Notice fee

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    Notice fee

    I am remortgaging my flat and the solicitor has sent a letter to the freeholder asking for a notice fee. I have done it directly to the freeholder and not the MA as we both are in dispute with the old MA and are doing a joint complaint. She probably wouldn’t know how much to ask for and I asked my solicitor who had no answer. I know my lease says no less than £14.99 plus vat, for notices but unsure what that means. Is there a common fee in regards to such notice or is it up to the freeholder?

    #2
    Up to freeholder, when not specified in lease.

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      #3
      Thank you, I have just re read my lease and it says “shall be a reasonable fee being no less than £15 exclusive of VAT” so does that mean it should be £15 plus VAT?

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        #4
        Originally posted by Paulsen View Post
        Thank you, I have just re read my lease and it says “shall be a reasonable fee being no less than £15 exclusive of VAT” so does that mean it should be £15 plus VAT?
        No, it means it should be whatever is 'reasonable' to cover the time spent dealing with the notice (which will presumably be dealt with by a managing agent employee) and the cost of any stationary, stamps, etc. if anything has to be posted.
        This will be at least £15 + VAT (so at least £18) but could be higher if it is reasonable to argue that greater costs will be incurred.

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          #5
          The low figure is probably because your lease is twenty plus years old. A modern notice fee is typically £75 + VAT for each dealing in the lease. There is more to it than simply receipting the notice, typically a lessor will need to send out a contact sheet (as notices of assignment dont - yet - provide phone numbers and email addresses to the lessor); and sometimes it will be necessary for the lessor to notify the insurer of the interest of Mr A.S. Signee and his lenders in the insurance cover. Some managing agents seek to charge £100 + VAT; and even more in Central London.

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            #6
            The way to deal with cases where the lease says to pay a reasonable fee not less than £x is send £x. If the solicitor comes back and says his standard fee is £y where y is greater than x, you write back and say that you consider £x to be more than reasonable for the simple task of registering your notice. In my experience when you do that most solicitors do not come back because they do not consider it worth pursuing. In any event they cannot sue as the obligation to pay is owed to the landlord.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
              The way to deal with cases where the lease says to pay a reasonable fee not less than £x is send £x. If the solicitor comes back and says his standard fee is £y where y is greater than x, you write back and say that you consider £x to be more than reasonable for the simple task of registering your notice. In my experience when you do that most solicitors do not come back because they do not consider it worth pursuing. In any event they cannot sue as the obligation to pay is owed to the landlord.
              In my experience I would simply not receipt the notice till they have paid the fee.
              I have only ever had one hold out - and that was last month when they paid the £3 7s 6d stated in the lease - now they want an extension and wonder why I am uncooperative ........ Karma.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Section20z View Post
                In my experience I would simply not receipt the notice till they have paid the fee.
                Pretty pointless as if you write and ask for more fees you have effectively acknowledged receipt.

                Originally posted by Section20z View Post
                I have only ever had one hold out - and that was last month when they paid the £3 7s 6d stated in the lease - now they want an extension and wonder why I am uncooperative ........ Karma.
                So the tenant declines to pay you money he has no obligation to pay and by way of revenge you decline to comply with your obligations.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post



                  So the tenant declines to pay you money he has no obligation to pay and by .
                  I am a little surprised at your comment, almost without exception a lease obligates the lessee to pay a notice fee, this function as we know is invariably discharged by the solicitor on completion of the purchase/remortgage

                  Some lenders on remortages simply send £20 - £40 with the notice and a comment taht if this is not enough to contact the lessee directly. A few will take the clearing of the cheque as evidence of receipt of the notice

                  Receipting a notice could waiver any rights against the lessee and a reasonable fee is to be expected

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post

                    Pretty pointless as if you write and ask for more fees you have effectively acknowledged receipt.


                    Err, who said anything about writing ?



                    So the tenant declines to pay you money he has no obligation to pay and by way of revenge you decline to comply with your obligations.
                    So there is now an obligation to grant informal lease extensions to new lessees ?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by sgclacy View Post
                      I am a little surprised at your comment, almost without exception a lease obligates the lessee to pay a notice fee, this function as we know is invariably discharged by the solicitor on completion of the purchase/remortgage
                      As you say, requiring a notice of a change of tenant is pretty standard and has been for years. Obviously a landlord needs to know if the tenant has changed. However, the requirement to serve notice on the landlord's solicitor and pay a fee (until fairly recently the standard requirement) rather than direct on the landlord (which would have been more sensible) was always for the benefit of the solicitor. When a notice is served on a solicitor all he does is acknowledge receipt and send it or a copy to the landlord.

                      Originally posted by sgclacy View Post
                      Some lenders on remortages simply send £20 - £40 with the notice and a comment taht if this is not enough to contact the lessee directly. A few will take the clearing of the cheque as evidence of receipt of the notice.
                      No one should be too worried about getting the notice receipted. As you say, cashing the cheque indicates it was received as does replying to a letter enclosing it. In the absence of response the conveyancer's file will show the notice was sent. Any subesequent act by the landlord or his agent effectvely acknowledging that there has been a change will also suffice.

                      Originally posted by sgclacy View Post
                      Receipting a notice could waiver any rights against the lessee
                      No it could not. Either the person named in the notice as the assignee is the tenant or he is not. If the notice is served it is served and the landlord has notice of the change. He cannot proceed as if he had not received the notice on the grounds that the fee has not been paid or is insufficient. Indeed, if the person named as assignee is in fact the tenant then, if the lease was granted after the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 came into force it is pointless contacting the former tenant as he is no longer bound by the lease. Any assertion that the notice will not be "registered" until the fee demanded is a lot of hot air.

                      Originally posted by sgclacy View Post
                      a reasonable fee is to be expected
                      A fee is certainly expected! What is reasonable is open to question. The fee is always expressed to be a fee for "registering" the notice which cannot take more than a minute if you take it slowly. How much work is actually involved if a tenant changes? What is not in doubt is that if the lease specifies a fixed fee then, however high or low, that is what is payable.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Section20z View Post

                        So there is now an obligation to grant informal lease extensions to new lessees ?
                        I had assumed it was formal. Anyway, my point is that you are disgruntled because someone refuses to pay you money they do not owe you. I would hazard a guess that you do not go round paying money to people who think they are entitled to it but are not.

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                          #13
                          Can the Freeholder ignore the request of a notice fee? What happens if they don’t respond?

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Paulsen View Post
                            Can the Freeholder ignore the request of a notice fee? What happens if they don’t respond?
                            If you ask the freeholder what his fee is there is no obligation to respond. You do not though want to be asking. Just get on and serve the notice and (a) if the fee is fixed pay the amount specified; (b) if a minimum fee is specified pay the minimum; (c) if a reasonable fee is specified send £10; (d) if there is no requirement to pay a fee do not pay one.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The question of the fee is invariably asked with the standard LPE1 enquiries and therefore comes as no surprise and there is no justification for subsequently not paying it. The example I gave above referred to an auction purchase where a foolish purchaser failed their due diligence.

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