The RLA’s Landlord Advice Team is on hand to offer free unlimited advice to members. Each week, we are featuring a call from one of our members outlining their problems and how the team helped them.
On the advice team we do not usually deal with leaseholder questions but we always try our best to guide our members.
Last week a member contacted us after a letter from their freeholder demanding £200 for permission to sublet the member’s property.
The member felt this was an outrageous sum of money particularly as the contract with the freeholder stated that while subletting needed the permission of the freeholder, it would not be unreasonably delayed or withheld. Our member was understandably furious with their freeholder for this outrageous charge. What could they do?
After some digging in previous court cases, the advisor discovered a series of cases that she directed our member to highlight to her freeholder. In these cases the court held that while it was acceptable to charge a fee for subletting, this fee must be reasonable and set amounts between £40-£50.
Our adviser then returned to the member and advised them to highlight these court cases to their freeholder and offer between £40 and £50 instead.
The member was satisfied with this answer and took the cases and the offer back to the freeholder. This was then accepted by the freeholder and the member saved £150 thanks to a little bit of research from the Landlord Advice Team.
Rupinder Aujla Advice Team Manager “We hear on a daily basis from members the charges that freeholders or managing agents are trying to pass on to landlords tenants for sub-letting.
“This is a great case in terms of what reasonable charges should look like.”