Repeat fees for notice of underletting

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  • #16
    Then write and tell them I gave notice that the letting was a contractual term of x months and any statutory continuation thereafter, you are in error in your assumption, the letting ends when either give notice or the tenancy is terminated.

    I would add that just because your software requires a firm date ( which is likely the cause for the assumption) is not my problem....I will notify of any changes as required under the lease.
    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


    • #17
      Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
      The Moderator will erase the names as they don't want to be threatened by solicitors but if you quote a couple of LVT ref case numbers I can look up the details.
      If I think there is risk to LLZ and/or the forum member concerned.

      I will also remove names if I think there is risk that subsequent posts by other members may create problems.

      And as always I wonder what is the value to the question(s) posed, does knowing the company name make a big difference to the replies? Usually the only difference this makes is that it provides a search tag for future members to find and post their defamatory / libellous remarks.

      Originally posted by John60 View Post
      They're a well-known company with lots of mentions on this forum and have successfully challenged the LVTs ability to rule on registration charges many many times
      The fact that names may appear in older threads does not change the way I deal with this, I have only been a moderator on these forums for 18 months and there are not enough hours in the day for me to retrospectively edit all posts that contain libellous comments. I have though on a couple of occasions needed to do this due to the threat of legal action.

      In those 18 months I am aware of several cases where I / LLZ admin have been contacted with threats of legal action.
      I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

      Comment


      • #18
        Another reason that I support this, not that I can object , is that I would like to see this forum focus on solutions, with the odd vent, in general terms, rather than other sites where they only reinforce each others state of disgruntlement and do not advance their or their members cause.

        We can certainly point to public sources such as the LVT decisions or advice sites like LEASE, but for the "lets bash X and O" they are easily searched for if a member wants such affirmation or a space to stamp.

        As they say don't get mad get even. I'd rather contribute to that.
        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


        • #19
          Originally posted by JK0 View Post
          You can still go to the LVT for a ruling on this like I did:

          http://www.residential-property.judi...y/10001AMR.pdf

          There have been one or two cases recently where the LVT have felt they were empowered to rule on notice fees. Give it a go.
          Hello,

          I am new to this game and would like to know if this ruling is still valid or if anyone can advise me.

          I have been looking at this thread and also the 'Freeholder's consent and fee to sublet leasehold flat' thread and am now not quite sure where I stand. I apologise now if I am repeating previous questions that have been answered.

          I do not need consent to sublet and my lease says this:

          "Upon every underletting of the Demised Premises and upon every assignment transfer or charge thereof and upon the grant of probate or letters of administration affecting the Term and upon the devolution of the Term under any assent or other instrument or otherwise howsoever or by any Order of the Court within one month thereafter to give the Landlord and the Company or to their respective solicitors for the time being notice in writing of such underletting assignment transfer charge grant assent or Order with full particulars thereof and to produce to the Landlord and the Company or their respective solicitors every such document as aforesaid and to pay to the Landlord a reasonable fee for the registration of the said notice (not being less that £50) plus any VAT or similar tax payable thereon at the rate for the time being in force and to deliver to the Company each deed of covenant referred to in this Schedule duly stamped"

          My position at the moment is that I have a tenant who is still on his first 12 month AST (due to expire in Feb 14). I have paid the £65 fee for registration. The Landlord's solicitors are now also asking for 2 x £65 for a previous tenant whose AST became a statutory periodic tenancy. They state that they are entitled to claim a fee every month (in line with the rental payment) but take the view that they will do so annually instead.

          The solicitor's website actually says in its FAQ section:

          The first letting to the tenant will attract a sublet notice requirement and fee. If this has not been done the owner is in breach of their lease and should remedy that breach by providing notice and paying the fee immediately. When the first tenancy comes to an end it can either be renewed (a new document produced) or the original agreement can simply roll on automatically. This automatic roll over tenancy is called a statutory periodic tenancy. In this case, a sublet fee is strictly payable every time the roll over tenancy automatically renews which is every time the rent is paid, which may be each week! We only charge one annual sublet fee in this instance."

          This would indicate to me that they must believe that there is no problem with doing this as it is there for anyone to see.

          I don't know if it is relevant but since they made this demand and I disputed it, they have asked for ground rent which I have paid. I presume this means I cannot be in breach of lease? but even so I do not want the debt on my account because I do intend to sell the flat within the next few years.

          They will charge another £65 will be charged in Feb when my current tenant's lease is either renewed or the SPT ensues so I also want to avoid this if possible. Obviously I have no issue with the fee if I have a different tenant.

          I would be prepared to go to the LVT if appropriate/worth it/necessary.

          Many thanks

          Comment


          • #20
            This isn't 'Smirca' or 'I stole air' again is it. (Anagrams used as we aren't allowed to name names.) It sounds a lot like them.

            My case does not stand as a precedent. You will have to go again yourself.

            Comment


            • #21
              No, not expensive enough for them!

              As the OP on this thread, and following-up on post #10 above, my insistence that the SPT did not represent a new subletting and therefore didn't warrant a repeat fee did pay off. The demands for repeat fees stopped and I now receive an e.mail once every few months simply asking to confirm the details of my tenants. As my tenants there have now been in place for over 18m, the advice on this forum has so far saved me two lots of £72!

              However, the recent issue over deposit protection is based on a SPT being, legally, a separate tenancy from the original AST so I do wonder what the ruling would be in a freeholder/their agent actually took this repeat fee issue to a count.

              John

              Comment


              • #22
                Yeah, that did occur to me also John. However, as the purported reason for requiring notice is said to be so the freeholder will know where to send ground rent demands, it seems a bit of a stretch for them to require notice every year.

                Funnily enough, I haven't heard from S&M since our case ended. I suspect they realise I'm capable of being more trouble to them than they to me. Smirca complied with the ruling for three years, then this year tried for another fee. I told them to google JK0 vs Smirca, and they backpeddled.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                  This isn't 'Smirca' or 'I stole air' again is it. (Anagrams used as we aren't allowed to name names.)
                  If the anagram / hint / clue is good enough to identify the company, then it’s good enough to support legal action against the relevant forum members and / or LLZ.

                  Hints, anagrams, clues, missing characters from names etc. are not acceptable and in the vast majority of cases are not even needed for the basic questions to be answered. The rule regarding naming and shaming is not there to treat forum members like naughty schoolchildren, it is there in the main to protect forum members and secondly to protect LLZ from legal action. It is enforced more now than in the past for the simple reason that legal action has been taken against forum members over the last few years and there have been several threats of legal action against LLZ, and that’s something which I would hope it is clear that we want to avoid.

                  Additionally, on the subject of links to previous rulings, as requested in post #11 this thread. If someone posts potentially libellous statements about a company without naming them, and then a link is posted to a previous ruling which is then identified as the same company, then even though that previous ruling presents no issues in itself this can still result in legal action in relation to the new post.
                  I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Yeah, but I don't think I posted anything libellous or untrue, did I?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      It may not matter in this specific case, but if someone posts libellous statements about a company without naming them, and then another forum member asks “This isn't 'Smirca' or 'I stole air' again is it.”, if the reply is “yes, that’s the company” then a clear link has been made between the libellous statements and the company.

                      So while you might be in the clear, the person posting the libellous statements might not be, which is why I ask members not to request details of companies openly in the forums. I would also like to point out that there are a number of members who will take time to report posts where names have been used in a potentially libellous way and I am grateful for this.
                      I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        JK0,

                        So do you recommend that I pay the fee before applying to the LVT and please would you advise which application form I should use.

                        Also, in the application, should I mention future fees that they would charge should the same tenants remain with either a renewal short term tenancy or a statutory periodic as well as these historic ones that they have just come up with?

                        Incidentally, do you have any idea of the statistics on which way these LVT rulings tend to go?

                        Thanks so much for your help

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          My landlord's solicitor referred to the Superstrike case as "confirming the point of law that a SPT is creating a new tenancy and as such, at each point that one is created a fee is due". This would be monthly in my case but this is where they say they have taken the view that it should be annually instead.

                          Because my lease does not state that I must pay a fee at each point that a subletting is undertaken but must pay “for the registration of the said notice”, I argued that in the instances to which they referred they had taken no action, there had been no need for them to do so and so I could not understand their justification for making these charges & refuted they were reasonable. I also noted your case JKO as supporting my claim.

                          I am waiting for their response but am not hopeful given the statement on their web site.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            If that doesn't work, I suggest you apply for a determination of service charge rather than admin charge. That was my mistake, and why they agreed they had no jurisdiction. (I'm sure Leaseholdanswers will be along any minute to shout me down, and say that the charges cannot be ruled on, but as he manages freeholds, of course he would say that.) However, have a look here:

                            http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/27A

                            You can see section 27A part 3 says:

                            (3)An application may also be made to a leasehold valuation tribunal for a determination whether, if costs were incurred for services, repairs, maintenance, improvements, insurance or management of any specified description, a service charge would be payable for the costs and, if it would, as to— .
                            (a)the person by whom it would be payable, .
                            (b)the person to whom it would be payable, .
                            (c)the amount which would be payable, .
                            (d)the date at or by which it would be payable, and .
                            (e)the manner in which it would be payable.
                            It seems to me that receiving notices regarding underletting is a management function, and so is within the remit of the First Tier Tribunal.

                            I believe you don't have to pay up before the FTT rules. Yes, I would mention future fees.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Notices and fees apply to any landloed be they investor or residetns groups and I favour neither.

                              You need to look at the definition of service charge JKO.
                              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


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                                You need to look at the definition of service charge JKO.
                                Just read this
                                "18 Meaning of “service charge” and “relevant costs”.

                                (1)In the following provisions of this Act “service charge” means an amount payable by a tenant of a [F1dwelling] as part of or in addition to the rent—
                                (a)which is payable, directly or indirectly, for services, repairs, maintenance [F2, improvements] or insurance or the landlord’s costs of management, and
                                (b)the whole or part of which varies or may vary according to the relevant costs.
                                (2)The relevant costs are the costs or estimated costs incurred or to be incurred by or on behalf of the landlord, or a superior landlord, in connection with the matters for which the service charge is payable.
                                (3)For this purpose—
                                (a)“costs” includes overheads, and
                                (b)costs are relevant costs in relation to a service charge whether they are incurred, or to be incurred, in the period for which the service charge is payable or in an earlier or later period."

                                I would interpret 'landlord's cost of management to include 'registration of notice'. Would you or not?

                                Still not 100% sure what the definition of 'notice' is to be honest. Re the stat periodic there was no paperwork, signatures or anything involved, it just happened so I can't understand what 'notice' they think they cld register. Any ideas?

                                Many thanks

                                Comment

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