Landlord Fees for Transfer Registration

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  • Lawcruncher
    replied
    I have now seen a copy of the lease.

    The lease quite clearly provides for a fixed registration fee of two guineas. No higher fee can be charged unless there has been a deed of variation which is noted on the register. In the absence of any such variation no way should Macclad's solicitor pay more than £2.10 (possibly plus VAT - I can't remember the rules). Further, the lease provides that the notice is to be given to the landlord's solicitor. If the solicitors are not known at completion, the solicitor should enquire of the landlord who they are so that he can serve formal notice on them. He can add all the details that he would put in a notice of assignment, but no way should he use the form they supplied which says a fee of £385 is enclosed. Apart from a belt and braces check that there is no variation noted on the register, Macclad does not need to make any further enquiry on this point. The lease and the register are definitive. There is no justification for extra fees.

    As to the rent the copy lease has a blank space. However, the copy is not a photocopy of the original lease but a "made up file copy". It is entirely possible that whoever prepared the copy missed filling in the rent and that the original lease does specify the rent. The position can be resolved by referring to the Property Register of the leasehold title which will set out details of the lease including any rent payable. The seller's solicitor's can also be asked to confirm what the lease says, assuming they have it. Do not ask what the copy of the lease held by the landlord says. The original lease and Property Register override it. (For the record the register should also be checked to make sure the rent has been increased by a deed of variation.)

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  • leaseholder64
    replied
    Originally posted by JK0 View Post

    Because assignment would not be forthcoming if there was a breach that freeholder intended to enforce against?
    The assignment would only fail if the freeholder already knew of the breach and there was a requirement for a licence to assign.

    If the freeholder's agent is who we think it is, and they knew of a breach, I assume they would be milking the seller already.

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  • Macclad
    replied
    Hi All

    Having had conversations with some colleagues today regarding my situation, a friend has suggested getting the solicitor to get an LPE1 form. Having looked at this I am aware that this should be provided by the Landlord/freeholder and contain all pertinent information such as ground rent and Notice of assignment fees. I am 99% sure my solicitor doesn't have this or maybe never asked for it ( I wouldn't have asked him as I wasn't aware of it until now.)

    Having been to the website and downloaded it, I cannot see on this form where it asks them to break down the costs of the Notice of Assignment fee - I think most would agree you would want to see this for such a hefty demand of £385!

    So now here is the dilemma. I was going to ask my solicitor to get the Landlord/freeholder to fill in one of these LPE1 based on the fact that I then have something in writing regarding the ground rent. But then on this document if they state that the notice of assignment fee as £385 would this supersede anything in the lease, (especially if they have then broken it down for additional admin fees etc?).

    I am also still going to instruct my solicitor to only pay the £2.10 on/after completion as I am convinced that the Lease must have the final say-so, but can they subsequently say something like "that will be £2.10 for the flat fee specified in the lease and another £382.90 for admin charges or something - oh and by the way as you didn't pay it in time that will be another £600!!".

    Hopefully I have have made my quandary clear, I guess this might be difficult to clarify but any further advice would be gratefully received.

    Many thanks to all those who have responded so far.

    Laurence

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  • JK0
    replied
    Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
    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.
    Because assignment would not be forthcoming if there was a breach that freeholder intended to enforce against?

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  • leaseholder64
    replied
    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.

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  • JK0
    replied
    But won't assignment to o/p do that automatically?

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  • Macromia
    replied
    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.

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  • Macromia
    replied
    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).

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  • Macclad
    replied
    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.

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  • Macclad
    replied
    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.



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  • JK0
    replied
    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.

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  • Macclad
    replied
    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

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  • Macclad
    replied
    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

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  • Lawcruncher
    replied
    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.

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  • Macromia
    replied
    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.

    ​​

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