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jaycee401 | 12:40 Thu 04th Sep 2014 | Property
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I have a sale going through on a leasehold property. Ground rent is £2 per anum and when I lived in property I paid this twice yearly to next door who collected the monies from just me and her. She died and I moved out of property and rented it around the same time. since then, 8 years ago I have never paid the ground rent, never been asked to or been sent any demands or invoices. I have since re-mortgaged and this posed no problem. Hopefully I have now discovered who the freeholder is. But they want about £100 to divulge information regarding my account. I am going to have to do this if I want to sell but it seems unfair when they have never sent any requests. In fact its in their favour not to send requests as if they had I would of paid it, but this way they get an extra £100 out of everyone. The new Next door neighbour has never paid any either. Is this my only option as I think indemnity insurance would be dearer?

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Information about your financial position with regard to the ground rent falls under the provisions of the Data Protection Act. Anyone holding such information about you MUST (under the provisions of that Act) disclose it to you upon request. (There are a few limited exceptions, such as certain information held by the police or security services, but they most definitely don't apply here). They are entitled to charge a fee for doing so but the MAXIMUM fee permitted by law is £10 (except for certain education and health records).

Send a 'subject access request' to the freeholder, based upon the template shown in the link below but also state "I acknowledge that the Data Protection Act 1998 permits you to levy a charge for the provision of the information requested but such a fee is subject to a statutory maximum of £10. I therefore enclose my cheque for £10 as full payment".

http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public/personal_information
Also, I don't think indemnity insurance will be avaiable now that you have contacted the freeholders. Be ready for the freeholders to ask questions about any extensions you have built, including conservatories and porches. If your lease says you should have had the freeholders' consent, they're going to charge you more money for retrospective covenant consent....
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Thanks much appreciated. I have not had any extension porch or conservatory built. I will get on to this tomorrow.
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Hi I contacted the freeholder (email) and they are saying that they don't have my name against this property but an entirely different name!
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received a reply, but still none the wiser how I can pay it!
We thank you for your clarification of the issue and can confirm all is now in order.

Regarding your query, due to the stipulation of your lease, your Ground Rent is not collected directly by ourselves but rather by an intermediary collector, as is often with these old leases, and whom in turn then pays us. As such, you do not receive the annual demands from ourselves. Changes of ownership, permissions for extensions etc though, must be addressed directly to us

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