Hut Questions and Answers
Do you have any questions about owning a hut or the association?
All the common questions should be answered below, but if we've missed something contact us and we'll get back to you with an answer.
How do I become a member and join the Southend Beach Hut Owners Association?
If you are a Hut Owner in the Southend Area go to the "Documents" page and download a Membership Form. Full details appear on the form. The cost is £20 for a three year period which commenced on 1st April 2018 and runs to 31st March 2021.
I am thinking of selling my hut, do you have a list of potential buyers?
Yes, please see our Huts for Sale page. Huts are also often on the books of local estate agents.
I wish to purchase a hut, how do I get my name on the SBHOA prospective purchaser register?
We suggest you walk along the huts to decide if you want a hut on the beach, stilts or the prom by Uncle Toms.
Note the number range of the huts you would be interested in purchasing and contact us.
Someone from SBHOA will then contact you and advise if there are sellers on the register that meet your criteria, if not your details will be added to the register.
If I buy a beach hut will I own the whole property?
You'll own the structure & contents, but the ground it stands on belongs to the Council and is held on a leasehold basis by the hut owner in return for an annual ground rent.
Can I buy a car park season ticket?
Yes. you can buy a 'seafront only' season ticket from the council that currently allows you to park in all council car-parks and spaces along the Thorpe Bay / Shoeburyness seafront.
You will need to contact the council directly to arrange, there are only a limited number for regular beach users available from April 1st annually.
How long does the lease last on the ground my hut sits on?
All hut leases at Thorpe Bay & Shoebury Common ran out on 31/12/14 and continue to roll forward as the position on flood defences and village green has evolved. The Council have stated their intention to issue new leases for a duration of 7 years.. This period is a technicality to avoid the need to register the lease with HM Land Registry which we would have to if it was for any longer.
How much will the annual ground rent be for my hut?
This varies depending on the size of the hut and whereabouts it is. There are 4 charge bands, the most expensive being from the yacht club to St Augustines Ave. Next is from St Augustines Ave to Lynton Rd & from the yacht club to Maplin Way. The huts on the promenade at Shoebury Common up to the Ness Rd slipway are third , and the cheapest ones are those round the corner without a sea view. The prices range from around £250 to £650 per annum and these prices may well rise with the new leases. Ground rent is due annually from 1st January, and you can opt to pay by Direct Debit in 4 quarterly installments.
Will I have to pay any other charges besides ground rent?
Yes, beach huts are subject to Rates, National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR). They run from April to March annually and you can opt to pay in two 6-monthly installments. Each hut is individually rated so the amount depends on the size & location like the rent does. Because the rate is non domestic, you can claim Small Business Rate Relief as long as you're not doing so on another propery. The saving is around 50% so it's worthwhile and all you need do is submit an application to the Council on a very simple form.
How do I find a buyer for my hut?
The SBHOA runs a free service to put prospective Buyers in touch with Sellers. It has proved very successful. Contact David Thomas on 01702-511109 for details. You can also put a For Sale sign on your hut. You can use the services of a local estate agent if you wish, but make sure you establish what their charges are. These can be as much as £1200 with the VAT.
What if I want to sell my hut?
First you have to find a buyer. Then you must give their details to the Council & request their consent to "assign" the lease to them. Their consent is obligatory. A signed Agreement of Sale is then normal, setting out responsibilities for rent, rates etc. Then the lease is transferred to the Buyer via a "Deed of Assignment". This can be done via a Solicitor, or by someone who is familiar with the procedure. Finally the Council must be formally advised that the transfer has taken place, and their administration fee (currently £25) paid so they can update their records.
Is there any Land Registry involvement in selling / buying a hut?
In theory there is if the existing lease was registered with them. They should be advised using a special set of their forms, including a form TR1 instead of a "Deed of "Assignment". There is a charge, and a Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer needs to be involved. But as all of the current leases expire 31/12/14 & the replacements will not require registration, many hut Purchasers decide it is not worth involving LR for the short time remaining.
Can I insure my beach hut?
There aren't many insurance companies who offer cover for Beach huts but there are some. The SBHOA currently recommends a company called Ryans.
How do I report rough sleepers on the beach?
Rarely people may sleep rough on the beach, if you discover someone you can be put a report in to StreetLink. StreetLink enables the correct support services to be notified quickly and outreach to be arranged with the individual to follow up on their situation/needs. The website is https://www.streetlink.org.uk/
Any further questions?
Contact us and we'll add more questions and answers here!