Event Fees - Nova News Editorial May 2016

Event fees are something that we as members of the general public may well never have heard of. Indeed many agents in the region haven’t come across them either. At the conference I attended back in March there were less than 5 per cent of the agents who were familiar with them.

This suggests that they are not common in our area and I have certainly not come across them. It is important, however, that you should be aware of the possibility of them being levied on a property which you may be considering purchasing. So, what are they, you ask?

Briefly an event fee is, generally, found in a Leasehold retirement property, specialist housing for older people, and their existence may be lost in the “small print” within a contract or other legal paperwork. They can also be referred to as “contingency fees” “selling service fees” or “transfer fees” An event fee is triggered by certain actions occurring during the ownership or occupancy of a leasehold property. This may be as a result of transfer of title, by the subletting of the property to a third party or a change of occupancy, even if another party moves in with you.

The fees tended to be introduced by the developers and represent a percentage charge on the resale price of a property. This can be as much as 30% of the value of the property on resale or can be a percentage of the value (usually one per cent) per annum over the period of ownership and generally capped at a maximum figure. More generally they are set at around 1% of the selling price of the home. These fees will be used to help developers fund future maintenance of the site and long term capital expenditure on the development. The fees should not be confused with the monthly or quarterly fees payable on these properties for the likes of grounds maintenance, on site warden, heating and lighting of common parts and property insurance.

If you are considering buying a home in a complex designed specifically for older residents you should enquire of the developer, landlord or managing agent whether any such additional charge may be payable on the property in due course, whether it be at the time of selling, renting or indeed inheritance. If you want to find out more about them there is a lot of information available on the Internet.

Andrew Mason

Call me on 07507 928008. You can also follow me on twitter @Andyvalues1551.