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Im about to lose the sale of my home ,can anyone please help or advice please

I have been going through the sale of my home for the past 7 months and t looks like its all going to be wasted if things dont happen very soon.
My buyer applied for a mortgage and was sucsessful so things started to go forward.Then the broker told her I didnt have a deed of variation on my home and this is something he wants to see to enable her the mortgage.
Anyway I bought a deed of variation( £1,500) and my management company agreed it,all that was needed was a signature from their director of the management company.
The deed was sent to him to sign on the 3rd January.
Ever since then my conveyer has been ringing up the management company to say she hasnt received the signed copy,each time they have told her they will remind the director to sign it and post it back to my conveyancer.
Three times the management have sent copies for him to sign and send back...........three times he has not done this. 
It has now got to the time where her mortgage has expired and they will only renew it if we can get the signed copy to him asap
This has gone on from the 3rd January........he has received 3 copies of the deed to sign......3 times he hasnt done it.
My convenancer keeps getting fobbed off everytime she rings the management company.
Does anyone know if theres anything I can do to get him to sign the deed,any help would be greatly appreciated.Thank you
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  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,109
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    • Is your property freehold or leasehold (and is it a house or flat)?
    • What is the purpose of the deed of variation - i.e. what changes is it making to a deed or lease?  (Is there the possibility of going for indemnity insurance instead?)
    • Do you have a feel for why the director won't sign? Is he just lazy / disorganised, or is there something in the deed he doesn't like?
    • Who drafted the deed of variation? You say 3 copies have been sent to the director - are they 3 identical copies? Or is the director requesting changes, hence new versions are required?

    The bottom line is that, typically, you cannot force anyone to sign a deed of variation. It's up to them to decide whether they will or not.

    So perhaps the best approach is to try to find out what the problem is, and see if you can help to steer the management company (and their director) around it.



  • my-user-name
    my-user-name Posts: 267
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    eddddy said:

    • Is your property freehold or leasehold (and is it a house or flat)?
    • What is the purpose of the deed of variation - i.e. what changes is it making to a deed or lease?  (Is there the possibility of going for indemnity insurance instead?)
    • Do you have a feel for why the director won't sign? Is he just lazy / disorganised, or is there something in the deed he doesn't like?
    • Who drafted the deed of variation? You say 3 copies have been sent to the director - are they 3 identical copies? Or is the director requesting changes, hence new versions are required?

    The bottom line is that, typically, you cannot force anyone to sign a deed of variation. It's up to them to decide whether they will or not.

    So perhaps the best approach is to try to find out what the problem is, and see if you can help to steer the management company (and their director) around it.



    Hello edddy,many thanks indeed for getting back to me. 
    My home is a leasehold apartment.
    The reason why I had to buy the deed of variation was something to do with my ground rent?? I think this is why the mortgage broker needs me to buy one for my new buyers

    "A number of property developers in England pledged to assist leaseholders by entering into ‘Deeds of Variation’ to vary the ground rent terms in their leases from doubling ground rents to RPI-linked (inflation) ground rents."

    I just think its lazyness on why the director hasnt signed it yet edddy. The director receieved the deed to sign and for whatever reason he didnt sign it so my leasehold management sent him a copy of it,again he didnt sign that. Then my conveyancer asked the management company to send a copy once more and ask him to sign it,they even put in a stamped addressed envelope. The 3 copies are all identical.
    Im wondering if I go myself to the management company possibly that might help?? the offices are about 30 miles away. It just seems wrong we have got this far even though its taken 7 months and we cant get to the finishing line for the sake of a signature.Thanks for answering me Edddy.


  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,014
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    eddddy said:

    • Is your property freehold or leasehold (and is it a house or flat)?
    • What is the purpose of the deed of variation - i.e. what changes is it making to a deed or lease?  (Is there the possibility of going for indemnity insurance instead?)
    • Do you have a feel for why the director won't sign? Is he just lazy / disorganised, or is there something in the deed he doesn't like?
    • Who drafted the deed of variation? You say 3 copies have been sent to the director - are they 3 identical copies? Or is the director requesting changes, hence new versions are required?

    The bottom line is that, typically, you cannot force anyone to sign a deed of variation. It's up to them to decide whether they will or not.

    So perhaps the best approach is to try to find out what the problem is, and see if you can help to steer the management company (and their director) around it.



    Hello edddy,many thanks indeed for getting back to me. 
    My home is a leasehold apartment.
    The reason why I had to buy the deed of variation was something to do with my ground rent?? I think this is why the mortgage broker needs me to buy one for my new buyers

    "A number of property developers in England pledged to assist leaseholders by entering into ‘Deeds of Variation’ to vary the ground rent terms in their leases from doubling ground rents to RPI-linked (inflation) ground rents."

    I just think its lazyness on why the director hasnt signed it yet edddy. The director receieved the deed to sign and for whatever reason he didnt sign it so my leasehold management sent him a copy of it,again he didnt sign that. Then my conveyancer asked the management company to send a copy once more and ask him to sign it,they even put in a stamped addressed envelope. The 3 copies are all identical.
    Im wondering if I go myself to the management company possibly that might help?? the offices are about 30 miles away. It just seems wrong we have got this far even though its taken 7 months and we cant get to the finishing line for the sake of a signature.Thanks for answering me Edddy.


    Thats definitely what I would do.

    I'm a great believer in "If you want a job doing do it yourself" 

    No one seems to make an effort now days to even do their job 
  • my-user-name
    my-user-name Posts: 267
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    Thanks Mike,I will go to their offices on Monday morning,its worth a try.
    Its all been agreed,Ive had confirmation on that so I just cannot understand why he hasnt signed it.
    I keep saying "he"....its actually a women but I cant get to find out her name.
    Thanks for answering Mike,much appreciated.
  • RHemmings
    RHemmings Posts: 3,119
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    Just saying that I feel for you OP. It was a big fear of mine when going through the purchase process that I would end up stuck waiting on someone to do something and with no power to progress things. 

    Like others have suggested, I would go to the offices and be extremely polite and patient (despite what I would feel inside) and hope that does it. I hope they don't fob you off by asking you to go home and wait or anything. If that happened, I would persist, but go home. Then if it doesn't happen again, come back and (politely) camp out in their reception. 
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 20,766
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    If it has all been agreed already, then before any visit to their offices ask your solicitor if they can confirm who the contact came from stating that it was agreed. Ring the management company first - speak to that person if you can, ask them to take personal ownership of the situation and to please take the deed to the Director concerned for signature immediately. If you are told that the Director is unavailable, ask for it to be taken to a different director for signature. If they say that can’t happen, ask politely “why is that?” 

    Don’t be afraid to use silence to your advantage - ask a polite question then wait for the answer. Use words like “disappointed” “unacceptable” - but use them politely at all times - regardless of how frustrating the situation is. Remind them that you are a leaseholder and you have a right to be treated fairly and reasonably and that if you are not then you have every right to refer the matter to the Leasehold Tribunal service. (If you do have to use that route bear in mind that it won’t save this sale I’m afraid as it is a time consuming process.) 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
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  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,109
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    The reason why I had to buy the deed of variation was something to do with my ground rent??

    It's quite possible that everything is sorted, and you'll get a signature soon.

    But it might be helpful if you understood the process a bit more. It might help you to ask the right people the right questions.

    ....



    Ground rent is paid to the freeholder - not the management company. So the freeholder needs to sign the deed, not the management company.

    Are you sure that the freeholder agreed that they would sign the deed of variation?

    (But often the management company will collect the ground rent on the freeholder's behalf, then forward it to the freeholder.  Unless the freeholder and management company are the same people.)



    "A number of property developers in England pledged to assist leaseholders by entering into ‘Deeds of Variation’ to vary the ground rent terms in their leases from doubling ground rents to RPI-linked (inflation) ground rents."

    What this sentence says is "A small list of developers have agreed to reduce their ground rents (due to pressure from the government)".

    Is your developer on that list? Who is your developer?

    Has anyone else on your development successfully got their ground rent reduced?

    Or is your solicitor just taking a punt and saying to your freeholder  "Some other developers have reduced their ground rents. So it would be really nice of you, if you reduced yours. Could you possibly do that, please?"



    The reason why I had to buy the deed of variation...


    You almost certainly haven't "bought a deed of variation".

    I suspect you have paid a solicitor £1.5k to write a deed of variation. 

    In simple terms, you've probably paid a solicitor £1.5k to write a piece of paper saying "I, the freeholder, agree to reduce the ground rent on Apartment number x..."

    And that piece of paper has been sent to the freeholder, hoping that the freeholder will sign it.


    Signing that piece of paper might have huge consequences for your freeholder. (If your apartment is on a large development, reducing everyone's ground rent might cost them millions of pounds.) Have their directors, investors and shareholders all agreed to take that hit?


    To be clear, the government says that developers tricked home owners like you into agreeing to high ground rents. So the government says those developers should volunteer to reduce the ground rents. But it doesn't mean they'll do it quickly or eagerly.



    But like I say, perhaps you (and your solicitor) have jumped over all the hurdles listed above, and you're just waiting for that final signature.



  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 20,766
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    Yes - it’s not about anyone “agreeing” to reduce ground rents - it’s about unreasonable doubling ground rent no longer being allowed. 

    The most likely situation here is that the management company have agreed but then as suggested by eddddy suggests it’s got to the freeholder and the freeholders has said “Whoah - back the truck up, I’m not signing that!” - ultimately, they probably won’t be able to continue to charge the original doubling ground rent, but that doesn’t earn they are going to be keen to put in writing what the change will be. 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,109
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    edited 4 February at 10:24AM

    Remind them that you are a leaseholder and you have a right to be treated fairly and reasonably and that if you are not then you have every right to refer the matter to the Leasehold Tribunal service. (If you do have to use that route bear in mind that it won’t save this sale I’m afraid as it is a time consuming process.) 

    FWIW, leasehold tribunals don't deal with generic unfair or unreasonable treatment by Management Companies or freeholders.

    However,  the OP could complain to the Management Company's redress scheme - either The Property Ombudsman or the PRS. The Ombudsman sometimes awards £250 compensation for unnecessary aggravation, but that's about all they can do in this case.
     



    Edit to add...

    Unless you're suggesting that the OP threatens to apply to the tribunal to have a manager appointed to control the building - as per section 24 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.

    But I think that would be very unlikely to succeed in these circumstances. 

  • my-user-name
    my-user-name Posts: 267
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    edited 4 February at 3:27PM
    First of all many thanks indeed to the posters who have answered me,I really do appreciate your advice and help. I think you can tell Im not very clued up on the buying/selling malarky,Im a lady in my late 60,s who lives on her own and all I know is I want to sell my home with as less distress as possible so if its ok I will add a few emails that I have received regardng the "deed of variation".
    Ok here goes,this is the first email either I received or my convayancer receieved over the past few months.
                                                                              ************************************

    "

    I have had an email from the solicitors acting for the buyer stating that they want the deed of variation to be carried out prior to the sale going through. I am going back to them today to confirm that we won't be doing that but I wanted to make you aware of what has been discussed. 

    Kind regards  (this was sent to me on the 31st October 2023
                                                                             *************************************************

    I answered her back and she said
    "
    I have asked the management company to confirm the costs so I will let you know as soon as I can."

                                                                            *******************************************************

    This next email  was on the 8th November 2023 and it was sent to my conveyancer

    "
     I am in receipt of your correspondence dated 03/11 regarding the lease not having mortgagee protection clause and the ground rent frequency of increase being every five years in line with RPI. The minimum period of review is ideally 21 years but we can accept a deed of variation to a 10 year review period as long as any increase is in line with RPI no other calculation allowed. Anything under 10 year review we can not approve. Inserting the protection clause I would suspect is required by all lenders and has simply been an oversight when writing up the lease if this can be addressed at the same time we are fine to proceed then."

                                                                                *********************************************

    The next I receieved from my conveyancer was on the 27th Novemeber 2023


    "I received the attached email from the management company, the costs involved are below:

     An undertaking to pay our client's legal fees of £720.00 incl. VAT and Innovus’ fee of £72.00 incl. VAT phrased to be effective whether or not the matter proceeds.
    1. Premium of £650.00 including VAT                                                                                                            ************************************************************************************
    On the 4th Decemeber 2023  I paid £1,500


    On the 21st Decemeber I receieved this email from my convayencer

    "The buyers solicitors have approved the deed. Please could you print and sign the attached. Once signed please could you return it to me via post. If you need me to send the documents in the post, please let me know, and I will sort that for today. "

                                                                          *************************************************

    The next email below was on 3rd January

    Scanlans have confirmed to me they are returning the signed deed to us.

     

    Once I have this we can agree a date. I hope that the deed will be here within the week and then we can get some things sorted for you next week.


                                                                        **********************************************


    After this last email its been a case of ringing my conveyancer and her  ringing my management company,its the management company who have sent it to the director 3 times(all 3 are the same,there just copies) 

    Please forgive my ignorance on alll of this,I will go tomorrow to their offices and will remain firm but calm.I dont actually think the director is at the offices where Im going tomorrow,I think she is down south somewhere.

    Just to add I dont want to sell my home but unfortunatly I became poorely last year so I had no option but to leave my part time job. Im selling my home so that I can downsize from my 2 bedroom home to a one bedroomed flat and this will help me now I am no longer working.

     


     


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