What is a reasonable fee for a freeholder to charge in processing a flat sale?
In this housing association there may be procedures to confirm suitability of a purchaser for this type of housing. £250 all in would seem about the maximum to us.
A question from Coral:
When a leasehold flat is sold, the buyer has a solicitor, the seller has a solicitor, and the housing association, or freeholder, (in this case Sussex Housing & Care) has a solicitor.
Are there restrictions on what the latter can charge for rubber-stamping the change of ownership?
All the paperwork, legal searches, and registrations etc. are done by the solicitors of the buyer and seller.
The suitability of the buyer is confirmed by the local manager of the association.
In the last sale, the solicitor for the association charged fees equal to half those of the seller’s solicitor (The 2% of sale price is paid by seller’s solicitor directly to the association).
And another one from John:
We expect to complete the sale of a £230,000 flat in east London over the next couple of weeks.
The management company has quoted £340 + vat = £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. They also ‘provide answers to any other enquiries raised’.
I questioned the charge, particularly in the light of owning the flat for 17 years and no requests from us for anything over that time. (There is already a % based admin charge on exterior decorating which the three flats in the block pay for.
Any cost they incur above the annual service and decorating charges over that period will have been minimal).
Their response was that the charge was non-negotiable.
So, only £408 within a transaction of £230k, but a complete rip off situation of the sort you refer to on a video.
Could you advise how I might progress this please? More important than £408 would be the sense of satisfaction at not being ripped off! I applaud your initiative since leaseholders are pretty defenceless.