Areas of Law / Property

My house has a 999 year lease. About 15 years ago the agents who collected the ground rent offered to sell me the freehold. I declined, but shortly afterwards I stopped receiving invoices and as a result haven’t paid any ground rent for over 13 years. What’s my legal position?

These days you are not liable to pay ground rent unless you receive a demand for it in a prescribed form. If you come to sell the property you may have to make an allowance to the purchaser for six years’ ground rent or take out indemnity insurance. You should get hold of a copy of your lease (from the Land Registry or via your solicitor) however and make sure you observe its terms. Your landlord could turn up and demand compensation for any breach such as an extension or even a satellite dish.

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