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Solicitors fees for commercial lease.
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# 1
Alan M
Old 23-01-2007, 10:59 AM
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Default Solicitors fees for commercial lease.

I'm moving my business next month and taking a lease on a new building, I'm required (well it's prudent) that I have a solicitor handle the setting up of the lease.

This is for a 5 year term for £22,500 a year on a unit with B8 use.

I was quoted somewhere between £1,200 and £1,500 + vat to handle the lease.

Seemed an awful lot of money, I have to say I was expecting around half that. I did pose the question, what exactly are you doing for £1,500? To which I got the usual Solicitor consternation blah blah. We have to check planning consent, run searches etc.....

I did point out I've already done that as its available free from the local government websites etc.... He didn't exactly sound over the moon about that.

Is this money for old rope? Am I being overcharged? I have spoken to a couple of agents and they seem to think it's not unreasonable, just seems like an enormous amount of money for what can't be more than a mornings pen pushing?

Slighted related to this, I was surprised to find that I'd snuck under the limit for stamp duty on a lease....I had no idea you're required to pay stamp duty on commercial leases when the sum of the rent for the total period exceed £ wonder businesses are struggling in this country, the amount of tax and stealth taxes I pay just for privilege of being allowed to run my own business is eye watering.

As soon as you step outside of the world of domestic property, it appears anything with the name commercial attached to it, becomes a licence to print money for any of the associated industries.

Whinge over.
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# 2
Richard Webster
Old 23-01-2007, 11:15 AM
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I'm a convreyancing solciitor and I don't deal with commercial leases any more because they are so much hassle.

The trouble with any service like this is that the client thinks its all easy and straightforward until a few years later something happens and the landlord asks for a lot of money for some work or complains about the breach of some terms of the lease and you think "he can't do that..." You go to a solciitor for advice and he points out that the Landlord can do it and "your solicitor would have explained this to you when you took the lease..."

Then you wish you had a solicitor who went through the lease and explained it all and asked all the right questions and explained the answers and their significance to you.
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# 3
Alan M
Old 23-01-2007, 4:31 PM
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Well having rung around a couple more it seems to be the going rate, in which case I'll have to pay it.

Like you say Richard, I could be opening up a minefield here, I need to have this watertight from the word go, in which case, if it is a few days work then fair enough.

Anyhow, with my costs, the LL costs (which it's normal for the ingoing tenant to pay on commercial property) plus surveying fees I'll be lucky to see any change from £3,500 + vat. All this for a steel shell with absolutely nothing in it.

And after all this, no one still has any idea what the rates will be, and the valuation office are so busy they can't even give us an appointment for a rating survey for the foreseeable future...what a strange way to operate....
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# 4
Old 23-01-2007, 11:17 PM
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My answer is short and sweet - Bend over and take your medicine like a man!

When you mention Commercial to a solicitor pounds literally ring in there eyes.

Solicitors NEVER offer advice - period, it's upto you to ask the right questions. That way if you don't it's your fault not theirs.

Solicitors do have a reputation and certainly enjoy living upto it, they think we know the law so were untouchable.

The only people Solicitors fear are Barristers, because they are like Solicitors but professional.


If a man says something in the woods and there are no women there, is he still wrong?
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# 5
Alan M
Old 25-01-2007, 6:31 PM
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OK, Letter from Solicitor this morning to which was attached:-

Estimate of Legal Fees & Disbursements Relating to Purchase (I've told them twice now I'm leasing it not buying it)

Legal fees £1,200 - £1,500 + vat


Environmental search £105.75
Drainage £111.86
Local Search (estimated) £265.00
Chancel Check Search £12.00
Telegraphic Transfer Fee £29.38
Inland Revenue stamp Duty - TBC
Land Registry and land charges search - £12.00
Land Registry Fee - £220.00

Total - £2,165.99 - £2518.49

Plus I'm required to contribute £1000 + vat towards the Landlords fees

Plus I'm getting a survey/itinerary - estimates £750 + vat.

So, There over £4,000 in fees to get a lease organised?

This can't be right, someone somewhere is taking the Pee, and what's with the Land Registry stuff? I'm leasing it, not buying it.
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# 6
Alan M
Old 27-01-2007, 9:58 AM
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Right after three attempt at finally getting it through their thick heads that I'm leasing and not buying this place I've got some sensible fees quoted.

Still at £150 an hour or whatever ridiculous amount these people are charging I should have to be correcting them every time they send me documents and as I've yet to sign the form appointing them I've decided to elsewhere.

Anyhow, the latest development is I've received a letter this morning stating that this lease is excluded from the Landlord & Tenant Act Protection.

Is this normal, what are the ramifications of this?
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