Is the management company ripping me off by charging so much?

Sarah Ryan
31 January 2017

Q

I am in the process of selling my flat, which is a leasehold property.

My solicitor has informed me that I have to pay the company that owns the lease £360 for a certificate and management pack.

I am struggling to understand why such things would cost so
much when we are already paying service charges? I feel like I’m being robbed.

From
CJ/Liverpool

A

When selling a leasehold property you’ll usually have to provide information directly to the buyer from your landlord or management company (or both).

There is no obligation on a landlord to supply information so, as it requires work on their part, it will charge a fee.

It’s common practice for the seller to bear these costs. You could refuse, but the buyer will still need the information and if they aren’t willing to pay, you could lose your sale.

The fee should reflect the amount of information being supplied. If you’re selling a leasehold house, for example, you don’t need as much information as the maintenance and insurance of the building will be your responsibility, so you would expect to pay a relatively low fee.

If the property is a flat in a block with a shared gym, concierge and swimming pool to maintain there may be a lot more information required. Unfortunately, there is no standard fee for providing the information.

There have been calls for landlords to be regulated but these have not led to any practical action. If you do feel that the information provided by your landlord is limited and the fee
was unreasonable you could request a reduction, but they may refuse.

The alternative is to apply to a tribunal, but this would involve incurring additional fees with no guarantee that you will get anything back.

 

The average cost of moving

It isn’t just leasehold fees that you need to consider when budgeting for a house purchase. The average cost of moving has soared to £10,996, according to Lloyds Banking Group.

This includes often forgotten costs such as surveyor’s fees which average £665 and removal men, who cost an average £1,111.

Stamp duty is the biggest secondary cost for house buyers at an average £2,504.