Landlord Fees for Transfer Registration

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    Landlord Fees for Transfer Registration

    Hi All

    I have POA for my mother who is currently buying a house in Manchester. We have reached the stage where I am near to signing the contract (The property is £230,000)

    Last week I received from my solicitor the Lease management pack which was dated 1967 but written in ‘old speak’. The solicitor kindly interpreted all of the important detail . The Lease did not detail the ground rent but I understand this to be £12.00 PA which is what I would have expected. The Lease also clearly states that there is a sum payable to the Landlord of 2 Guineas by the purchaser on completion. Just yesterday I received from my solicitor a bunch of documentation to read and sign, one of which is the registration fee for the Landlord/Estate Management company of £385.00. There is no breakdown, it is just a standard form which has blanks for the property information etc. I have never seen anything so uninformative in my entire life, it just looks like a scam piece of paper for a demand that I could have created!

    So my question is, if the Lease actually states a figure of "2 guineas for registration of such notice" which I understand to be around £2.10, then can they legally charge a price as high as £385 or are they just trying it on? If I say I will pay the £2.10 as stated in the Lease where do I stand legally on this? Surely I just pay what the lease says?

    I have instructed my solicitor to look into this for me but in the interim any advice on where I stand with this would be much appreciated. I am not sure that the solicitor knows what the answer is but he has indicated that this is surprisingly high and that a figure of around £100-150 would be more reasonable.

    Many thanks in advance for any advice on this matter.

    Laurence

    #2
    I bet I can guess who this is.

    I'd just send the £2.10 with a photostat of the lease highlighting that bit.

    Comment


      #3
      The fee is fixed. Period.

      Comment


        #4
        Many thanks JK0 and Lawcruncher, that's what I understood having done a bit of homework but not being in the law business I don't know where I stand. I really appreciate your time in replying. I will do what you suggest JK0. I will cross out the £385 on the form, replace it with £2.10 and include the highlighted part of the lease (it really is clear on this!).

        All the best!

        Comment


          #5
          You should also get clarification on the ground rent.
          £12 per annum might not be much, but if there is nothing in the lease stating what ground rent needs to be paid you should establish what they are basing any charge for ground rent on.

          ​​

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Macclad View Post
            The Lease did not detail the ground rent but I understand this to be £12.00 PA
            I did not pick up on that first time round. If the lease does not reserve any rent then none is payable. A quick check may be in order. If the lease is standard for 1967 you should find what the rent (if any) is after the words YIELDING AND PAYING.

            Comment


              #7
              I hadn't really questioned that aspect. I will check the lease but I am sure that part is left blank. My solicitor asked for a ground rent receipt paid by the current owner and this is where the £12.00 comes from. A request/demand for payment comes through each year to be paid by June 30th.

              So now I am really worried. Am I having the wool pulled over my eyes here (and if so are a lot of people who are buying houses in the same boat?). Why is my solicitor not questioning this either? Is it because they don't have the experience regarding such matters or just don't care?

              I am not sure what I am or am not allowed to post here but would I be able to scan the lease and get some advice? The trouble is I now do not trust my solicitors interpretation of it.

              I'll look out for the words yielding and paying and will get back shortly.

              Many thanks for your help on this.

              Laurence

              Comment


                #8
                On the lease the (official) copy I have specifically says the following: "YIELDING and PAYING therefor yearly during the said term hereby granted unto the Lessor the rent of (BLANK) to be paid without any deduction by equal half yearly payments on the twenty fourth day of June

                The italicised date at the end has been handwritten and there is a blank space for the rent in bold. So I presume if I didn't pay the rent demands in June they have no grounds to pursue me on that?

                For my original question, section (o) reads:

                "(o) Will within three months next after every absolute transfer assignment or devolution of the Lessee's interest under this present lease (other than by way of a legal Charge or Mortgage) give notice in writing of such transfer assignment or devolution and of the name quality or place or places of abode of the transferee or transferees assignee or assignees to the Lessor's Solicitors and to pay to them a fee of Two guineas for registration of such notice ----"

                So if I offer the estate management £2.10 is that the end of the matter?

                You can probably detect my nervousness as I am POA for my mum and I want to ensure things are done lawfully and correctly but on the other hand I don't want her to be fleeced.

                Many thanks

                Laurence

                Comment


                  #9
                  Laurence, I wouldn't argue about £12 per year. It may be written on landlord's copy which which was signed by the original lessee back in the 60's.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Sorry, I also forgot to mention the seller of the property has taken out an indemnity policy for a historical extension (1970s) which had no permissions from anyone at the time and is situated to the rear of the property. It is a very small extension ( building notice only by today's standards) but this policy is apparently in place to protect me from the Landlord should he at some stage in the future decide to pursue me for an alteration which was carried out without his permission.

                    Just thought this might be of some additional interest.



                    Comment


                      #11
                      Ok thanks JK0, I think my Mum can live with that ground rent, it wasn't my main concern. It was the huge fee that I have been slapped with for the notice of registration that's causing sleepless nights.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I wouldn't worry about paying £12 a year in ground rent either, and your suggestion here sounds likely as an explanation as there is clearly a clause in place allowing a fixed amount as annual ground rent.

                        What I wouldn't want to do is agree to take on a lease without being certain what the ground rent was, and that it couldn't be changed to a much higher amount without warning (potentially along with demands for back rent to correct prior under payments).
                        If the landlord has a copy of the lease that states £12 per annum, I'd want a copy of that copy to be provided by them (If only for peace of mind).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Macclad,

                          I'd be inclined to try to get the seller to request retrospective consent from the freeholder and to agree to pay for all costs involved with this (using the insurance policy if necessary).
                          Probably better than leaving it as something that may, or may not, become an issue in the future.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            But won't assignment to o/p do that automatically?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Requesting retrospective consent will, I believe, void any indemnity policy. I don't see how an assignment to the OP waives the breach in any way.

                              Comment

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