Ground rent

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    Ground rent

    I have just had a demand for approx 3.5 years ground rent for a property which I have only owned for 1.5 years. Am struggling to find the solicitor's paperwork as they went into administration but I do have a copy of the Notice of transfer relating to the management company and a copy of the permission to let granted by them on behalf of the freeholder. I had one demand for £25 last year in the name of the previous tenant, no mention of any arrears, and I contacted the freeholder's customer service, I emailed the address given to me but he never replied, where do I stand?

    Joe

    #2
    have you been sent a demand complying with S166 of Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002 if not then nothing is payable.

    Whilst service charges from previous owners may be claimed from you i dont know about ground rent, any outstanding charges are usually sorted out by your solicitor/conveyancer.

    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


      #3
      If the lease was granted after 1-1-96 then they cannot pursue you for debts before completion.

      If earlier then they can, and you should review your purchase papers as to what your solicitor asked and found out about ground rent.
      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


        #4
        The lease was granted originally dec 2009 so well after the 96 date,can you give me a reference to the legislation relating to this date please.. I have never had any demand addressed to me for ground rent, I got one quarterly one last June for £25, I contacted the freeholder by phone, was given an email address, sent my details but never got a reply and now the first correspondence addresses to me is 7 day notice and the threat of passing the debt to their collection dept

        Comment


          #5
          The Landlord & Tenant Act was passed in Parliament in the days before emails came into use. So always communicate with freeholder or agent by letter sent by recorded post.

          Comment


            #6
            Jophus based your post



            Dear Landlord

            Demand For Ground Rent

            Under section 47 and 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 I have not been given a demand which contains your name nor your address in England and wales nor and an address, in England and Wales, for service of notice and proceedings.

            Under Section 166 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 you have not given the prescribed form of Notice that must accompany such demands.

            Those laws give a tenant the right to withhold payment until that is rectified and therefore I am exercising that right, and I would draw to your attention that those laws also bar any cost that you might seek to incur being due from me.

            As my lease was granted after 1-1-1996 you will be aware that under the Landlord and tenant Covenants Act 1995 that as my lease was granted after 1-1-1996 I am not responsible for any arrears prior to the completion on date.

            In the circumstances I look forward to receiving a revised demand with the information as above and I will pay the full amount of ground rent that is due from completion, and will provide you with the details of eh vendors solicitors so that you can contact them.
            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
              Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
              If the lease was granted after 1-1-96 then they cannot pursue you for debts before completion.
              Are you sure? Section 3(2)(a) LT(C) Act 1995 seems to say the opposite, though there may be something elsewhere in the Act that answers that - I have not checked.

              Comment


                #8
                LC, I, like you, have read a lot of Acts and SI and I can say that this one is one of the most obscure that I have ever read. So much so when it came out I waited for the EG article to explain it

                To answer the question it is section 23, with of course the proviso as a conveyancer will know that a contract can over ride that

                23 Effects of becoming subject to liability under, or entitled to benefit of, covenant etc.
                (1)Where as a result of an assignment a person becomes, by virtue of this Act, bound by or entitled to the benefit of a covenant, he shall not by virtue of this Act have any liability or rights under the covenant in relation to any time falling before the assignment.
                (2)Subsection (1) does not preclude any such rights being expressly assigned to the person in question.
                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


                  #9
                  Noted, thank you. Research has indicated that the position is the same for "old leases". See http://www.brethertons.co.uk/Content...e_v1_loRes.pdf However, it does seem that a landlord can still forfeit for non-payment of rent due before the assignment. See section 23(3) and the same article for the position before the Act came into force.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    In this case he is asking about whether a landlord can seek that money from him and as a first principle he cannot. The argument would then be that as it is a once and for all breach the Act of accepting notice would be sufficient to waive the righjt to forfeit. Arguably so does the unqualified demand indicate a waiver.

                    I know that this has been explored since the Articles and I am sure I have a much more recent Brethertons webinar somewhere with the cases listed on the point generally.

                    Unless it is modern ground rent the prudent thing might be to just pay it, and review the purchase file as the solicitor should have identified ground rent being due and enquired.

                    So often lurking in the paper work is a note warning of the possibility of collection of up to 6 years....
                    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
                      Thanks for the advice, I will write as proscribed and let you know how I get on. It is most annoying as I always pay on the nail and I contacted the freeholder last June.

                      The solicitor who acted for me is now with another firm but making enquiries as to where the paperwork is lodged.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Just had a demand for the latest ground rent with no mention of the previously owed amount, wonder how long it will take them to work out what I do actually owe!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Eventually I have had the ground rent demands in a proper manner, each one indivdually itemised with dates amounts etc. I have paid everything due since my completion, the strange thing about the two years before is they were both demanded on the same date and it was during the time I was negotiating the purchase so I suspect the landlord only started to bill when most of the estate was completed.

                          I am waiting for my solicitor to confirm what was done with regarding to the ground rent at the time, but when I mentioned the 1996 act he said sections of the act had not been commenced and this was one of them, it is a strange phrase to use, not sure what it exactly meand but am awaiting the file being resurrected!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Its the 95 Act and this section has had a commencement order. Much legislation is passed and enacted, however it needs a commencement order to say that the Act or sections of it are in in force. This section is.

                            This is a useful explanation and applies to ground rent too.
                            http://www.brethertons.co.uk/Content...e_v1_loRes.pdf
                            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


                              #15
                              I have had a read through but it is going to take a few more times to digest, the difference between opinions and counter opinions is alien to me, in my field was used to straight forward facts.

                              Its disappointing when your solicitor does not know though!

                              Comment

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