Extortionate service charges - Freehold

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    Extortionate service charges - Freehold

    I bought a house three years ago and the already well know scandalous {name removed} are the service providers. The house is freehold but the covenant says I need to pay for service charges to this joke of a company.

    I have just received the prediction for this years charges and yet again they have given themselves a nice £2000 increase to their own 'management fees'.

    Can anyone tell me if this is 'the norm' or not as I plan on taking it to the first tier tribunal but want to know if its what all these disgusting rip off merchant companies charge or not.

    I have asked them time and time again for a breakdown of what these charges are for and why they are so expensive but they refuse to reply.

    As you can see their 'fees' equate to over 80% of the total bill which is disgusting! Similarly £3400 for 'accounts preparation fees'... so £3400 to stack a few invoices from gardeners together for the accountant!?!? WTF!?

    Any advice or views welcome.


    #2
    I hesitate to give advice because I think this needs a professional. My view is that it is b... Disgraceful with no apparent justification.
    I would look for someone giving free initial advice. At first sight, if you were not fully informed before you signed it might be considered an unfair contract. Presumably others have the same demands. Can you organise a meeting and decide collective action. Strength in numbers.

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      #3
      Hi,

      Make a complaint to your MP.

      Enter LKP in your search engine and send it to them, maybe they will feature your story or be able to put you in contact with others in a similar position.

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        #4
        Is there a provision in the lease for a management fee? I know there is a provision on my lease, which also says the management fee is at their discretion. The fact that they refuse tells you something. Rather than paying that monstrous sum, I would think hiring a solicitor to get the breakdown would be money well invested.

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          #5
          You can add monitoring services into their fees.

          If it were a flat, then £400 pa is a bargain, as a house, does that actually insure your house/building too, if so, is it so bad?

          Actually if there are 100 units [as you pay 1%] the reserve fund seems very low, personally I despise the idea of reserve funds, but if you have to have them, £7.50 each pa is pointless.

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            #6
            As the house is freehold there won't be a lease so in what format is the requirement for you to contribute made?

            What do your neighbours think?

            If there is a lease of some sort then you can take your issue to the Lands Tribunal (FTT) which may or may not resolve the issue, without a lease I'm not sure you have any redress.

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              #7
              From what I gather, if your house is not part of an Estate management scheme (EMS) you cannot challenge service charges at the First-tier Tribunal.

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