Ground rent

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    Ground rent

    I have lived in my ground floor
    Maisonette for 1 year now. I accidentally opened a letter addressed to the previous owners last week to find a bill from the landlords property solicitors asking for the ground rent sum of £400. £200 owed from the previous year. I called the company who told me that our solicitors didn't notify them that we had purchased the property! So now because of out solicitors being incompetent and closing the file before it was correctly dealt with, we owe 2 years worth of ground rent. £200 for last year and £200 for this coming year. Finding £400 from thin air is going to prove difficult and I'm quite surprised bailiffs never turned up for the money we owed but were never notified of! Is there any point in lodging a complaint with the solicitors and could I hold them liable for the £200 last year as if they had done their job properly we would have been billed last year and paid it already! Thanks

    You don't generally owe £400 but you will owe the £200 for this year.

    Contact your conveyancers and ask them to sort this out. One wonders what else they may have not done if they forgot to register you as the new leaseholder with the freeholder.

    Did you get a list of questions/answers from the freeholder as part of your conveyancing pack? In there it would normally have been stated that there are ground rent arrears at the property. But maybe your conveyancers didn't do this either...

    Definitely worth a complaint to them if they don't resolve this all amicably.


      I dread to think what else they have forgotten to do on the file! I don't remember getting a list of questions/answers.

      If a bill had come through last year to us asking for the ground rent for the upcoming year we would have obviously paid it straight away as it was ours to pay but as we got no mail thanks to our solicitors we are now in the situation of owing last years and this coming year. The solicitors seem to be fobbing me off at the moment and avoiding my point! They think that now they have transferred our name that their job here is done! I feel like sending them the bill but no doubt I'll get it posted right back to me!


        The solicitor/conveyancer should deal with isues like this as mentioned above, its worth noting that if legal action/bailiffs had been involved the judgem,ent would of been against the previous owners and not you, although you could be liable in time, but as mentioned compalin to your solicitor, he/she could be laible for the previous years amount.
        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.


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