat consequences has had that for the block?

          You may after many £1000's force the owners to sell, and deprived of an income source the buy to let owners run up arrears that affect immediate cash flow.

          Most likely you face a year or so of challenge of the charges resulting in the insolvency of the company or the 2 nay sayers putting in the funds.

          Perhaps a simple decision to vary the lease to allow subletting with appropriate consent and restrictions might be a sensible answer.
          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


            #6
            Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
            Poor RAM as he is packing to move perhaps he picked up the wrong file !
            Yes, what, but no, where am I ?

            Land of nod, me thinks.
            Boxes everywhere, paper everywhere, accounts to get to the
            accountants, and no where to park, 5 trips to the tip already.

            As I read it, a disguntled leaseholder ( one ) can apply to the
            L.V.T. for the freeholder to obey the lease.
            ( Determine that a breach has occured )
            Then a simple smalls claim form application to the courts to
            issue an order on the recommendation of the L.V.T.

            Beware though, if you do not enforce the lease, the LVT and the
            courts will say that as it was not enforced last time, therefore the
            freeholder has waived his right to prevent subletting,
            which means you can cross out that covernant in the lease
            Forever.

            So best to enforce the lease before it is waived.

            R.a.M.

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you for all your replies -

              The management company that owns the leasehold has written to each of the two apartment owners stating that they have breached the leasehold previously by each installing tenants without any notification.

              Apartment 1 has been told, that they have to ask the tenants to leave at the earliest time possible and not to install new tenants.

              To the other apartment we have said they will breach the leasehold again if they rent again.

              We have asked them both not to install tenants.

              We have also written to their respective agents telling them of the situation and each owner has been furnished with a copy of said letters.

              Waiting for the proverbial to hit the fan.

              One important thing and I hope I am reading this right, is the following clause that is written in the leasehold.

              "Not to assign transfer or underlet or part with possession of part of the demised premises."

              To me this Means NOT to underlet ie Not to rent

              Thanks you for you time in replying to my plight

              Thank you

              Comment


                #8
                Further point - we had management meeting last year after flat 1's renter left and other flat was still rented. We all were disgruntled that renters were installed without any notice and that we voted against renters. One of the recent offending flats agreed that they would not install more tenants at said meeting.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Ukblue View Post
                  .
                  "Not to assign transfer or underlet or part with possession of part of
                  the demised premises."

                  To me this Means NOT to underlet ie Not to rent
                  normaly leases say

                  1) Not to assign transfer or underlet or part with possession of part of
                  the demised premises.
                  This means you can't e.g. rent out 2 rooms, while you still live there.
                  Therefore no renting.

                  You should have found the following before or after number 1)

                  2) "Not to assign transfer or underlet or part with the whole of
                  the demised premises ( as distinct from a part of ) without the
                  consent in writing of the Lessor first being obtained, and consent
                  not to be unreasonably withheld"

                  Do you have number 2 in your lease. ?

                  However, if you do not have number 2 in your lease, then
                  underlet or part with the whole may be permitted, as it is not
                  prohibited as lease does not prohibit underletting the WHOLE.
                  ( meaning owner moves out and is -rented out.)

                  If number 2, with or without consent needed, is not in your lease,
                  you will have to bluff, and just keep it to no renting, and let the
                  other owners see the error in the lease.

                  Do you have number 2, in your lease, mentioning not to underlet
                  the whole ?

                  R.a.M.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Ukblue View Post
                    "Not to assign transfer or underlet or part with possession of part of the demised premises."
                    Oh dear.

                    That's not what you said in post 1.

                    The above is a restriction on "assign transfer or underlet" PART, not the whole, of the flat.

                    That clause ( assuming there are no further restrictions elsewhere in the lease) means that they can let the whole.


                    That could mean that the leaseholders may well have a significant claim for loss of rent, not to mention a breach of quiet enjoyment and harassment.

                    Can you read the entire lease and post the complete wording of any clause that makes reference to underletting.
                    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 Ukblue View Post
                      Further point - we had management meeting last year after flat 1's renter left and other flat was still rented. We all were disgruntled that renters were installed without any notice and that we voted against renters. One of the recent offending flats agreed that they would not install more tenants at said meeting.
                      Votes at a meeting cannot override the terms of the lease. Their agreement was based on flawed information and they can safely ignore it.
                      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

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