Ground Rents, Rent Charges and Chief Rents
All these terms mean the same thing. They are all ground rents and they apply where a long leasehold estate has been created out of a freehold estate, i.e. where a lease of more than 15 years has been created. The ground rent is usually a small annual fee that is payable to the freeholder. There is often difficulty in identifying the freeholder, particularly where the freehold estate is sold, often many times, to investors.
The ultimate penalty for non-payment of the ground rent is the forfeiture of the lease, and so it is in the best interests of the lease owners to identify the freeholder and to make the annual payments.
The Land Registry offer a buy-out service for those who are interested. They require a completed application form, together with a copy of the Lease (this is usually the document creating the Rent Charge) and the Title Registers, all of which are included in this search pack.