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Renting a Leasehold Flat - Difficult Freeholder

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  • Renting a Leasehold Flat - Difficult Freeholder

    Good afternoon,

    We have a difficult Freeholder who has previously charged us unreasonable Service Charges (we applied to the LVT and the decision was in our favour). Unfortunately he lives above our property and the relationship has soured to such a point that we have decided to rent the property out. I strongly suspect that he will make this as difficult as possible for us to the point of even denying permission and certainly attempting to charge unreasonable amounts. I want to avoid having to go back to the LVT as we are already applying for the appointment of a manager and we have been paying for a property that we don't use for more than 18 months to even get to the point we are at now.

    I have checked the Lease and reproduce the relevant clauses below. My interpretation is that we have to provide a deed of covenant to the landlord stating that the tenant will adhere to the lease but otherwise his permission is not required.

    Could you please confirm whether this is the case or not.

    Thanks,

    Doug

    Extracts from the Lease:

    3.11.1. Not to underlet or part with or share possession of any part of the Flat (as distinct from the whole) in any way whatsoever.

    3.11.2. Not to assign. underlet or part with possession of the Flat (as a whole) without first

    3.11.2.1 procuring that the assignee or sub-tenant enters into a separate deed of covenant with the Landlord to observe and perform the Tenant's covenants and conditions contained in this Lease and to be subject to compliance by the Tenant with the provisions of Clause 3.12 and 3.13 and to pay the costs of preparation of such a deed of covenant.

    3.12. Rent on sub-letting. Not to sub-let or permit the Flat to be sub-let except upon terms that the sub-tenant is liable to pay throughout the term of the sub-lease not less than the aggregate of the rents reserved by this Lease and the Insurance Contribution, Service Charge and Maintenance Adjustment.

    3.13. Covenants in sub-leases. To cause to be inserted in every sub-lease (whether mediate or immediate) except in the case of sub-letting at a rack rent without payment of a premium for a period not exceeding seven years a covenant by the sub-tenant with the Landlord and with the Tenant to observe and perform all the covenants and conditions in this Lease contained (except the covenenatns for the payment of Rent Service Charge and Maintenance Adjustment) with a condition permitting re-entry in case of any breach of any of the covenants or conditions.

    3.14. Registration of dispositions and charges.

    3.14.1. Within one month after every sub-letting assignment assent or transfer of and the creation of every mortgage or charge and any grant of probate or letters of administration or Court order affecting the Flat to give to the Landlord notice in writing of such sub-letting assignment transfer assent charge grant or order with a certified copy of the relevant document and of the name and address of the person in whom the Term has become vested or to whom it has become charged or mortgaged and to pay the Landlord a reasonable administration charge for the registration of every such transaction.

    3.14.2. Contemporaneously with the Tenant's application to the Land Registry for the registration of the grant of this Lease apply the Chief Land Registrar in Land Registry Form RX1 (or in any other superseding Land Registry Form which may be required by the Land Registry from time to time) and do all such acts and things as may be required for the entry in the Proprietorship Register of the title to this Lease of the following Restriction:-

    "RESTRICTION: no disposition of the registered estate by the proprietor of the registered estate or by his or their personal representatives (other than a charge) is to be completed by registration without a certificate signed by the solicitor to the Landlord that clauses 3.11 and 3.14 of the Registered Lease has been complied with"

    3.14.3. Forthwith upon registration of this Lease at the Land Registry supply to the Landlord a copy of the entries in the Registers of the Tenant's Title.

  • #2
    Re: Renting a Leasehold Flat - Difficult Freeholder

    Yes you have to ge the tenant to sign a deed of covnenat which has to include the wording/covenants required by the lease. You also have to give notice of the letting to the landlord and pay his fee for registering it.

    Landlord can't prevent subletting of the whole flat but can be awkward and try to require that the deed of covenant is in format approved by him for which he will want to charge a fee! Also some prospective tenants may be put off by having to sign such a deed.
    RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
    As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

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    • #3
      Re: Renting a Leasehold Flat - Difficult Freeholder

      Yes but in reality it isn't easy to enforce a lease or the charges. Any fees have to be reasonable and there is plenty of LVT rulings stating what a reasonable charge is.

      If you don't get the tenant to sign a deed of covenant will the freeholder get legal over it. It is not as if he can go down the forfeiture route and win. But I don't see a tenant refusing to sign one if asked after all they want to live in the property and it would just be another doc to sign at the beginning of the tenancy alongside the tenancy agreement.
      Last edited by Rigsby; 18-08-2013, 02:36 PM.

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