I purchased a property in 2015 which is a Victorian house converted into 7 s/c flats. The propoerty had been converted at least 50 years ago from the research I have done & occupied as flats with planning consent for the same period. I own the property leasehold (balance of 999 year lease) & pay the freeholder a nominal ground rent ~£5 p.a.. I have not made any alterations or changes to the building, other than repairs & renewals, since purchased in 2015. All convyancing was carried out by a local solicitor who was familiar with the freehold company who have apparently bought up quite a lot of the freeholds in the local area quite recently.I have paid the ground rent on time & without issue over the last 3 years. Now I have received a letter from the freeholder stating they are aware of alterations to the rear of the property (which would have been made at the time of the conversion some 50 years ago) & that the property is in multi-occupation, requesting that I provide them with further information in the next 28 days. The obvious inference from this letter is that they are planning to pursue me for a breach of the lease terms around alterations & multi-occupancy. I have referred the matter to the conveyancing solicitor to advise on how to respond, however I have read various things on the internet about freeholders effectively extorting money from leaseholders for historic changes that happened long before either party had an interest in the property & that they have an ultimate sanction of forfeiture of the property if the lease has been breached. Obviously very concerning given that none of this was flagged as an issue at the time of the purchase 3 years ago. Does anyone know if there is a statute of limitation on freeholder claims or if this type of claim would be upheld by a court?
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