Terms Explained: G to L

Ground Rent: An amount payable by a Leaseholder for rent of the land upon which the building containing the leased property is located. This can sometimes be a ‘token’ amount (such as a ‘peppercorn’) upto thousands of pounds a year. There are no legal restrictions on how much Ground Rent can be and it therefore difficult to dispute the amount which a Lease says must be paid. Ground rent can also go up at intervals during the term of the Lease, but only if this is stated within the Lease.

Head Lessee: This means a person or organisation which has acquired a lease and then created a sub-lessee. The person or organisation who acquires the sub-lease is known as the ‘Under Lessee’. Often the Head Lessee will be billed by a Service Charge from the Freeholder, or their appointed Property Manager, which the Head Lessee then recharges to the Under Lessee. for Shared Ownership properties often the Housing Association is the Head Lessee and the Shared Owner is the Under Lessee.

Historic Neglect: In the context of providing a valid legal reason for the reduction of the amount of a Service Charge, this means a delay in carrying out a repair or maintenance such that it causes further damage to be done to a building, and in doing so that means the amount of the Service Charge is greater than it would have been had the Landlord acted more quickly. For more information see Daejan Properties Limited v Griffin & Another.

Implied Covenant: This is something which is not stated in a Lease, but there is a legal requirement for the Lease to be read as though it included a specific provision or wording. For instance, if a flat is sold under the Right to Buy then the rules stated in Schedule 6 of the Housing Act 1985 are taken to apply whatever the lease itself says. For instance, Schedule 6 states that the freeholder is responsible for the repair of the structure and exterior of a leasehold property sold under the Right to Buy. This mean that even if the Lease states something completely differently, the Local Authority Landlord selling the Right to Buy lease still retains the responsibility for fixing the structure of the property. For more information see Sheffield City Council v Hazel St Clare Oliver.

Jurisdiction: In this context, this relates to whether a legal body has the right to make a legal judgement on a particular issue. For instance, a First Tier Tribunal may not have the jurisdiction to decide on a particular legal issue.