Letting your Leasehold Property

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By Alan Draper | May 2020

Check the lease

You should ensure that the Lease lows you to sublet the property. There may be a pre-condition that you must obtain consent from your landlord or some other party before subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without first obtaining consent. Such consent should not be unreasonably withheld. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction

Short letting – (AirBnB)

Short letting your property can be considerably more profitable than letting out on an assured shorthold tenancy basis but you need to check the following:

Does the block insurance cover this kind of use? Most block insurance policies cover use as an assured shorthold tenancy but it doesn’t necessarily follow that this extends to short lets. Some insurers regard this as “commercial use” and policy premiums either exclude this or it attracts an additional premium
Will it annoy other owners?
How does your local council view this kind of use? In some cases, councils regard this as commercial use and will apply appropriate charges.
Is planning permission required? Some councils view this as “change of use”
Does the lease explicitly exclude it? Often clauses exist that specifically ban this type of use

Don’t overpay charges to Freeholders for consents

Leases generally require a leaseholder letting a flat to apply for a consent to do so from the freeholder. Fees for this are very variable (and extravagant in a lot of cases) and often don’t pass the “reasonableness” test (Section 19 Landlord and Tenants Act 1985). Holding & Management (Solitaire) Ltd v Cherry Lilian Norton [2012] UKUT 1 (LC); [2012] 7 E.G. 91 (C.S.) concluded that a reasonable fee for a consent is £40 + VAT

Check the Rules & Regulations in your lease and with the site manager

Your lease will have a section defining rules and regulations but often various consents will be “at the discretion of the landlord/managing agents/RMC directors”. It is wise to get clarity on these clauses.

Information for tenants

We recommend creating a one-page sheet that summarises the following for tenants:


Ensure they know where the following are located
Water meter
Electric Meter
Waste bins
Car parking space (if any)

Ensure they have the following

Access Codes to the building
Keys to communal cupboards (if required)

A good managing agent should be able to assist with these issues.

Make your tenants feel like part of the site

Many managing agents operate web portals which also allow access to tenants. This can help your tenants integrate into the community by making them feel part of it rather than as transients.

Additional checks upon end of tenancy

Often leaseholders get hit for charges after their tenants have moved out and deposits have been returned. We recommend the following to minimise the risks;

Check no items have been left in communal areas
Check no bulky items have been left in bin stores
Check that they haven’t damaged anything whilst moving out (paintwork is the most common)
Check that they have removed any bicycles they own

Common Ground often catches out errant tenants by identifying items of furniture dumped in bin stores from Rightmove profiles.

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