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I own a coach house style property which has two garages underneath - one is mine and the other is used by the house next door. As it is part of my property it is leased out to next door and they have to pay me ground rent of £25 a year and a portion of my buildings insurance - in case they set the garage on fire or anything that could damage my house. It is all laid out in the deeds of my house and next door.

 

I bought the house when it was built in 2001 and the neighbours who initially lived there paid me their ground rent etc when they moved out in 2003 and said the new owners would be in touch to sort out the arrangements regarding the ground rent. I then rented out my house for a while and didn't hear anything - but was hundreds of miles away from my house so couldn't see who was now living next door. It turned out it was bought and then rented out. Two years later the owner contacted me and paid me the amount for the last two years - but stated I had to put her name on my insurance documents - not really possible at the time as my house was being rented out and I had Landlords Insurance etc and once I moved back into my house - trying to get an insurance company to do that when the owner of next door didn't live in the property - was a no go. Plus my solicitor had never advised me to have their name on the insurance too.

 

Some years have passed since they paid me (6 to be exact) and they have continued to rent out the property (however the previous tenant and current tenant are the daughters of the owner so probably not actually paying rent). I wrote to the owner using her business address back in January about the outstanding balance of the ground rent - I did not backdate or charge for insurance as her name hadn't been on the documents. I got no reply. I put a copy through the letterbox next door and sent a copy to her solicitor who had contacted me 6 years ago to arrange payment of the initial 2 years. I still have not had a response.

 

I know she is still the owner of the property and perhaps is hoping I will give up.

 

Am I within my rights to withdraw access to the garage due to lack of payment? I would of course release it back to the owner should they pay, or when they sell the property offer the same arrangement to the new owner.

 

Surely as the owner of the property she uses to rent out - having the garage is a huge selling point for a tenant - so for the sake of £175 for the last 6 years of ground rent (please note I am also not charging interest) - surely that is better than no garage at all for the use of her tenants?

 

Any advice is much appreciated.

 

Many thanks.

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I would have thought that = yes you are entitled to withdraw access.

 

I hope that you know about adverse possession in which you can lease your rights over your property if the land is possessed adversely against you for 12 years. An example of this could be where they are using your land and continue to do so even though they are in breach of the agreement

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Is the garage leasehold ?

 

There are various laws regarding leasehold properties, service charges, insurance, etc but Im not sure they apply to a garghae as it may not be a 'property'.

 

With leasehold properties the annual ground rent must be demanded in accordance with s166 of Commonhold & leasehold Reform Act 2002, if not, it is not payable.

 

I'd suggest a simple montary court claim to recover the monies owing.

 

Andy

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  • 1 month later...

Apologies for the delay in my response! Yes the garage itself is leasehold, so it is leased to the owner of next door for their use.

 

I have now written to the owner of the property next door three times this year (including copies to their solicitor) and as yet have had no response. From her making her first payment years ago, that was confirmation as to agreeing to my request for yearly ground rent and that she fully understood the terms as laid out in the property deeds. There was never any contact to contest this arrangement after she paid for the first two years of leasing the garage.

 

Am I entitled to charge interest and late payment on the outstanding amount? And does Adverse Possession still apply when the garage is leasehold to the neighbour?

 

So if they still refuse to pay and say fail to turn up/respond to any simple monetary court claim - where do I stand then? Can I use adverse possession to get them to move their property out from the garage and hand over the keys and then should they sell their house, they should inform the new owners of the garage and to make contact with me to arrange ground rent payment and I can then give them the keys?

 

I know they are definitely getting my letters as the owner of the house currently has her daughter living in the property, has at least got another daughter living at the residential address I have for her, sent to her work address and had her solicitors pass on letters to her and confirmed they had passed them on.

Her solicitor said they didn't think it was something they would get involved in as it should be something easily settled between us, but as she refuses to respond I would like to know what my options are for my next steps!

 

Thanks in advance.

 

WW

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You didnt answer my question regarding demands for rent, see here > http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/15/section/166

 

However before we go any further, Im not sure if the multitude of leasehold/landlord & tenant law applies to a garage, if you read the above link you will see it refers to a dwelling, is a garage a dwelling ?

 

As for interest and admin charges, if the lease allows for them they can be charged, if not then no..except you could charge the 8% county court rate if you are successful at court.

 

Andy

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