Retrospective letting consent - lawful request ?

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    Retrospective letting consent - lawful request ?

    I bought a flat new from Barratts in 2002 as a buy-to let. It has been let continuously since new through a local Letting Agent. Barratts sold the freehold to Freehold Managers plc in 2005, and last year I received a letter demanding £260 one-off fee, plus £193 per year for letting consent. I replied advising that my letting arrangement was from "day-one", was fully known about by the previous freeholders, and that they must have known about these arrangements as part of their purchase. I have just received another letter with the same demand 12 months on. It surely goes against all natural justice (!) for such retrospective demands ? I fully accept the requirement to seek freeholders permission had I bought into their ownership, but not after so many years. Can any one please illuminate the legal position ? Thanks,
    Ian Hill

    #2
    We need to know what the lease says.

    Comment


      #3
      Have a look at my posts #421 & #424 here:

      http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ld-flat/page43
      To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

      Comment


        #4
        Thank-you for your reply and my apologies for delay in replying but have been away. Have checked the lease and it states "Not to underlet the Property as a whole other than on an assured shorthold tenancy for a fixed term not exceeding one year in duration." Is this the relevant section ? If so, it appears to accept that letting is normal outcome of ownership. All the SHT's have been for 6 month periods and arranged through a well-known local agent of good repute.

        Comment


          #5
          I am not an expert on contract law, but I would want to know:

          1. In the freehold originally owned by Barrats was there any mention of a payment such as being asked for now, even if Barratt never collected it?

          2. Did you pay last year?

          If there was a charge that was never collected might that make the current demands legitimate?

          If you had paid last year, or did pay, I would like to know if that might that be seen as acceptance of the condition?

          pm
          Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

          Comment


            #6
            I thought the original freeholder (Barrats) had a duty to offer LH opportunity to buy out the Leasehold before selling on to 3rd Party?
            Did the OP decline this offer if made?

            Comment


              #7
              Its not usually a case of declining the offer, more a case of not getting eveyone organised and under starters' orders to serve a valid purchase notice (with sufficient partipants). None of this exonerates excessive licence to underlet fees.

              Go at it like a dog with a bone; dont be ripped off.

              Tell the freeholders that without prejudice to your contention that the freeholders predecessors have waived the right to licence to underlet fees; if a fee is to be payable you dispute the amount and want the LVT to determine what it should be (Probably £75 absolutely tops)

              I have no doubt that Barratt Developments would have complied with the letter of the law regarding the sale of their freehold reversions.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Ian Hill View Post
                Thank-you for your reply and my apologies for delay in replying but have been away. Have checked the lease and it states "Not to underlet the Property as a whole other than on an assured shorthold tenancy for a fixed term not exceeding one year in duration." Is this the relevant section ? If so, it appears to accept that letting is normal outcome of ownership. All the SHT's have been for 6 month periods and arranged through a well-known local agent of good repute.
                Your interpretation is correct. No consent is needed for ASTs of a year or less. Point the clause out to the managers.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Retrospective letting consent

                  Originally posted by property mongrel View Post
                  I am not an expert on contract law, but I n would want to know:

                  1. In the freehold originally owned by Barrats was there any mention of a payment such as being asked for now, even if Barratt never collected it?

                  2. Did you pay last year?

                  If there was a charge that was never collected might that make the current demands legitimate?

                  If you had paid last year, or did pay, I would like to know if that might that be seen as acceptance of the condition?

                  pm
                  I have read through the Barratt contract and can find no mention of such requirements or charges. They never asked for payment, and I did not pay Freehold Managers last year when they made their demand. Seems strange that they never followed up my non-payment, plus explanatory letter ? Or perhaps not.....
                  Ian

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Barratts offered the Freehold to all nine owners before the deal with Freehold Managers was done - I did my best to encourage the other eight to buy it out, but no-one else was interested, or could afford it.
                    Ian

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                      Your interpretation is correct. No consent is needed for ASTs of a year or less. Point the clause out to the managers.
                      Thank-you - reply received and understood. There seems enough information on this post for me to make a worthwhile response to FM should they pursue this underhand demand,
                      Ian

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks quarterday, Lots of information for me to work with,
                        Best wishes,
                        Ian

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