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    • relax67
    • By relax67 5th Oct 17, 11:41 AM
    • 7Posts
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    relax67
    Leaseholder insurance approval charge
    • #1
    • 5th Oct 17, 11:41 AM
    Leaseholder insurance approval charge 5th Oct 17 at 11:41 AM
    Hi all,

    I hope I've chosen the right forum, it seemed the right one to me?

    My Mother and Father purchased the flat I live in now back in the 1950's. We are leaseholders and pay the freeholders a small fee for the ground rent which we have been paying since the 50's. Then I continued to pay this fee when the flat was handed down to me, obviously no problem with this at all.

    Out of the blue on September 2017 I receive a letter explaining I need to show buildings insurance documents to the freeholders and an approval fee of £35 which is paid annually on approval of the insurance documents.

    What I am confused with is - why now in 2017 have I got this letter to pay £35 and not before, and why does it cost £35 to upload a document into their database.

    I know it's not a huge sum of money, but it comes out of the blue and is not consistent to our arrangements beforehand.

    Does this sound like normal practice to anyone?

    Many thanks

    Simon
    Last edited by relax67; 05-10-2017 at 1:59 PM.
Page 1
    • Lysimache
    • By Lysimache 5th Oct 17, 12:17 PM
    • 87 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Lysimache
    • #2
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:17 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:17 PM
    Do you have the lease to check the terms of it?
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 5th Oct 17, 12:21 PM
    • 3,577 Posts
    • 3,621 Thanks
    DoaM
    • #3
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:21 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:21 PM
    Has the freehold recently changed hands? (It could well be a new freeholder trying their hand at skimming extra revenue).
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • relax67
    • By relax67 5th Oct 17, 12:26 PM
    • 7 Posts
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    relax67
    • #4
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:26 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:26 PM
    Hiya,

    It doesn't mention in the lease, the lease is from the 1950's. 65 years of paying one fee per year (ground rent), now in 2017 they want two fees ground rent and buildings insurance approval.

    That's the annoying detail, can they change what charges I pay after all those years?

    Thanks
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 5th Oct 17, 12:28 PM
    • 3,577 Posts
    • 3,621 Thanks
    DoaM
    • #5
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:28 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:28 PM
    They are only allowed to charge what is stated in the lease. If they want to charge additional fees then a new lease needs to be agreed.

    So, has the freehold changed hands recently?
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • relax67
    • By relax67 5th Oct 17, 12:30 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    relax67
    • #6
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:30 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:30 PM
    @DoaM

    That's was my first gut reaction to this, I find this really irritating that my annual fee has gone up by 350% in one letter.

    The letter is just signed under the company name, the signature is unreadable.
    • relax67
    • By relax67 5th Oct 17, 12:31 PM
    • 7 Posts
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    relax67
    • #7
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:31 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:31 PM
    I have emailed the company that I'm not happy and will investigate further, these are my first small steps.
    • Lysimache
    • By Lysimache 5th Oct 17, 1:00 PM
    • 87 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Lysimache
    • #8
    • 5th Oct 17, 1:00 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Oct 17, 1:00 PM
    Even if the Freehold has changed hands, they cannot charge you new things unless you have agreed a new Lease with them.
    • relax67
    • By relax67 5th Oct 17, 1:57 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    relax67
    • #9
    • 5th Oct 17, 1:57 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Oct 17, 1:57 PM
    Even if the Freehold has changed hands, they cannot charge you new things unless you have agreed a new Lease with them.
    Originally posted by Lysimache
    That's what I thought, you cannot just get charged a fee without a contract etc. What I'm going to do is kindly ask the Freeholders for documentation that proves I am liable for the £35 costs and take it from there.

    Thanks to everyone for their input, I really appreciate it
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 5th Oct 17, 3:33 PM
    • 5,543 Posts
    • 5,228 Thanks
    eddddy
    Just to make sure you're clear on this...

    1. Presumably the lease says you are responsible for buildings insurance?

    2. Does the lease also say that you must provide evidence of insurance to the freeholder (for approval)?

    If 1 and 2 are both true, it's probably reasonable for the freeholder to charge you £35 for checking the insurance.

    (If that's the case, you could say that you've just been 'lucky' in the past that you haven't been charged a fee.)

    But wait to see what the freeholder says.
    Last edited by eddddy; 05-10-2017 at 3:36 PM.
    • relax67
    • By relax67 5th Oct 17, 3:49 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    relax67
    Just to make sure you're clear on this...

    1. Presumably the lease says you are responsible for buildings insurance?

    2. Does the lease also say that you must provide evidence of insurance to the freeholder (for approval)?

    If 1 and 2 are both true, it's probably reasonable for the freeholder to charge you £35 for checking the insurance.

    (If that's the case, you could say that you've just been 'lucky' in the past that you haven't been charged a fee.)

    But wait to see what the freeholder says.
    Originally posted by eddddy
    Hiya,

    The lease is from 1958 and it does not mention insurance at all.

    They have never asked to see insurance documents until now. From 1958-August 2017 no documents have been passed on to the Freeholders. They never sent anything regarding insurance.

    The letter starts off "Following a recent analysis of your house, your building insurance requires the freeholders approval and the evidence of such policy and proof of payment is required".

    That's what's bugging me, because this is new to me. Nearly 60 years without anything other than a yearly ground rent invoice.
    Last edited by relax67; 05-10-2017 at 3:59 PM.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 5th Oct 17, 3:58 PM
    • 3,288 Posts
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    bouicca21
    Read the lease. It will tell you who is responsible for buildings insurance. Mine says it is the freeholder and that the insurance must be with a reputable insurance company.
    • relax67
    • By relax67 5th Oct 17, 4:08 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    relax67
    Read the lease. It will tell you who is responsible for buildings insurance. Mine says it is the freeholder and that the insurance must be with a reputable insurance company.
    Originally posted by bouicca21
    I just found that part, I am responsible for the insurance but no mention of paying any approval fees. Which may be a modern rule. I'm not sure if they done that back in 1958?
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 5th Oct 17, 4:12 PM
    • 3,288 Posts
    • 4,100 Thanks
    bouicca21
    What exactly does it say? Is there anything at all about requiring freeholder approval? Forget, for now, the issue of fees, just look for a requirement for approval.
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