Helpful Tips

Call of the week – Subletting as a leaseholder

Call of the week
Landlord Advice
Written by Landlord Advice

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.”

About the author

Landlord Advice

Landlord Advice

On-demand phone support from our landlord advisors is a big feature of RLA membership and is seen by many of our members as the most important service we offer. You can call the team in total confidence and be assured that the advice you'll receive is friendly, pertinent, up-to-date and practical.

Access to the advice team is FREE for all RLA Members.


  • Hi,

    I also got a letter from freeholder’s agent asking about subletting consent and fee of £130 per tenancy for the last 4 years (I bought the property 3.5 years back). The renewal fee of £65 is also mentioned. I checked my lease and there is no requirement of getting the consent but there is a clause that says that we need to inform them within 4 weeks about the new tenancies and they may charge a reasonable fee for registering the tenancy.

    I can see lot of cases on the web related to consent to let fee but couldn’t find anything special to tenancy registration fee. What is the reasonable fee for registering a tenancy (they asked names of tenants & start/end end dates of the tenancy). Is there any recent case of similar nature where the tribunal put some light on the reasonable registration fee.


  • Hello,
    I have the similar situation with my freeholder. May I please ask to email me the list of the court cases mentioned in this post.

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