FAQs

General

Who are E&J ESTATES?

We are employed by your Landlord to act as its agent. This means that we are unable to act for you at the same time although through our experience and expertise we would hope we could point you in the right direction if you need assistance. 

Our main function is to collect ground rent and insurance premiums as may be required by your Lease

What is a Lease?

A Lease is a contract between the Leaseholder (you) and the Landlord. It sets out the contractual obligations of the two parties the Leaseholder and the Landlord.

The wording of Leases usually is in complex legal language and can vary from property to property. Leaseholders who find it difficult to understand their Lease should get advice from a solicitor and insist that they provide a report on its terms when instructed to deal with the purchase.

It is difficult to change the terms of the Lease after you buy, so make sure that the obligations and responsibilities in the Lease are those that you want or can accept. The payment of Ground Rent is an example of such an obligation

Who is a Leaseholder?

A Leaseholder is someone who owns a property on a Lease. You have bought the right to own the property for a fixed number of years (as stated in the Lease) and under certain terms and conditions (again stated in the Lease).

A Leaseholder is also called a tenant, but this should not be confused with short term agreements. It is essential to be familiar and understand the terms of your Lease because this sets out your rights and obligations

Who is a Landlord?

The Landlord owns a superior interest in the property to the Leaseholder. Often but not always the freehold interest. Landlords are our client.

What is the difference between Leasehold and Freehold?

A person who owns the freehold interest in a property may grant a Lease on it to another person.  This creates a relationship of Landlord and Leaseholder (or Landlord and Tenant or Lessor and Lessee).  The Lease will be a lengthy, written, legal document based on property and contractual law which sets out the rights and obligations of both the Landlord (Lessor) and Leaseholder (Tenant).

Although the Lease on any property will be a complex document, the basic principle is that it will give the Leaseholder (Tenant) the right to occupy the property for the period specified in the Lease.  The Lease will specify the obligations and conditions of this occupation. 

The biggest difference between a Leasehold and freehold is that the Leasehold is temporary whereas a freehold is permanent

What is Ground Rent?

It is a payment made by the Leaseholder to the Landlord under the terms of the Lease. A Lease is a contract and so it is subject to a payment, called “ground rent”. It is an income for the Landlord rather than a payment for the provision of services.

Paperless Invoicing?

Opt for Paperless Billing, to be notified by email when bills are issued and help us reduce our carbon footprint please complete this form.

What is a tenant reference number?

The tenant reference number is the sequence of letters and numbers assigned to each property and can be found at the top right of our correspondence, labelled “Tenant Ref.” For an example, please click here. The tenant reference needs to be quoted in any communications with E & J Estates

I want to complain

If you are not happy in your dealings with us, please contact us and request our complaints procedure and form. 

How do I change my address?

We can write to you at any correspondence address you wish but for us to update this all address changes are required in writing.

You can notify us of the change of address by contacting the General Enquiries Team.

Leasehold Transfer Team

I’ve sold my property so why do you keep writing to me?

The transfer of Leaseholder details can often be a lengthy and complex process. The solicitors acting in the sale are required to serve legal notice upon us within 4 weeks of the transfer. We may not have received this notice. In order to begin our process of updating our details please contact the Leasehold Transfer Team

I live at the property but I am not the owner

We would appreciate it if you could pass our correspondence to the property owner or your letting agent to pass on.

I’ve recently purchased a property but the bill you sent me refers to arrears for a period before I was the owner?

If you instructed a solicitor to act on your behalf in the purchase, we would advise you contact them. Your solicitor should have confirmed that all arrears were discharged in full before completion of your purchase took place.

I am selling my property, what do I need to do?

please notify us of the sale by contacting the Leasehold Transfer Team. please also note that Ground Rent, Insurance and Service Charge must be paid in accordance with the Lease. If you are selling your property and any of these is due to be paid, you are still responsible for payment. Once the property is sold, your solicitors should ensure that you recoup an apportionment of the monies paid from the purchaser. 

If you are looking to sell your Leasehold property, there are requirements within your Lease which must be followed when doing so.

Generally the Solicitor acting for you will approach us and/or the Managing Agents for a Leasehold Enquiry pack. Within this will be details on all these requirements. We can also provide a Ground Rent statement which Solicitors will require to calculate apportionments.

How do I obtain a copy of the Lease?

Leases are prepared in duplicate.  One is held by the Leaseholder and one is held by the Landlord.  You should be able to obtain a copy of your Lease from the solicitors who acted for you when you purchased the property. It may be the quickest and cheapest option for you to obtain your Lease from the Land Registry

If all else fails we may be able to provide you with a copy from the Landlord’s archived storage held by specialist contractors offsite.

If we are able to retrieve your Lease, we can provide a copy or scan and email it to you upon payment of our charges of £95 + VAT. please note that this may take 14-21 days. To request a copy please contact the Leasehold Transfer Team.

Subletting Team

Do I need to tell you that I have let my property?

Yes. As responsible agents for the Freeholder we securely record relevant information of who resides in the property for a number of purposes, these include being able to quickly and accurately inform emergency service providers in the event of a serious event and ensuring the right level of buildings insurance cover is in place for the relevant occupancy rates.

Your Lease may contractually require you to inform or seek consent from the Freeholder however we urge you to inform us if you let your property regardless in order for us to continue carrying out responsible management.

What do you do with the information?

The information is securely stored on our internal database and is governed by our data privacy policy.

We do not share personal information other than with the appointed managing agent for your property unless an authority (e.g. local authority; police; fire brigade; etc) with the relevant powers requires us to do so.

The percentage of apartments sublet within buildings impacts on insurance risk and whether an HMO licence is required, dependent on the local authority. We therefore may share aggregated data with insurers and local authorities as required.

Do I need consent from the Freeholder to let my property?

Your Lease will govern whether letting your property is prohibited all together, whether the Freeholders consent is required or whether you are required to formally serve notice on the Freeholder that you have let your property. If you are unsure please contact our Subletting Team via our online form who will be able to assist you further.

 Where consent is required we may perform checks with the managing agent of the property to ensure that consent can reasonably be granted.

Is there a charge?

Where your Lease requires the Freeholder to grant consent or provide formal receipt of a notice(or both) there may be charges payable. Your Lease may state the charges payable however typical charges are £50 plus VAT per tenancy agreement for the provision of a consent and £75 plus VAT for the receipt of a notice.

Accounts Team

Can you send my invoices by email?

We are very happy to do this please complete this form

What happens if I don’t pay my Ground Rent?

We strongly suggest that you take independent legal advice. Non-payment can lead to forfeiture of your Lease and repossession of your property.

Can Ground Rent Payments increase?

Ground Rent can be fixed or escalating. If it is fixed it means it remains unchanged throughout the life of the Lease. Escalating (increasing) Ground Rents will increase during the life of the Lease. The Lease will specify when the Ground Rent increases and by how much.

Have you received my payment?

The accounts team will be able to let you know if we have received your payment. please contact the Accounts Team.

I don’t owe this money?

please contact the Accounts Team detailing why you consider you don’t owe what we are asking you to pay.

When is my rent due?

The Ground Rent is due at the dates specified in your Lease.

How often do I have to pay Ground Rent?

The date of when Ground Rent payments are due are outlined in your Lease.

Can I set up a direct debit?

At the present time we do not have the facility to accept direct debit payments. Instead you can request a standing order mandate or set up a regular online payment through your Bank account.

Can I set up a standing order?

We are able to issue Standing Order Mandates

please note that mandates will only be issued if your account is clear at the time of the request. 

To request a standing order mandate please contact the Accounts Team.

What is the difference between a direct debit and a standing order?

The confusion between standing orders and direct debits is long running and completely understandable. Both are instructions to your bank to make payments, usually on a regular basis, to a third party. The difference is subtle but important.

A standing order is an instruction you give to your bank to pay a fixed amount to someone else on a regular basis. You can set up, amend and cancel standing orders. A direct debit gives someone else, usually a company, permission to take funds from your account in agreed amounts and at agreed interval.

Can I have a receipt?

Receipts will only be issued for cheque payments should a stamped addressed envelope (SAE) be enclosed. Should payment be made by debit or credit card a receipt will be issued by post or email if requested. Due to the vast amount of online payments and standing orders received, we are unable to issue a receipt for such payments.

Can I pay in instalments?

We are unable to accept payment of an outstanding balance by on-going instalments, ground rent is payable in full on or before the due dates set in your Lease which is a legal document that you have entered into on purchasing your property.

Can I make part payments?

Payment should be made in full at all times. If a part payment is received the amount will be applied to your account however should the remaining balance not be settled on or before the due date, your account will enter the late payment process

How can I pay my Ground Rent?

For the different payment options to pay the Ground Rent please click here

What to do if I have already paid?

If a payment has been made in error, please contact the Accounts Team

How can I be sure that you are entitled to a payment from me?

Our client's title to the property in question is registered at Land Registry and all relating entitlements in respect to the Landlord are detailed in your Lease

What is the difference between a statement of account and an invoice?

A statement of account provides you with information regarding your account between a set a period of time. Whereas an invoice requires you to pay the amount it outlines. It is possible that the statement amount is not the amount currently owed. It is also possible that the amount owing on the invoice may not be the balance outstanding on your account. For example, if interest has been applied under the terms of your Lease . For this reason it is a wise policy to make payments within the time frame designated by the invoice.

Late Payment Team

When do I have to pay?

It is important that you make payment in accordance with your Lease.

We will send an invoice 30-60 days before the due date stipulated in your Lease.

Payment must be made on or before this date.

please see here for ways to pay which are also detailed on our invoices

Can you send my invoices by email?

We are very happy to do this please complete this form.

What happens if I don’t pay on time?

As a courtesy we will send you an ‘Action Required’ letter reminding you that the account is overdue. This will advise the date to make payment to avoid a late payment charge being added to your account. 

Should the account remain unpaid any further letters requesting payment will incur a fee.

A further letter ‘Urgent Action Required’ will be sent after the expiry of the date quoted in our Action Required letter.  It confirms that the late payment fee has been applied.  The letter also advises that we will instruct our Client’s Solicitors to collect the overdue amount if not paid within 7 days.

A final letter ‘Advice of Referral’ confirms that the account has been passed to our Clients Solicitors, the fee incurred and explains what to do next.

Once our Clients Solicitors have been instructed any queries or payments should be directed to them.

You have been writing to my old address and I did not know when the payments were due?

It is your responsibility to ensure that the correspondence details that we have on record are kept up to date. Should you not advise us of any changes this may result in a delay in invoices being received and costs may be incurred.

I have never received any letters from E&J Estates?

We send all correspondence to the address provided. Legally it is the Leaseholder’s responsibility to ensure that the correspondence details that we have on record are kept up to date. Should you not advise us of any changes, this may result in a delay in invoices being received by yourself and further costs being incurred.

If the details on record are correct and you did not receive our invoice, we suggest you to take this up with the Royal Mail. 

Sections 166(5) and 166(6) of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 requires us to address all correspondence to the Leaseholder at the property unless the Leaseholder has notified the Landlord in writing of a different address in England and Wales at which he wishes to be given notices including payment demands. 

We regret that unless there is proof that you have advised us in writing of a change of address, all ground rent notices will be served on Leaseholders at the address of the property. This will mean that our ground rent notices have been served in accordance with the statutory requirements and any fees which may be incurred for late payment will be properly due and payable.

Can I pay in instalments?

We are unable to accept payments by instalments. Your Lease sets out how payments must be made.

Why am I being charged interest?

Interest will be charged in accordance with the terms of your Lease on overdue amounts. Interest is charged monthly in arrears and therefore if payment is received late then interest will automatically accrue. If payment is received by the due date no interest is charged.

Why have I incurred a Late Payment Charge?

Payment has not been made in accordance with the terms of your Lease. Both the Invoice and Reminder letter forewarn of this charge being added to your account should payment not be made.

New to E&J Estates

E&J Estates has been instructed on my property in the past 3-4 months, what does this mean?

We act for your Landlord, our client.

When the freehold of a property changes hands there are a number of processes that need to be carried out in order to ensure a smooth transition in the change of ownership. Sometimes the transition is not as smooth as we would like! 

  1. Our Client will have been provided with the list of the Leaseholders’ names and addresses from the seller.
  2. Our Client will have been advised by the seller if any monies (usually Ground Rent) is owed to them by the Leaseholders.
  3. E & J Estates will be asked to collect those outstanding monies.
  4. Inevitably there is a time delay between the sale of the freehold and our entering the data onto our system. This may result in the previous agents receiving monies for ground rent that have been advised as outstanding.
  5. Should this be the case we would ask that you please advise us accordingly providing documentary evidence of the payment and the period which that payment covers.
    The evidence should take the form of one of the following:
    • A receipt for the payment or a statement of account from the Freeholder or Managing Agent detailing the payment.
    • A copy of your cheque together with a copy Bank statement confirming the date the cheque cashed your Bank account.
    • If payment was made by BACS/Standing Order a copy of your statement clearly showing the payment together with the beneficiary name.

    We appreciate your assistance and co-operation in providing this evidence as this will help to assist in recovering these monies in a timely manner.
  6. Your current service charge arrangements remain in place unless otherwise advised.
  7. Your Managing Agent/Management Company will have been advised of the sale to a new Landlord by the seller.  They will also have been instructed to cease invoicing and collecting any further ground rent monies.

We trust the above gives you an insight into the process undertaken when the freehold reversion of a property/development is sold and should you have any queries regarding your account following the sale please contact the New to E & J Estates Team and we shall endeavour to assist.

Legal Team

Can I buy the freehold of my property?

The Landlord has acquired the freehold of your property as a long term investment however, you may have statutory rights to purchase it. We recommend you seek independent legal advice.

Can I extend my Lease?

You can extend your Lease whenever you wish but sometimes you will have to extend it because, for example, this is a requirement of your bank or building society or because you want to sell the property and your buyer is unhappy with the length of the Lease. Please see our lease extension factsheet for information on the procedure. 

I want to make some alterations. Do I need the Landlord’s permission?

Because the Landlord owns the building and will own the property when your Lease ends the Landlord needs to ensure that you do not make alterations or additions which may adversely affect the Landlord or damage the building. Some alterations or additions do not require the Landlord's permission. For example, internal painting and decorating, minor plumbing and electrical works, upgrading of kitchens and bathrooms on a like-for-like basis and new interior doors do not require the Landlord's permission. If you are thinking of making any other alterations or additions you should ask the Landlord for permission before you carry out any work. If work has been carried out already without the Landlord's permission, you should ask the Landlord for what is called retrospective permission. Alterations and Permissions Factsheet and Form

Insurance Team

How do I make a claim?

If you need to make a Claim against the Insurance policy put in place by the Landlord, please refer to the Insurance Certificate itself, which should have the Claims Contact details contained within.

If you are unable to locate the Claims Contact details please contact your Managing Agents in the first instance (if applicable) who will have these details. If they are unable to assist then please fill out the following form.

It is important to note that whilst we do collect the premium we do not administer the policy itself and as such have no dealings with the Claims process.

How is the building sum insured decided?

The sum insured is the amount of money for which your block is covered. It is the most that insurers will pay under any circumstances. The Landlord must calculate an adequate sum insured to avoid claim payments being reduced because of under insurance.

The sum insured under a buildings policy must be the full rebuilding cost of the block. The market value or the Council Tax band valuation has no direct relationship to the rebuilding cost. This would be carried out by taking measurements of the block and using the rebuilding cost information. 

Why do I need terrorism cover?

Terrorism insurance is insurance purchased by property owners to cover their potential losses and liabilities that might occur due to terrorist activities.

It is considered to be a difficult product for insurance companies, as the odds of terrorist attacks are very difficult to predict and the potential liability enormous.

In view of the potential liability Landlords generally ensure that terrorism cover is provided.

It is the right and obligation of the Landlord under the terms of the Lease to determine the scope of cover.

What happens if I think I can get a cheaper quote?

The Landlord is not and cannot be expected to find the cheapest insurance policy on the market however he must ensure it is reasonable and will have done this by testing the insurance market through brokers at the time of renewal.

What is more, your quote will not be on a like for like basis. While the cover may be comparable, you are in a different category to a commercial Landlord. A direct comparison is not, therefore appropriate. A comparison can also not be made to a private Household policy.

Property Team

What do I do about unacceptable noise levels?

If you have a managing agent, they will be able to assist. If not the following documents may help: NOISE and ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

My property requires maintenance and repair?

E & J Estates do not provide property maintenance services.

If you have a query regarding the management of your property, you should contact the company to which you pay your service charges.

If you are unsure who manages your property, please contact the Property Team who will try to assist.

What do I do if I need the Landlord to take Legal action against my neighbour?

If you want to ask the Landlord to consider taking such steps, please refer to the Breaches document.