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omariqy
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Need some advice. I have a buy to let flat that I am in the process of selling which I bought last year. When I purchased it I paid ground rent for the year ahead.  I have been paying service charges regularly as well. The sale has nearly gone through but I received a letter from the freeholders solicitor stating that the ground rent of £150 for 2017 was due Jan 1st. Apparently they have sent 2 different letters to the flat but I had no idea because they have not been forwarded on to me by the tenant or the managing agent. Now the £150 bill is £800 as they have added admin and legal costs. I stupidly assumed that the company in charge of the service charge was in charge of collecting ground rent. I had given that company my forwarding address but had not contacted the freeholder with my forwarding address.  The solicitor is refusing to budge and reduce the charges as they are stating they sent everything to the address they had on their system. I am annoyed that I haven't been forwarded any post by the tenant but I understand ultimately it's my responsibility. Any idea how I can get them to waive charges or at least reduce it?

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27 minutes ago, omariqy said:

Need some advice. I have a buy to let flat that I am in the process of selling which I bought last year. When I purchased it I paid ground rent for the year ahead.  I have been paying service charges regularly as well. The sale has nearly gone through but I received a letter from the freeholders solicitor stating that the ground rent of £150 for 2017 was due Jan 1st. Apparently they have sent 2 different letters to the flat but I had no idea because they have not been forwarded on to me by the tenant or the managing agent. Now the £150 bill is £800 as they have added admin and legal costs. I stupidly assumed that the company in charge of the service charge was in charge of collecting ground rent. I had given that company my forwarding address but had not contacted the freeholder with my forwarding address.  The solicitor is refusing to budge and reduce the charges as they are stating they sent everything to the address they had on their system. I am annoyed that I haven't been forwarded any post by the tenant but I understand ultimately it's my responsibility. Any idea how I can get them to waive charges or at least reduce it?

How important is the sale to you? Contesting the fee could drag on for months/years and could get more expensive the longer it takes. If you need to conclude the sale, you're unlikely to be able to do so with an outstanding debt on the ground rent. If it were me, I'd probably just pony up.

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27 minutes ago, TrentVilla said:

You've done well to get anything off to be honest, take it on the chin let the sale go through and learn from it. 

(Always have a post redirect set up for rental properties!)

Yup. Expensive lesson learnt.

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4 hours ago, omariqy said:

Need some advice. I have a buy to let flat that I am in the process of selling which I bought last year. When I purchased it I paid ground rent for the year ahead.

If you don't mind me asking, just out of interest why are you selling a BTL that you only bought last year?  

Edited by ender4
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18 minutes ago, ender4 said:

If you don't mind me asking, just out of interest why are you selling a BTL that you only bought last year?  

Various reasons:

- Buying my main residence now and didn't want to pay an extra 3% on a much larger amount
- I've made good profit on it
- Changes in tax relief regime
- Need the additional funds to do the work to the house I am buying
- I may look to buy another BTL but this time something without service charges and ground rent. I also will have to pay 3% on a much smaller amount.

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