A Leasehold Valuation Tribunal has had to tell Adderstone, a freeholder, to stop loading sub-letting fees – in yet another ruling on this subject.
This time it is the Adderstone Group, based in Newcastle, but Estates and Management repeatedly does the same thing.
This is spite of a string of LVT rulings and a clear multiple ruling by the Land Tribunal that a reasonable fee for sub-letting – where there are not special terms and fees in a lease – should be £40 plus VAT.
The Land Tribunal ruling can be read here
The latest ruling (in fact, October 27 2012) involved two leaseholders at Dock Mill, in Shipley, West Yorkshire.
Adderstone attempted to charge £130.20, £104.16 and £78 respectively – which are at the low scale for freeholder try-ons over sub-letting fees.
The LVT was having none of it.
“The Tribunal determines that the Applicants require consent to sublet the Property and the fee for each consent is £40 plus VAT.
“The Tribunal further determines that each sublet of the Property by reason of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy does not require registration under the terms of the lease and consequently no fee is payable for such registration.”
The Adderstone Group was ordered to repay the money, was barred from claiming its costs for the proceedings – £270.48 – and ordered to re-pay to the applicants their application fee of £100.
Adderstone’s attempts to charge the leasehold residents for a couple of emails, a letter and the witness statement for the hearing were dismissed.
Why is the tribunal service having to deal with these ridiculous sub-letting try-ons when the Land Tribunal’s binding ruling is quite clear?
Why are ordinary homeowners or property investors, who have far better things to do, having to go to court repeatedly over this issue?
The full ruling can be read here: subletlvt
Any rational person would think this ruling is definitive, yet Adderstone and their various ‘associated’ companies insist on continuing the same practice at different developments, clearly in the hope that most owners are not joined up in their actions against the landlord, and feel threatened enough to simply pay up and suffer.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! It is a waste of everyone’s time and money.
At our development at Ings Road, Wakefield, where Adderstone is the landlord, they have been playing these games for years, to the point where we have now taken away the management of the property from them. A small victory, but one which will save us money and give us some control.
The latest response from Adderstone, UKGRE, Forte or whoever decides to respond, is that no subletting charges will be refunded because the property in question is different to Ings Road, with different leases. The problem for Adderstone is that owners at Ings Road appear to have a variety of leases, and then there is the question of the Housing Association tenants. I doubt they will play these games with their legal team!