April 24, 2017

Seller at Felbridge Court expresses frustration at unending sales fees

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Selling up at Felbridge Court – as with so many retirement sites – comes at a price (and capital values are often appalling as well)

Selling up at Felbridge Court – as with so many retirement sites – comes at a price (and capital values are often appalling as well)

Adam Schmidt, who inherited a retirement flat at Felbridge Court in Feltham, has written to the Sunday Times and to Carlex about his frustrations at the raft of fees payable when the flat is sold.

He has written to 10 MPs, the ARHM, ARMA, FPRA, OFT, the Leasehold Advisory Service, Carlex and 10 local MPs.

Capital values at Felbridge Court have fallen by 20 per cent since 2008, he believes.

“Apart from Carlex I haven’t really received very much useful feedback, mostly replies telling me that I should seek legal advice,” Mr Schmidt writes. “From 10 local MPs I have received only 1 reply.”

We would recommend all sellers facing onerous – hopefully challengeable – fees to contact us admin@carlex.org.uk,

and:

The Competition and Markets Authority, which is inquiring into leasehold management: propertymanagers.study@cma.gsi.gov.uk

And the housing minister: kris.hopkins@communities.gsi.gov.uk

It is also important to contact the

Dear Sirs/Madam,

I would kindly like to make you aware of the scandalous exit-and contingency fees upon selling retirement leasehold properties of the Tchenguiz Family Trust. This is plainly not FAIR as no service is being rendered.

The OFT (Office Of Fair Trading) has not done enough in their efforts and I consider it time for the government to stop this type of business model which is exploiting many old-age persons trying to sell their retirement homes.

Further below is a list of fees that Estates & Management Ltd (who are part of the freeholding side of the Tchenguiz business and act on behalf of Fairhold Homes (No 2) Ltd.) charge upon selling retirement leasehold properties.

I am experiencing much difficulty in selling my deceased mother’s flat as buyers are clearly being put off by the above mentioned fees along with several other dubious fees. Extremely long delays during conveyancing caused by Estates & Management Ltd not answering solicitor’s letters etc have at times brought proceedings to an absolute halt.

Transfer Fee:

On every sale a Transfer fee of 1% of the lower of the price you pay when buying the property or the price to be received on sale/assignment; or

On each sub-let by way of an assured shorthold tenancy of the property, a Transfer Fee of £85.00. If the sub-let continues beyond its fixed term period, or is for a fixed term period of more than one year, a further Transfer Fee of £85.00 will be payable.

Contingency Fee:

A Contingency Fee is also payable on any sale or sub-let of the flat which is paid into the Contingency Fund. The level of the Contingency Fee may vary but the typical amount is 1% of the sale price or the value of the flat.

Notice of Transfer and/or Charge:

Standard fee for processing, receipting and returning the Notice of Transfer and/or Mortgage is £99,75 per notice.

Deed of Covenant

The Deed of Covenant Information Sheet must be completed and returned along with a fee of £95.00.

Grant of Probate Fee:

Fee for dealing with the Grant of Probate is £45.00

Administration Fees:

Administration fee for dealing with General Leasehold Enquiries including confirmation of ground rent/rent charge is £135.00

Receipt fees: Receipt for the payment of ground rent: £60.00

Information Pack Fee: £99.00

I kindly ask you to look into the above matter and to act accordingly.

Yours sincerely,

Adam Schmidt

Comments

  1. Michael Epstein says:

    How about requesting the information you need under the Data Protection Act?
    Many years ago, my bank wanted to charge me £120 for replacement bank statements, which i believed to be excessive. They refused to reduce the charges, so i sent a request under the Data Protection Act to disclose all information they held about me (which included the bank statements) This they complied with subject to a Data Protection Act charge of £10.
    If such a request was made to E&M/Peverel, you might get the information you require at a cost of £10, or if they fail to comply, all you need do is report the matter to the Data Protection Comissioner, who will then prosecute E&M/Peverel.

  2. A Reviewer says:

    Hi

    NOW we know that “added value” has yet another application … fees for handling fees.

    Happy rebutting

  3. Riva Thames says:

    When I recently sold my late mother’s flat, Peverel wanted a couple of hundred pounds for providing a “pack” of information about the development. Although I had most of this information (e.g. historic service charges) there were some additional leaseholder information questions which the buyer’s solicitor wanted answered and which Peverel said were included in their pack. I wrote to Chris Owens (head of customer relations) pointing out that in the original purchaser information pack supplied to my mother in 2003 it states that the 1% transfer fee was payable as “an administration fee for the transfer AND ADDITIONAL UPDATE INFORMATION PACK [my caps].” Peverel waived the fee for the information the buyer’s solicitor wanted and provided the pack free of charge.

    • Hello Riva,

      I’m glad to read about the waived fee.

      In my mother’s information pack from 2008 there was no mention of it being included in the transfer fee. Hence I had to pay up.

      On another point, my solicitors waited for 8 weeks for E&M to provide a final statement of fees. Finally, no statement arrived and E&M mentioned casually that such a statement would no longer be necessary. This is the kind of behaviour that holds up conveyancing and even causes it to break down when a buyer decides not to wait any longer.

  4. Nigel Salt says:

    I too am in the process of selling and this information regarding fees is welcoming but by no means any great surprise. When my ‘bill’ is eventually paid with confirmation of fees charged I will not hesitate to contact the departments mentioned with vociferous howls of protest in the strongest terms possible if it ‘stinks’ of unfairness. For too long all of us who have invested and have residential experience in this flawed type of tenancy have known that it ‘rotten to the core’ with overcharging, cheating and exploitation of older folk by ‘fat cat’ landlords and property agents. The so called enquiry by the OFT that took years to investigate and report back on fell far short of what was required for current leaseholders. In fact a ‘whitewash’ through and through. I am always hopeful that this fresh enquiry by the CMA produces a result that this sector urgently needs and reins in some, if not all of these exhorbitant fees that are charged

  5. Ed Watch says:

    No surprises … the solicitor who replaces the [REDACTED …]