Freehold Managers Unreasonable Fees for Subletting Consent

Freehold Managers Unreasonable Fees for Subletting Consent

10:09 AM, 2nd December 2013, About 10 years ago 89

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Hello everyone, especially the legal people amongst you.

I am in DESPERATE need of legal advice!

I am sure this has been discussed in one form or another before but I would like to make it very personal and specific to me if that is OK.

I have been in a virtual argument with my landlord for quite some time now. Freehold Managers Unreasonable Fees for Subletting Consent

I own an apartment which I let out (sub-let effectively) and MY landlord is insisting on money for :-

Subletting registration – £78

Sub letting consent – £48 (I think that’s the cost)

The registration is expected each and every time a new tenant moves in!

My argument is that this is totally unreasonable, unfair and extortionate!

Then they are trying to charge me £78 each and every time they send a letter. Now surely this is extortionate for something that cost pence to produce and a couple of pounds to administer.

Be damned if I know why I have both these company names on the letter heads / invoices.

I think there is a huge principal at point here and more so because of their bully tactics and lack of customer service.
In addition to this It seems that there is no legal way to challenge anything they choose to charge and that just cannot be right or fair!

PLEASE can someone help?

By the way I did go down the route of quoting a certain case where the judge stated that a fair and reasonable cost would be x,y,z. They chose to ignore that.

Time is short and costs are spiraling – please can we do something about these faceless, remorseless morons!? It literally makes me sick to my stomach.

Thanks

John Sweet


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Comments

James Feehily

16:06 PM, 8th June 2015, About 9 years ago

Hello

Can anyone help with a solicitors details for after Section 21 and a repossession in the Knottingley/Wakefield area?

I am the landlord.

Many thanks

James Feehily

12:57 PM, 7th August 2015, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob " at "04/06/2015 - 17:45":

Hi

How did you get on with SIMARC? I now have a Breach Admin Fee of £138 and a Land Registry Charge . I am still disputing the Notice of Underletting they have put at £120 which is unreasonable.

Rob

13:24 PM, 7th August 2015, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "James Feehily" at "07/08/2015 - 12:57":

Well basically as far as a notice to underlet fee goes we have agreed on a fee of £50. My lease says no more than £35+vat so ive refused to pay there £120 for a couple of years now and finally they come to there senses a few months ago and agreed to £50. On the matter of there notice to underlet renewal fee of £72 I have been point blank refusing to pay this because it does not say in my lease that they can charge a renewal fee so they have agreed to never charge me a renewal fee ever again. However I did used to pay the renewal fees over a number of years (on 6 flats) due to my own stupidly so I am in the process of claiming all those back plus interest, they have gone from refusing to now considering the refund. They seem to think I do not have anything on them to produce in court but I do I'm just not letting on to them I do ie....proof of payments, judges previous decisions and every piece of correspondence they have ever sent me going back 10 years. They are playing with me at the moment but eventually they will have to refund me the renewal fees because they are unlawful. Plus I've just sent them a SAR so hopefully they will give in shortly and send me a cheque.

Fed Up Landlord

10:01 AM, 8th August 2015, About 9 years ago

Admin charges are only lawful if they have been served on the address suitable for service as per your solicitors notification on purchase.

And it has to be accompanied by a Summary of Rights and Obligations in not less than 10 font in the Prescribed Format. I know Simarc used to send them out in 6 font which is unlawful and if your ground rent is the same so is that. Go to:
http://www.landlordsguild.com/ground-rent-and-service-charge-demand-notice/

21:40 PM, 8th October 2015, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "andy watters" at "15/05/2015 - 17:50":

Hi Andy
I have just received the same letter from E & J Estates and agree with you the amount is excessive and was wondering if it needs to be paid or did you find away round it , any help or advice from you or anyone else would be most appreciated. Thanks

Rob Preddy

12:59 PM, 15th October 2015, About 8 years ago

I received a similar letter from E&J estates and replied via email as per Mark Alexander's template letter and received the following email back today...

Good Morning Mr Preddy

Many Thanks for your email.

We note your offer and must advise that more recent Tribunal cases have not followed suit to the one you refer to.

Firstly we must bring to your attention that in all cases these are judged on their own individual merit and this determination does not set a precedent that this should be the fee payable for Consent going forward.

In this particular case (January 2012) the Judge determining this, confirms throughout that the evidence provided by the appellant during this case, was limited and confirms this by stating - “Doing the best I can on what is before me, I conclude that a fee greater than £40 plus VAT could not be justified,”

More recent cases, LRX/170/2011-November 2012 & LRX/174/2011-September 2012, were both determined in respect of the matter of Subletting and these do not follow the above case referred to.

Based on its own credentials these cases were judged on the evidence produced to the tribunal with the decision being determined that a fee payable of £165 inclusive of VAT was reasonable for granting the required Consent.

However, the most recent decision made (case LRX/136/2012) in February 2014, was decided that a fee of £95 was reasonable for the issuing of the retrospective Consent, in addition to this a further £95 for registration of the same was also payable making a total of £190, (this does not confirm, however whether it includes VAT or if this is to be added on top).

Therefore whilst we will take all negotiations and requests to the Freeholder it is felt that as more recent cases do not follow the case you refer to, your negotiation will need to be reviewed and brought more in line with the recent cases heard at Tribunal.

We await to hear from you further.

Kind Regards

---------------------------

Hmmmm what should be my next move? I paid over £200 last year and this relates to this years demand. I'm heartily sick of E&J estates and I'm very keen not to have to pay them money year on year for doing nothing. I'd rather give the money to the taxman that E&J estates!!!!

Any help or advice would be gratefully received.

John Frith

13:59 PM, 15th October 2015, About 8 years ago

My understanding of the case that Mark's letter refers to is that the fee has to be reasonable for the work done, and the judge looked at what work needed to be done in that case.

As the work needed to be done depends on what is specified in the lease, every case is different. So you have to be specific and argue what would be a reasonable charge to do the required work specified in your lease.

It would seem reasonable to start by asking them how they arrive at their figure.

Rob Preddy

12:58 PM, 22nd October 2015, About 8 years ago

Thanks John. I emailed E&J asking for a breakdown of costs and received the following reply;

---------------------------
Thank you for your email. We can confirm the Costs as:

• £35 plus VAT for Consent under Clause 25.2

• £75 plus VAT for Notice Registration under Clause 27

I hope this assists.
----------------------------

Hmmm what to do next?

John Frith

21:48 PM, 23rd October 2015, About 8 years ago

They have, unsurprisingly, given a minimal and vague explanation of their costs, so if it was me, I would play the same game.

I would write to them saying that the adminastrative time to do this is clearly worth no more than £40 plust vat, and that you enclose a cheque for same.

Note I'm not qualified to give advice.

Rob Preddy

21:17 PM, 26th October 2015, About 8 years ago

Thanks John, I replied along the lines that you said...

We therefore feel that our initial offer of £40 plus VAT to be a reasonable one and would be grateful if you could forward the offer to the freeholder. In the meantime we will pay the contested amount of £132.90 but it should be noted that the fee is in dispute and we will be looking to recover the difference in amount should our offer be accepted as we hope.

----------------

E&J response...

The Consent fee charged is £35 plus VAT this is less than the £40 plus VAT you wish to pay. It is the Notice Clause which is an additional and separate Clause that causes the fee to reach £110 plus VAT. Our minimum Notice fee is £75 plus VAT and we invoice this onto the account under the heading of ‘Sublet Renewal’ along with the Consent fee and shows as one cost although we can split this into two separate entries if it is easier viewing.

---------------

So now they seem to be saying that the figure is split into 2 parts, £35 plus VAT for the consent and £75 plus VAT for a Notice Clause!!!!

I'm at a loss now!!! Any further advice?

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