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Leasehold Ground Rent Question

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I live in a leasehold property and the ground rent is £4 per year. Every year I get a letter from an estate agent acting on behalf of the landlord asking for the rent and I pay by cheque.

This year the estate agent sent a letter saying they were no longer collecting the rent as it was no longer economically viable for them to do so, and the landlord would be in touch some time.

I have not heard anything from the landlord and the rent is now overdue, is there anything I need to do? Any risks of not paying? I don't have any contact details for the landlord.

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Do not panic. The landlord (freehold reversioner) cannot treat you as being in arrears unless its Agent serves on you a formal demand under s.166 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/15/contents.

 

See below, with my added underlining:

 

(1) A tenant under a long lease of a dwelling is not liable to make a payment of rent under the lease unless the landlord has given him a notice relating to the payment; and the date on which he is liable to make the payment is that specified in the notice.

 

(2) The notice must specify—

(a)the amount of the payment,

(b)the date on which the tenant is liable to make it, and

(c)if different from that date, the date on which he would have been liable to make it in accordance with the lease,

and shall contain any such further information as may be prescribed.

 

(3)The date on which the tenant is liable to make the payment must not be—

(a)either less than 30 days or more than 60 days after the day on which the notice is given, or

(b)before that on which he would have been liable to make it in accordance with the lease.

 

(4)If the date on which the tenant is liable to make the payment is after that on which he would have been liable to make it in accordance with the lease, any provisions of the lease relating to non-payment or late payment of rent have effect accordingly.

 

(5)The notice—

(a)must be in the prescribed form, and

(b)may be sent by post.

 

(6)If the notice is sent by post, it must be addressed to a tenant at the dwelling unless he has notified the landlord in writing of a different address in England and Wales at which he wishes to be given notices under this section (in which case it must be addressed to him there).

 

(7)In this section “rent” does not include—

(a)a service charge (within the meaning of section 18(1) of the 1985 Act), or

(b)an administration charge (within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 11 to this Act).

 

(8)In this section “long lease of a dwelling” does not include—

(a)a tenancy to which Part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (c. 56) (business tenancies) applies,

(b)a tenancy of an agricultural holding within the meaning of the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 (c. 5) in relation to which that Act applies, or

(c)a farm business tenancy within the meaning of the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 (c. 8).

 

(9)In this section—

    “dwelling” has the same meaning as in the 1985 Act,

    “landlord” and “tenant” have the same meanings as in Chapter 1 of this Part,

    “long lease” has the meaning given by sections 76 and 77 of this Act, and

    “prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the appropriate national authority.

 

 

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Also IIRC if arrears do build up the max they can claim for is 6 years.  So worse case scenario you're on the hook for £24.

 

But until they contact you with the correct notice to pay kick back and relax, nothing for you to worry about.

Edited by geared

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Thanks both.

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On 18/10/2019 at 15:20, geared said:

Also IIRC if arrears do build up the max they can claim for is 6 years.  So worse case scenario you're on the hook for £24

 

Yes. See section 19 of the Limitation Act 1980.

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