Excessive Surveyors fees?

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    Excessive Surveyors fees?

    Hi

    I have just received our set of accounts from our property manager from 09/10.

    In 09 we were given an estimation of £862.50 for a surveyor to come out to the property and see what work (if any) needed to be done.

    In the summer of 09 the surveyor came to the property and spent no longer than 2 hours here and then wrote a report of the work that needed to be carried out, which each flat owner recevied.

    In the 09/10 final accounts the cost of this surveyors report is now £1581.25.

    Does anyone else think this fee is excessive? Please let me know what you think.

    Thanks


    #2
    Originally posted by feeona123 View Post
    Hi

    I have just received our set of accounts from our property manager from 09/10.

    In 09 we were given an estimation of £862.50 for a surveyor to come out to the property and see what work (if any) needed to be done.

    In the summer of 09 the surveyor came to the property and spent no longer than 2 hours here and then wrote a report of the work that needed to be carried out, which each flat owner recevied.

    In the 09/10 final accounts the cost of this surveyors report is now £1581.25.

    Does anyone else think this fee is excessive? Please let me know what you think.

    Thanks

    Firstly does your lease enable your landlord to recover the costs of employing a surveyor, mine doesn't but my landlord has argued a vague "all other expenses" clause would cover it, having said that I've had 3 'surveys's done over the years and two of these went on to be major works but i wasn't charged for this survey, just the actual works themselves and a 10% management fee on top, so it may be viable for you to question this charge.

    You coud try seraching the LVT case archivers to see if there are similar cases, i can't of the top of my head recall any though.

    Andy
    Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

    I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

    It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

    Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

    Comment


      #3
      Yes, even with 2 hours on site 2 hours travelling, plus prep and admin, say 2 hours £260 odd an hour is at the higher end.

      Exercise your right to inspect the invoices supporting the accounts and query the bill and what was done.

      http://www.lease-advice.org/informat...aq.asp?item=29
      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
        Exercise your right to inspect the invoices supporting the accounts and query the bill and what was done.
        There is also always a nagging doubt about the commercial independance of the professionals used by Managing Agents - particularly when somewhat spurious or seemingly unnecessary surveys, reports or work are commissioned.

        I, and fellow Lessees, got clobbered once with a Pigeon Prevention Survey. We were charged several hundreds to learn about netting, gel strips and spikes. All very well - except not a single pigeon had been seen at the building for years!

        Closer checking and quiet research revealed the Pigeon Surveyor and the Managing Agent's representative for our property had worked together elsewhere a couple of years earlier before resepectively setting up the consultancy and moving to our Managing Agents.
        Cozy?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by StephSte
          The easiest and inexpensive way would to cover the gap with molding that is stained to match the flooring. Go to your local lumberyard or hardware store (Home Depot) and see what they have. Buy a few short pieces of molding that you like and see what would look the best.
          Have I missed something here regarding Surveyors fees?
          Kikuyu

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Tony P View Post
            There is also always a nagging doubt about the commercial independance of the professionals used by Managing Agents - particularly when somewhat spurious or seemingly unnecessary surveys, reports or work are commissioned.
            I know what you mean, my landlord appointed a surveyor who appears to have a cozy relationship with him (one of the employees of the company always represnts the landlord at LVT's).

            The whole arrangement of accountants, managing agents, surveyors, insurance brokers, builders, etc... is all rather insestous, some of it is blatently obvious (in my case an LVT commented on it, landlord and MA are effectively one and the same).

            Alas there appears little one can do about it.

            Andy
            Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

            I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

            It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

            Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by kikuyu View Post
              Have I missed something here regarding Surveyors fees?
              Ha...maybe you have an iPhone that needs fixing ?
              Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

              I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

              It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

              Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by andydd View Post
                I know what you mean, my landlord appointed a surveyor who appears to have a cozy relationship with him (one of the employees of the company always represnts the landlord at LVT's).

                The whole arrangement of accountants, managing agents, surveyors, insurance brokers, builders, etc... is all rather insestous, some of it is blatently obvious (in my case an LVT commented on it, landlord and MA are effectively one and the same).

                Alas there appears little one can do about it.

                Andy
                If you want something doing do you use someone you trust or the phone book to get competative prices.

                Collusion and backhanders are illegal and the majority practice professionally and are objective.

                Should a landlord have all the obligations and not take a fee in the hope of some lease extension years away or a few hundred rent each year?

                If they fail there are ample rights to check them and even put management into the hands of a professional right through to RTM and enfranchisement.

                Besides look at the mess some leaseholders make emptying reserves to paint their block, leaving without paying.

                Sadly andydd its human nature some of just suck
                Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                  If you want something doing do you use someone you trust or the phone book to get competative prices.

                  Collusion and backhanders are illegal and the majority practice professionally and are objective.

                  Should a landlord have all the obligations and not take a fee in the hope of some lease extension years away or a few hundred rent each year?

                  If they fail there are ample rights to check them and even put management into the hands of a professional right through to RTM and enfranchisement.

                  Besides look at the mess some leaseholders make emptying reserves to paint their block, leaving without paying.

                  Sadly andydd its human nature some of just suck
                  I'm not sure whether they are actually 'illegal', a good example is insurance costs, it is quite common for there to be 'commisions' (surely backhanders in another name) paid from insurance companies/brokers to landlords, this isn't illegal although if challanged LVT's have (in some cases) decided that this commission element should be refunded to the tenant, but from what I've read the landlord is under no legal obligation to even disclose if and how much commission is paid.

                  Andy
                  Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

                  I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

                  It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

                  Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by andydd View Post
                    I'm not sure whether they are actually 'illegal', a good example is insurance costs, it is quite common for there to be 'commisions' (surely backhanders in another name) paid from insurance companies/brokers to landlords, this isn't illegal although if challanged LVT's have (in some cases) decided that this commission element should be refunded to the tenant, but from what I've read the landlord is under no legal obligation to even disclose if and how much commission is paid.

                    Andy
                    If you go to any broker they are paid by commission in the same way usually a lot more than an agent gets!

                    Why should an agent or landlord not get that for introducing business, the amount is agreed between them.

                    The insurers would NOT decrease the premium, they simply sell direct incurring sales staff costs, or through brokers agents etc and pay a proportion of their quote back as commission rather than their own costs, in a sense sub contracting.

                    If the overall premium or terms are inapporpriate they can and should be challenged.
                    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      £1500 seems is pretty steep for Surveyors cost, unless you had repair works done and the Surveyor inspected works in which case they charge about 10%.

                      A structural survey costs about £400 for a flat, so the charge for a whole building would be more.

                      If I were wearing my Freeholders hat, it is prudent for Freeholders to carry out a full survey of the building, because if something is missed e.g. damp guttering or a crack in the wall and these lead to consequential problems, then the Freeholder become liable, especially with the LVT favouring Leaseholders.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by andydd View Post
                        Ha...maybe you have an iPhone that needs fixing ?
                        What's that? Can bearly use a mobile.

                        My question was serious. The entry had nothing to do with surveyors or their fees.

                        Help me get out o0f my misery. Please explain!!!!!!
                        Kikuyu

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Flashback1966 View Post
                          £1500 seems is pretty steep for Surveyors cost, unless you had repair works done and the Surveyor inspected works in which case they charge about 10%.

                          A structural survey costs about £400 for a flat, so the charge for a whole building would be more.

                          If I were wearing my Freeholders hat, it is prudent for Freeholders to carry out a full survey of the building, because if something is missed e.g. damp guttering or a crack in the wall and these lead to consequential problems, then the Freeholder become liable, especially with the LVT favouring Leaseholders.
                          The major issue I have like someone mentioned above are the close links.

                          The freeholder is one of the directors of the management co. The surveyor is too part of this same company under another name.

                          No work has been carried out yet. We are waiting for quotes to come in at the mo.

                          I feel very ripped off!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                            Why should an agent or landlord not get that for introducing business, the amount is agreed between them.

                            .
                            But ultimately its not their money to spend, its the tenants, whilst it is entirely legal I believe it is correct for LVT's to order a refund of the commission element, service charges are there not to make a profit but there to recover costs the landlord has incurred.

                            I believe it is wrong to hand a tenant a bill (for example) £1000 when it reality the landlord has paid £1000 and recieved a commission back of 20%, he has actually only paid £800.

                            Andy
                            Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

                            I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

                            It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

                            Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                              If you go to any broker they are paid by commission in the same way usually a lot more than an agent gets!
                              Fine, no problem. The cost of going to the Broker is the cost of going to the Broker. His arrangemnts with his Principal are irrelevant. His contractual obligations and responsibilities are different to those of a Lessor/Managing Agent. A Lessor/Managing Agent is not in the same position.

                              Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                              Why should an agent or landlord not get that for introducing business, the amount is agreed between them.
                              Because (most) Leases say the Lessor/Managing Agent can only recover "the cost of..." various items.

                              If a Lessor/Managing Agent goes to a supplier/insurer/surveyor/whatever who charges the Lessor/Managing Agent (say) 1,500 and later gives him back a commission of 10% for introducing the business, surely "the cost" to the Lessor/Managing Agent is 1,350.

                              To try to then seek from Lessees an amount higher than 'the cost' seems wrong - fraudulent even?

                              Furthermore the Managing Agent (not Lessor) charges the Lessees for his services - in the above case he would be making a secret profit out of them = overcharging?

                              BWTFDIK.

                              Comment

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