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Together Property - should a deed of variation be part of the management pack about the property? exorbitant cost!


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Hi All,

hope you well

I came across your post published last year about Together Property formerly known as Hamilton Kings. We reside in Willesden Green and currently our property is undergoing completion but are experiencing major issues with the wild costs quoted by TP, pertaining to Deeds of variation which surpasses the legal market range. Please can anyone advise on the following 

should the deed of variation be part of the management pack about the property because we are told its a separate document ? Given the cost it’s hindering us selling our property. 
 

if we request SAR would that be helpful as they will need to provide everything about the property 
 

look forward to your advice 

Thank you 

Yasmin 

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  • dx100uk changed the title to Together Property - should a deed of variation be part of the management pack about the property? exorbitant cost!

thread title updated

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Hi

Couple of Questions if you don't mind:

How long have you been in your present property?

Is the Property Leasehold or owned?

If Leasehold have you checked your Leasehold Agreement for any Clauses about variation that TP are referring to i.e. Ground Rent?

Exactly what Deed of Variation are TP trying to do just an example is it for Ground Rent? (check you leasehold Agreement for the Clauses)

Do you have a Management Company over seeing the Management of the Properties of is it Together Property if so when were they appointed?

Could you post in PDF only a redacted copy of your Leasehold Agreement and TP Deed of Variation? (so we can check your Lease Clauses & TP Deed of Variation)  (see my signature below and click on How to Upload)

So a Deed of Variation is a Legal Document that will also be required to be registered with the Land Registry

In your case if the Freeholder has appointed Together Property as the Managing Agent for the Building you reside in and you have a Leasehold Agreement (you need to fully check the Clauses) and if any refer to what Together Property are applying for a Deed of Variation just as an example Ground Rent and that Clause is contained in your Leasehold Agreement then this is also a Variation to your Leasehold Agreement (not as Together Property seems to be claiming it is separate)

Basically if Leasehold and the Freeholder has Appointed Together Property to Manage the Property they are acting on behalf of the Freeholder and if there are Clauses within your Lease Agreement for example Ground Rent they are then making a Variation to your Leasehold Agreement and the Deed of Variation needs to registered with the Land Registry 

We really need more information

 

If Leasehold these may be of interest to you with the present Bill going through Parliament:

Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill

BILLS.PARLIAMENT.UK

 

Leasehold reforms give more rights and protections to homeowners:

WWW.GOV.UK

Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill introduced to Parliament today will give homeowners a fairer deal, and greater rights and protections.

 

Guide to the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill:

WWW.GOV.UK

Information relating to the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill which was introduced to Parliament on 27 November 2023.

 

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Hi Stu 

Thank you so much for coming back to me

We've owned the property for nearly 17 years as a leaseholder and TP are the management company and the freeholders are Southern Land Securities. 

We are in the process of selling our property and the first obstacle encountered was the Freeholder and TP couldn't provide proof of the loft conversion application that it was approved and said it was our responsibility to ensure this despite purchasing the property in situ, I then had to call the Local Authority to get all the relevant paper work to prove permission was sought and application approved. Which solved that matter. 

2nd obstacle, the current plan does not demise the roof crawl spaces and the red lines do not go into eaves on the plan, they are saying from their standpoint the deed of variation is required, which they are charging nearly £8000.  We don't think its necessary but the buyer is requesting it, despite having the certificate for the loft conversation from Local Authority and Documents from Land Registry to say all is above board and no issues.  if we can't provide the Deed of Variation to include the eaves and crawl spaces as this is why its needed we can lose the sale because we can't afford the fee they have quoted which is astronomical 

My thinking is we have been living in the property without any prior need for the Deed of Variation and using those spaces without any issue its part of the property. My question is, why are TP and Freeholder are saying it is required

Hope am making sense, this is my first time going through this. I can upload all the documents requested on Monday. 

How do you think  we should respond and do you think we should requested SAR 

Also, Southern Land Security brought our property via an auction in 1996 and we moved in 2007 (some background)

Thank you so much for your help and look forward to hearing back 

YasminD 

 

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Hi

I assume the Loft Conversion with the eaves and crawl space was there when you initially purchased the property. Even in done after purchasing the property and the correct permissions were in place i.e. Local Authority, Land Registry, Freeholder which is Southern Land which would be required as a Leasehold property.

The difficulty is if the Loft Conversion was there when you purchased the property and there is no evidence in your documents of the eaves and crawl space due to where the Red Lines stop in the plans or even after purchase it was added this is the reason you are having issues with selling due to those missing Red Lines in the Plans and any other Buyers competent Solicitor would flag this up.

I can understand the reasons the Buyer wishes a Deed of Variation probably there Solicitor requesting this to ensure those missing red
lines are covered before the Sale as they Flagged this as an issue as Red Lines missing on Plans and want buyer protected.

As for the £8000 costs Together and cohort Southern Land are trying to charge have you thought of contacting a few Property Solicitors yourself to get a few quotes. (only mention this because when I research this possible costs can range from £500 - £2000 depending on the Deed of Variation work required and nothing to stop you doing this then approaching Together and cohorts with it)

Also ask Together/Southern Land for a breakdown of the £8000 costs for the Deed of Variation.

Yup do send both Together and Southern Land a Subject Access Request (SAR) requesting 'ALL DATA' that simple phrase covers whatever format they hold that data in whether it be emails, written, recorded calls etc. They then have 30 Calendar Days to respond and that time limit only starts once they acknowledge receipt of your SAR Request.

When you purchased the property some 17yrs ago are the Solicitors that you went through at that time still operating? (I know probably a silly question but if they are nothing to stop you contacting them and asking them about this especially if the Loft Conversion was in place when you purchased the property)

Another link that will be useful to you as Leasehold is The Leasehold Advisory Service:

WWW.LEASE-ADVICE.ORG

Government funded, independent advice for residential leaseholders and park home residents

 

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Hi Stu

Thank you for coming back to me. 

The crawl and eaves spaces are within our 2 bedrooms and bathroom and was there before we moved in we haven't touched anything

Given we brought it 17 years ago the solicitor is no longer in operation

The buyers solicitor said they would be happy if TP and Southern Land Security can assure this even with an email as they understand the cost quoted of £8000 is astronomical. But its TP and Southern Land Security are stating its required so they can charge the cost mentioned for the DOV. We have had a quote from our solicitor saying they could do it for us all in at £400.00 plus VAT but they refused and said they have to do it so they can charge this silly price
 

I will ask for SAR and gently demand that they have to include it in the plans as its part of the rooms without the requirement of DOV otherwise we will lose the sale and are stuck and take legal action

what do you think? 

Thank you for the link and all your help much appreciated 

Saima 

 


 

 

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Hi

This is going to be difficult if Together and Southern Land are sticking to their Guns and still demanding they do the DOV with that extortionate Costs when your own Solicitor says they will do it for so much less.

Together and Southern Land must have known about this since as you mention the Loft Conversion was there with the eaves and Crawl Space when you purchased the Property but as it wasn't picked up when you purchased the property they are going down this DOV route with those costs.

I think you may have to get your Solicitor to write to them for a full explanation as to why your Solicitor cannot carry out this DOV.

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Hi

Yup get a SAR off to them.

They know full well what they are doing with those costs and also know you need to go through the Freeholder Southern Land Securities for this but it even though your own Solicitor is willing to do the DOV for so so much less cost.

I know I said to get your Solicitor to ask them to ask for a full explanation as to why they can't do the DOV but also get them to ask for the following as well:

1. A full breakdown of there costs to reach £8000 for DOV

2. Is the DOV work being carried out by Southern Land Securities in house Solicitor Helen Louise O'Neill who is SRA Regulated.

 

The reason I say to mention number 2. is because Southern Land Securities in not SRA Regulated but there Legal Dept Solicitor Helen Louise O'Neill is SRA Regulated thus that Solicitor could be reported to the SRA but depends on how they work out this breakdown of costs.

The following links I would make your own Solicitor fully aware of also had a good read of them yourself:

WWW.SRA.ORG.UK

The Solicitors Register is a service for checking a solicitor or firm that is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

 

WWW.SRA.ORG.UK

The Solicitors Register is a service for checking solicitors or firms that are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

 

SOLICITORS.LAWSOCIETY.ORG.UK

 

SOLICITORS.LAWSOCIETY.ORG.UK

 

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Hi Stu

Thank you so much! This is excellent information I feel empowered as I was at a loss prior speaking to you
 

From discussing this with you two things need to happen

1. Obtain SAR immediately containing the words All Data using the template you guided me to and modify accordingly. Can the request be sent electronically or does it have to be postal? 

2. Query there cost of £8000 with breakdown highlighting our solicitor can do it for considerably a lot less and mention the two points you raised above 

Thank you so much 

YasminD 

 

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Hi

Something I forgot to add to my previous post when contacting your own Solicitor is:

You could also ask your Solicitor to also inform Southern Land that their charges for a Deed of Variation are outrageous and frustrating the process with a threat of bringing it to the attention of the SRA. (thanks to @Andyorch for pointing that out)

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Hi

Thank you for all your advice have sent the SAR and our solicitor has gone back saying costs associated to DOV are unreasonable and to share the full breakdown. Southern Land Security has appointed Brendan Millward to carry out the DOV . Oppose to the person you mentioned Helen. 
 

We are awaiting the breakdown

 Thank you 

Sorry Brendan Milward 

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Hi

I think your Solicitor needs to ask Southern Land if Brendan Milward is their Legal Clerk or which company they are employing which he works for.

I have a feeling this Brendan Milward is their own Legal Clerk just google 'Southern Land Securities and Brendan Milward' and look at what pops up in fact I would even mention it to your Solicitor because when you google its amazing the cases that pop up and there is this Brendan Milward's name. 

Even if this individual is a Legal Clerk for another company southern land have employed to do the DOV the £8000 costs are still extortionate

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Hi Stu

Thank you for coming back to me. They are insistent that their costs are reasonable despite us mentioning that our solicitor can do it for £450 plus VAT. I googled him and seen the number of cases he has undertaken . We are at a loss and don’t know what to do. We have sent a final email and praying they agree to our solicitor carrying out the DOV. I sent a bunch of questions and they completely ignored it. Not sure what steps to take. What would you advise. We feel so helpless and stuck, because we cant afford their quote and will lose the sale. 

Thank you  

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Hi

I would have got your Solicitor to ask what I mentioned not yourself as they will just ignore or not answer what you ask as you have found out but if your Solicitor asks that's a different matter and I know there would be a fee for your Solicitor to do that for you but may be the only way around this.

1. Full Breakdown of there DOV cost of £8000

2. Is Brendan Milward a Legal Clerk for Southern Land or a Different Company and if so which Company.

4. The DOV cost are outrageous and frustrating the process with a threat of bringing it to the attention of the SRA

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Hi Stu 

Will do but in the meantime they have said if we dont want to pay their fees for the DOV and given the eaves and crawl spaces arent on the lease plan we can either pay their fee £8000 or we can seal them. 

Basically they are playing dirty, the fact we have been using them for the past 17 years without issue and no where in our contract it says we cant use the space. What do you think we should do. Their is a part of me that wants to take them to court but not sure how it will hold up. Do you think speak to a litigation lawyer? 
 

thanks 

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Hi

There is the issue them stating the eaves and crawl space are not on the lease plan which should have been picked up by your Solicitor at the time of purchasing the property and as you have stated previously then no longer exist.

They may no longer exist but if you know that Solicitors details i.e. there full name have you thought to do a SRA Register Search to see if they are still working even with another company?

WWW.SRA.ORG.UK

The Solicitors Register is a service for checking a solicitor or firm that is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

As they are sticking to there guns speaking to you I know it will cost you to do this but it may be the only way is to get your Solicitor to ask those questions I mentioned and anything else they may advise you they should ask at the same time

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He did ask those questions and they are stoic that there fee is more then reasonable and have said that they will carry out the DOV. They said nearly £6000 is for the consideration and the rest is legal and admin, our solicitor went back and fid say it was outrageous fee. But they dont care and say its more then reasonable 

Im sure being here for 17 years without any issues we have ground. Am speaking to my lawyer today so lets see. 
 

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So 2K for the actual submission of the DOV (normal fee inc court fee and prep £350/400) and £6k for consideration .I wonder how consideration id quantified and calculated ?

We could do with some help from you.

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