New freeholders requesting sublet fee

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    New freeholders requesting sublet fee

    Hello,

    I saw a long thread about this on this forum but couldn't see an answer to my case (although one person did ask about it).

    I've been renting a flat to the same tenants since December 2014. I requested permission from the then freeholder to sublet, and permission was granted, in writing, with no fee.

    A new freeholder, {Mod - name removed}, took over towards the end of 2015.

    I've just received a letter requesting £140.00 for a sublet application.

    The lease says:

    Not to underlet the whole of the Apartment except upon terms that the undertenant is liable to pay a rent not less than the aggregate of the rents reserved by this lease and the Tenant's Share of the Expenses and to give notice of such underletting to the Landlord and to pay their fee (being not less than £60 plus VAT).

    Does that mean I have to pay the full £140? Does the fact I have already cleared this with the previous freeholders count for nothing?

    Thanks.

    #2
    What does your lease say?
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Written permission from the Freeholder is written permission from the Freeholder.

      I reply stating that written consent was granted on date x. Await their response.
      There is always scope for misinterpretation.

      If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

      Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by mk1fan View Post
        Written permission from the Freeholder is written permission from the Freeholder.
        I reply stating that written consent was granted on date x. Await their response.
        And, it's only on a change of tenant that you will be asked to pay a fee.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ram View Post
          And, it's only on a change of tenant that you will be asked to pay a fee.
          The lease does not in fact say it is per tenant - it says "I am giving notice that I am underletting"

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
            The lease does not in fact say it is per tenant - it says "I am giving notice that I am underletting"
            But when the current December 2014 tenant leaves, a new underletting will commence.
            A new A.S.T, so the freeholder / M.A. wants to know the change of the tenants name, if one 2 or 3 tenants, notifying the block insurance the number of flats let, number of owner occupiers.
            Freeholder /M.A. revising their records, if the letting agent is the same or different.
            Checking to see if the new a.s.t is not in conflict with the lease.

            etc etc.

            Comment


              #7
              Yes indeed. But it does not actually say that. What the FH might want (whether legitimately or otherwise) may not be what the lease says he can want. Nor can the FH actually demand to see the actual AST leases (which you suggest he might want) unless the lease says he must. Nor in fact does the lessee have to tell him the NAMES of the tenants or how many there are, or whether they are bisexual, three legged or vegetarian because those too are not required.

              We could reword it in English: If you wish to let out your flat, then tell us and pay us a fee. It does not say for each new underletting (well why not every month or every lease year).

              The exact words are "to give notice of such underletting to the Landlord" - no more no less.

              Comment


                #8
                If OP has the consent from previous freeholder, then new freehold has no right to demand £60 notice fee .

                If you decide pay £60.01, then ask for the VAT number of new freehold company.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you all for your help with this.

                  I sent an e-mail to the freeholder confirming that I had already received written permission from the previous freeholder.

                  They've responded saying that will accept the renewal fee as a gesture of goodwill, and to send that along with the completed application form.

                  Is anyone positively certain that they have no right to ask for this?

                  Thanks.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Datopic View Post
                    Is anyone positively certain that they have no right to ask for this?.
                    I have no right to ask for payment for any correct advice given to you, ( looking at the rules and regulations of the Landlordzone.co.uk )
                    BUT I can ask.

                    You write again by letter, - keep a copy, stating again that you have the previous freeholder's permission to sub-let, and as the sub-tenant details have not changed, there is no fee chargeable, and no fee will be paid.

                    So what you will do, is to fill out the application form, cross out the word Application, and write - confirmation of details, presumed lost by the current freeholder, then fill it in, as a gesture of good will.

                    cross out any blanks that are not applicable, so that they cannot add their own hand written comments.

                    If it mentions fees anywhere, state, If any fees were demanded at the time, ( 2014 ) those fees have been paid.
                    Then -- ( I am not paying twice for the same named sub-tenant )

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by ram View Post
                      You write again by letter, - keep a copy, stating again that you have the previous freeholder's permission to sub-let, and as the sub-tenant details have not changed, there is no fee chargeable, and no fee will be paid.

                      Then -- ( I am not paying twice for the same named sub-tenant )
                      Personally, I would not mention "same tenant/tenant details have not changed, as this MAY imply acceptance that you need separate permission for each tenant. Say "I am not paying twice for the same permission".

                      As worded, the clause could be read as "permission is required to sublet. Once granted Lessee can sublet as many times as he likes." You can then use this argument when you get a new tenant.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I'd suggest they send you the gesture of goodwill if they want the paperwork again.

                        (I bet you don't hear from them again because they don't really want it. It's just an excuse to collect money from people.)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks. A couple of things:

                          - is there a reason why a letter is better than an e-mail?
                          - does anyone know for absolute certain that the fact I notified the original freeholder that I was going to sublet and received written permission from them means I do not need to notify and/or pay the fee of this freeholder (or any future freeholders for that matter)? If so, how do you know?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The laws on leasehold legislation were drafted many years ago and did not consider email was a reliable form of communication. Some people use software to clean out their in-box or delete infected emails and do not keep emails longer than 7 days.

                            If you want to send a written letter to landlord , its better to use registered post which requires the recipient to sign on delivery.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hello,

                              I never really got a concrete answer for this, and it's still ongoing.

                              Does anyone know the answers to any of the following:

                              1. What does 'to give notice' actually mean? The freeholder told me that 'to give notice' means Is there a legal definition for this somewhere?
                              2. Am I legally allowed to give tenant details?
                              3. Is a fee payable to the new freeholder? If so, what is it for, and how frequently must it be paid? The original contract was a 6 month AST, reverting to a 1 month rolling contract after the fixed term. It is still in the 1 month rolling contract stage.

                              Thanks.

                              Comment

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