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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50157
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am about to sign a letter of acceptance of terms solicitor

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I am about to sign a letter of acceptance of terms for a solicitor to handle my lease extension and I they are going to charge me an annual fee for storing my file although they will be returning the original lease to me at the end of it. Is this normal as I have never come across this before?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. This is not necessarily common but it does happen and it is allowed. A solicitor is legally required to sore your file for a minimum of 6 years, or even 12 as it is recommended by the Law Society. Many firms do not charge for such fees or include them as part of the initial fees/advice, but others do charge for such storage (or archiving) facilities. If you are unhappy to pay such fees you simply do not have to use that firm and can find another one which does not charge for such service. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The letter actually said the charge would be £40 plus VAT for a minimum of 6 years. When I questioned it in an email before returning the copy letter I was told it would have to be for 12 years but as it would be a small file the cost would be £20 plus VAT. It is annoying because I searched around before settling on this company and have started the process by sending money for them to hold for my freeholder's charges so I would prefer to stay with them rather than hold things up. Is the 12 years mentioned not necessary then? She said they would be sending me the original of the new lease. Could it be worth my while digging my heels in?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you still there Ben? Have you seen my follow up question?
Yes still here. The 12 year period is recommended by the Law Society, but the 6 year period is mandatory. However, it could be part of their terms that it is 12 years and you may have agreed to that when you used their services, it is wroth checking. You have little to lose by trying to negotiate - they can always reduce or waive such fees if needed
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I haven't agreed to anything until I return this copy letter as I have not signed anything. It was interesting that the amount changed when I queried it, with the excuse that this will be a small file and therefore £20 instead of £40 per annum. Thank you I will whether I get a response to my further email this morning saying that I had never heard of this before. I don't want to hold things up. Perhaps they aren't bothered whether they have my business or not!
That may indeed be the case - the storage costs will not be much for them i the grand scheme of things, but perhaps they do not want to set a precedent by waiving them ad may keep them even at the expense of losing some business. the bot***** *****ne is - storage fees are legal and can be charged by solicitors and it is up to the individual firm if they charge these or waive them/reduce them. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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