Format of notice of breach of lease

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    Format of notice of breach of lease

    Hello

    Is there a prescribed format for notifying a leaseholder that they are in breach of their lease?

    If there isn't anything prescribed, is there a template that landlords use?

    We are in the process of instructing solicitors but we want to do as much prep as we can and also be able to double check what the solicitor sends out.

    Many thanks

    #2
    Why are you instructing a solicitor at £ 200 to tell a leaseholder
    they have breached their lease ?

    A simple letter to the offeneder stating that as they know, in
    section x (y) ii in the lease, that your are not allowed to do such
    and such.

    You did on x/xx/2013 which is a breach the lease.
    ( If it's a simple parking thing - but verified by the lease )
    park etc. Please refrain for committing this breach or we may have
    to take action to remedy your breach.

    If it's a breach and the leaseholder knows, and refuses to do anything
    about it, a letter stating the facts and that the breach ( wall knocked
    down ) must be rectifed and put back to orignal - or what ever,
    that if the breach is not rectifed within 3 weeks, you will be taking
    futher action.
    But you don't say what the breach is !

    There are nice ways to write if a minor breach, and a stern way
    if refusal is found.
    A hint, may enable members to advise if you do need a solicitor, or
    a simple letter from you first will suffice,

    R.a.M.

    Comment


      #3
      But is it that simple ? Normally a FH would only write regarding a breach if he intending following the s146/forfeiture route, is he not under a duty to mention that ?
      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


        #4
        Originally posted by andydd View Post
        But is it that simple ? Normally a FH would only write regarding a breach if he intending following the s146/forfeiture route, is he not under a duty to mention that ?
        Err, no.

        Some one leaves a buggy in the common landings when lease states
        you must keep clear, or only to park in your designated space and
        in no other.
        you don't forfeit their flat for a buggy or carpark infringement, you
        would be laughed out of court.

        I think this is to do with leaseholder making stuctural alterations
        etc, and is not responding.

        If that is the case, then a letter from the freeholder stating that
        unless the building / his rooms are put back into pre alteration
        condition, court action will follow to have him reverse the alterations,
        together with all legal costs for both sides payable by the
        offending leaseholder.

        R.a.M.

        Comment


          #5
          impish,

          There's no specific format for when you first tell the leaseholder that they are in breach but once a breach has been admitted or decided upon by the Court or Leasehold Valuation Tribunal then there is a standard notice if forfeiture is sought which most LL's don't do themselves because if they mess it up then they have to go back and do it again after it gets thrown out of Court.

          There are also other pitfalls. Breaches can be waived by actions taken by the LL or even by failing to act. LL's misunderstand the covenants of the lease. LL's underestimate the standard of proof required. LL's misunderstand in regard to costs.

          Before you employ a solicitor or write to the tenant yourself it might be worth discussing the alleged breach on here. You'll probably get better advice on here.
          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


            #6
            Broadly the first step is a letter before action and then a choice of the LVT to determine, or to the County Court for possession and seeking referral to the LVT by the court on certain matters.

            A comprehensive LBA is best except in simple matters or where further enquiry is required, as it forms the basis for the later action or resolution.

            1 Identify the lease and parties

            2 Identify the breach

            3 Identify the clauses in the lease ( and other applicable bases)

            4 Identify the remedies and timescale

            5 The next steps to achieve 4

            6 The CPR liberal wish washy bit about going to a hippie and sing Cum by Yah over the PVCu windows you put in without consent*, arbitration and in due course LVT or Court.

            7 The consequence - homelessness

            8 And the nice bit Costs


            If they have a talking stick thats good as you can hit the lessee with it! Seriously don't do that its just me dark moods in February.
            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


              #7
              Thanks for all your replies. Really helpful and I think we can draft something.

              The breaches are serious. Structural and non-structural alterations without consent. Not compliant with planning / building regs, the work has damaged external walls and guttering and finally it has affected another leaseholder who is understandably annoyed.

              The LH initially refused to acknowledge that he needed consent from anyone incl. planning. Now he is arguing deemed consent rather than consent under the lease. His facts are incorrect or unsupported.

              We have to make sure everything is right on our side and we don't unintentionally waive forfeiture or back ourselves into a corner. We hope none of it gets that far.

              Initially I thought waiving forfeiture was if we paid or accept rent / money. But it seems wider than that (Siva I read your thread). I saw some legal newsletter elsewhere that seemed to suggest the LL shouldn't negotiate or communicate with the LH at all. Not sure how anything can be resolved if that is the case.

              My co-freeholders want to be "nice", I am worried that by doing so it'll make matters more complicated

              We were thinking that we would send a notice of the breaches in general terms as an open letter. But do we have to state point blank that we want the flat reinstated to keep that remedy? can we add subject to any agreement between the parties?

              At the same time, send a without prejudice letter with suggestions for remedying the breaches. Among other things we have no idea of the quality of work, so we need to get a surveyor in. We also need tonegotiate installing soundproofing.

              We need the comfort that we are doing things properly and our leaseholder needs to know that we mean business and we want it sorting out quickly.

              Any views

              Comment


                #8
                I suggest you take some formal legal advice and potentially instruct a building surveyor to inspect all of the structural and non-strucutal changes and produce a schedule of defects that need remedy.

                This is not a time to be 'nice' it is a time to act properly, which can be nice but firm and professional.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by MCPH View Post
                  I suggest you take some formal legal advice and potentially instruct a building surveyor to inspect all of the structural and non-strucutal changes and produce a schedule of defects that need remedy.

                  This is not a time to be 'nice' it is a time to act properly, which can be nice but firm and professional.

                  Agreed. Be nice about a pram, not about potentially serious works, but be professional.

                  Frankly don't even waste time dealing with it yourself. Cease communication and instruct the solicitor to set out the breach and as indicated above the need for further inspection and investigation, and use chartered building surveyor as suggested familiar with leasehold property management.

                  Do check insurance polices for any legal expenses cover as that might save considerably on selection of solicitors and costs.
                  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


                    #10
                    Originally posted by impish View Post
                    We have to make sure everything is right on our side and we don't unintentionally waive forfeiture or back ourselves into a corner. We hope none of it gets that far.

                    Initially I thought waiving forfeiture was if we paid or accept rent / money. But it seems wider than that (Siva I read your thread). I saw some legal newsletter elsewhere that seemed to suggest the LL shouldn't negotiate or communicate with the LH at all. Not sure how anything can be resolved if that is the case.
                    With ongoing breaches you can waive the right to forfeiture but the right arises again. However you may be estopped from relying on covenants of the lease by certain actions or more often inactivity.

                    I would say that unauthorised alterations are a 'once and for all' breach so you have to be careful when dealing with the leaseholder. The usual advice is not to communicate with the leaseholder at all but I've looked into this and case law seems to suggest that you have to show unequivocal intentions to continue with the lease in order to waive the right to forfeiture.

                    In one case I was looking at the LL claimed to have ignored a request for permission to sublet because he wanted to preserve his right to forfeiture in regard to an alleged breach. The Courts said that failure to reply meant that the leaseholder had gained permission to sublet and that they should have replied but stated permission was given or denied without prejudice to their right to forfeit.

                    I've also seen cases where once the original LBA has been sent, subsequent actions which in their own right might waive the right to forfeiture are no longer unequivocal signs that you are prepared to continue with the lease.

                    That makes far more sense than having to shut off communication with the leaseholder for months on end. But don't communicate if you don't have to.
                    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


                      #11
                      Originally posted by impish View Post
                      But do we have to state point blank that we want the flat reinstated
                      to keep that remedy?
                      1) Structural and non-structural
                      2) alterations without consent.
                      3) Not compliant with planning / building regs.
                      regs, the work has damaged external walls and guttering .
                      In my opinion, ( others may differ ) I would START with reinstate
                      the property, then you can back down and get it all agreed and fixed.

                      From what you say, the leaseholder is INCAPABLE of getting work
                      done to the required standard, see 1) 2) + 3) and should not be
                      allowed to continue, not be allowed to rectify it himself, or revert
                      back to the original design himself, and builders of your choosing be
                      empolyed to rectify, as clearly he cannot do the job to the
                      required standard.

                      Therefore he must be stopped from himself getting the rectification
                      or reinstatement done, as he just can't do it.( incapable )
                      He had the chance, and now it does not conform to simple
                      planning / building regs.

                      I would seek a ban from him doing any work, as well.
                      (Meaning you will have to rectify everything, sending him the bill
                      ( money up front first though )

                      If I had this tosser here, it would be a solicitors letter advising
                      we are taking him to court because he just does not know what
                      he is doing. as well as doing him for breach of the lease.

                      R.a.M.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by impish View Post
                        The breaches are serious. Structural and non-structural alterations without consent. Not compliant with planning / building regs,
                        Got a similar problem here and am now up to solicitor No 3 who has come back suggesting we are not going to get far with forfeiture. I know that but just want a letter threatening it sent. It has taken them from 24th Jan to come up with this advice. how do I find a solicitor willing to take action for us?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Jophus View Post
                          just want a letter threatening it sent.
                          Send one yourself for £ 1
                          First, check that your lease states the landlord / freeholder can
                          "pass on costs to the leaseholder costs for initiation / preparation of
                          section 146" ( Forfeiture )
                          Then you can write stating that if the breach is not rectified, you will
                          seek forfeiture of flat, and that at clause x (i) 5, or whatever,
                          and that costs are already mounting preparation for feiture
                          proceedings, which he has already incured and liable for.

                          see howthat goes.
                          ( Yes I know you have to go to the LVT to determine if a breach
                          exisits, but you must state your intentions )

                          R.a.M.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks ram,

                            I thought a solicitors letter would carry a bit more weight, especially with a copy sent to the mortgage company and yes it does have provision re section 146 costs.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              In the case of a serious breach such as this there are too many pitfalls and therefore you need to cease communication and let the solicitors handle it.

                              Assuming there is no immanent threat to the structure the LBA then allows you and they to negotiate via the solciotr under the heading of " without prejudice" so that any discussions do not give rise to any acts of waiver.

                              As to what you can insist on that depends on the lease- if the areas they have altered are within the demise and are covered by a blanket clause such as "Not to cut main or alter" then you can insist on their reinstatement. To the extent that any works are subject to consent then that is subject to you not withholding consent unreasonably.

                              if the reinstatement to the original is prohibitive then expect litigation so I suggest that you look at what has been done and a solution rather than simply " as was".
                              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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