Freeholders demands for permission to sublet

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    Freeholders demands for permission to sublet

    My partners and I bought 5 leasehold properties in South Yorkshire in about 2006 from the developer for buy to let. The developer knew this as does the company who deals with the management and collection of service charge. Some 13 years later we have received notices from {Management Agent name removed}who say they act for the current freeholder {name removed}. They are saying we need permission to sublet for each and every separate letting and renewed letting at a fee of between £95 and £130. They are also threatening to instruct their solicitors to enforce this obligation.
    Our leases do say that we need the freeholders permission to sublet but I wonder if we have an argument to say tacit consent has been given over the years to this subletting. All parties have known from day one that we were letting the properties and no objections have been made.
    Has anybody else had a situation like this? Any advice would be appreciated.

    Regards

    Rob Walker

    #2
    Please remove all names of businesses from your posting, as including them puts the people who run the board at risk of libel actions.

    You might also want to google them yourself.

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      #3
      There re a number of companies that specialise in extracting permission fees from leaseholders. They will often try it on where the lease doesn't allow it, so you need to read the lease very carefully. However, if it turns out you are on the wrong, they are not going to take any excuses, although you should still check that the amounts demanded are allowed by the lease.

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        #4
        also check if permission is required to sublet (i.e. one-off) or for each sublet.

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          #5
          Agree with the above totally, so i gather the freeholder and/or management company changed recently ? If so then this is a cash raising exercise and one that if your lease back it up could mean you have to pay, if it states you need permission then that is simple enough for them to prove but for each and every new AST !!! That would be a nightmare, read very very carefully the wording.

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            #6
            Yes, they tried to do the same thing to us and my solicitor asked if they could tell him where in the lease it said they had that right. This is part of the reply:

            .".........We have reviewed the lease and we found that you do not need to serve us with notice unless you are letting for substantially for the whole of the unexpired term.

            Apologies that you have received our letter and we have now amended our database, therefore no further letters regarding letting will be sent to you........"



            BUT we have had the flats for about 20 years and so before Buy to Let really took off.

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              #7
              Please post the exact wording of the relevant clause.

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                #8
                Further, can you prove:
                a) You have been subletting for 13 years?
                b) The company collecting service charges knew you were subletting?
                c) Have you responded yet?

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