Can I charge the management company for managing the communal bins?

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    Can I charge the management company for managing the communal bins?

    I am a owner-occupant of a small building of flats, of which most other flats are tenanted.I take out the communal bins because no one else will do it. If I'm away, the rubbish piles up and flows into the bin area. I've tried putting up a sign in the hallway reminding to take out the bins on the designated days but come collection day, the bins are not out. I don't think it's fair that I have to take on this task every week for the benefit of the occupants and I don't want the hassle of having to manage them to a roster-it simply won't work.

    I've emailed the flatowners who are members of the management company of the problem and no one has responded. My leasehold says the management company is responsible for cleaning the communal areas and there's nothing to say that I, as a lessee, have to take out the bins for collection.

    I'm thinking of charging the management company for managing the communal bins. I'll invoice the company and then offset it against my annual service charge. Can I do this?


    #2
    I do not think that you can make any charge without an agreement.

    What you can do is complain to the managing agent that it is its responsibility to ensure that bins are put out on collection day and point out that they are not being put out.

    You can offer to do it at a price to be agreed or you can ask the managing agent to make alternative arrangements.

    Comment


      #3
      I assumed that there was a managing agent, if not, you should reed "management company" for managing agent.

      Comment


        #4
        I have great sympathy with your situation, but I don't see how you can invoice them without their entering into a contract for the work, and I don't think many leases would require or even allow them to enter into such a contract.

        It is likely, like me, that you have been forced to a situation where there are communal bins, and the council will only collect them from the property boundary, but have a lease which assumes a bin per leaseholder, and that the council will do all the moving.

        Generally, if residents do this sort of thing, they are expected to do it free of charge. If the management company arranges, it there will be a non-trivial hike on the service charge, because they will need to employ agency staff to put them out, and, presumably, put them back, and those staff will have to attend in a relatively narrow time slot. Doing so could put them at risk of having the service charge challenged.

        It does seem that this is one of the many duties that the few remaining owner occupiers end up having to take on in generation rent.

        Maybe some of the more responsible landlords, here, can explain how they get their tenants to act as responsible flat dweller, but typical landlords don't care.

        It might be useful to quote the clause from your lease regarding the management of refuse bins.

        Incidentally, the fire risk assessment may forbid private notices inside the communal areas, as paper can be used by children playing with matches.

        If you do accept money, you will need to notify HMRC of it. The management company will need to work out whether you are self employed, or employed. In the latter case, they will have to operate PAYE. In the former case they will probably need to ensure that you have adequate public liability insurance, as theirs will probably only cover employees and volunteers.

        Comment


          #5
          Does your lease say anywhere, "Not to cause annoyance" or similar.
          if so, you tell the Managing agent to sue (or whatever) the leaseholders responsible for causing the problem.

          Comment


            #6
            If there is a clause in the lease that makes the freeholder (the management company if they assume that role) responsible for keeping the communal areas tidy, you may be able to suggest to them that they give you a contract for doing this, and include management of the bins in the duties.

            You can't simply invoice them for looking after the bins when there is no agreement for you to be paid to do this.

            There are limited situations where leaseholders can offset money they have paid out against service charge demands, but this will be when the freeholder clearly has the responsibility of carrying out certain duties and has failed to fulfill their contractual obligations (and usually only after they have been informed that something needs doing and having been given sufficient time). Taking the bins out is highly unlikely to be included as one of these situations, especially since it doesn't involve the leaseholder incurring any cost.

            Comment


              #7
              It is up to the management company to establish regulations for the smooth running of the property and either it has not done so or people are not complying with them.
              It is the management company's responsibility to act.
              Yes, it can employ 3rd parties but that would be unreasonable if you have volunteered to put out and replace the bins at a lower price.
              If you are willing to accept a reduction in the level of your service charges, there is no need for anyone to inform HMRC.or operate PAYE and you would not be an employee of the management company.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
                If you are willing to accept a reduction in the level of your service charges, there is no need for anyone to inform HMRC.or operate PAYE and you would not be an employee of the management company.
                How would you envisage this sort of arrangement working?

                Any payment agreed for dealing with the bins would have to be shown on the service charge accounts and the total bill for the year, including the 'bin fee', would have to be split between all leaseholders according to the lease.

                A leaseholder can't be charged a reduced amount because he provides a service, he needs to be paid as a contractor/employee and can then use his earnings towards his service charge.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Macromia View Post
                  How would you envisage this sort of arrangement working?

                  Any payment agreed for dealing with the bins would have to be shown on the service charge accounts and the total bill for the year, including the 'bin fee', would have to be split between all leaseholders according to the lease.

                  A leaseholder can't be charged a reduced amount because he provides a service, he needs to be paid as a contractor/employee and can then use his earnings towards his service charge.
                  It is a simple matter of crediting the leaseholder and charging expenditure, Unless the leaseholder receives monies, he has no obligation to declare it for tax purposes.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    A credit on the service charge is still a payment as far as HMRC will be concerned. Legally it would have to be decomposed into the full service charge plus a payment going the other way. It is basically a variation on a benefit in kind.

                    Failing to tell HMRC would be tax evasion.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                      A credit on the service charge is still a payment as far as HMRC will be concerned. Legally it would have to be decomposed into the full service charge plus a payment going the other way. It is basically a variation on a benefit in kind.

                      Failing to tell HMRC would be tax evasion.
                      Sorry but that is incorrect, The service charge would be the lower amount and it is nonsense to mention tax evasion.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The service charge is the amount specified in the lease.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The service charge is whatever is actually paid

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Just to add, I have no issues declaring the charges as income. I was suggesting to offset against my service charge to make it easier in terms of not receiving cheques and the person who controls the cheque book doesn't live in the building anymore.

                            Basically I'm looking for a way to force the hand of the company to take action. It's the second time I've complained about the bin situation and no one has come up with a solution.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The other problem you will have is that this will be the thin end of the wedge for tenants to pass on the costs of things that a reasonable tenant would do to the leaseholders. Putting out the bins is a chore that every householder is really expected to do, and the tenants will not see the financial implications of mollycoddling them. I assume these are not high end serviced flats, but just normal flats.

                              You might need to end up with this on the service charge (ignoring whether the lease allows that), but that would be a defeatist position.

                              To some extent this is a game of chicken. The person with the highest standards losses, and often they are the remaining owner occupier. You could try letting things go for a few weeks and see if the sub-tenants start dealing with the problem. As they have no formal relationship with the management company, if they don't take on the job, they will have to cry to their landlords, and I doubt the landlords will delegate the problem to the management company.

                              I don't have a magic bullet for getting landlords and their tenants to act responsibly, but, if you treat symptoms, you are never going to achieve that.

                              I imagine you are already having to pay some of the tenants' bulk waste disposal costs (i.e. fly tipping in the grounds).

                              Unfortunately none of the landlords who have so far replied seem to have offered solutions to the root problem.

                              Comment

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