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    • futuresbright
    • By futuresbright 4th Sep 17, 6:58 PM
    • 72Posts
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    futuresbright
    Management pack - First I've heard of it?
    • #1
    • 4th Sep 17, 6:58 PM
    Management pack - First I've heard of it? 4th Sep 17 at 6:58 PM
    I moved into a freehold new build property about 4 years ago, we were told a management company would be taking care of all grass cutting and maintenance of public areas at a cost of approx £120 per year, we were never given a contract to sign, we just accepted this and got on with living in our new home.

    One of our neighbours has just moved house and has told us at her surprise when the management company has invoiced her for the following:
    £340 for a management pack.
    £144 for names to be removed and added to their records.
    £150 in case of shortfall at end of year, this may be refunded if no shortfall.

    My neighbour was not far off completion and didn't want the sale to fall through so didn't really question this and paid it.

    I have contacted the management company and the house builder asking where these fees were documented when I purchased my house, I'm still awaiting a reply from management company and the house builder have said that it should have been on the disc I was given from my solicitor (it is not on there) but they also feel the fees are excessive and they are unsure and are taking advice from their legal dept.

    Has anyone else had to pay for a management pack in these circumstances?
    Surely if myself or any of my neighbours have not been told of these fees when buying they cannot introduce them without notice?
    My worry is that if it is not sorted now then if in 5 or 10 years we decide to move the fees could have risen further?

    Thanks in advance.
Page 2
    • economic
    • By economic 5th Sep 17, 10:25 PM
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    economic
    £106 when we moved in , it's £120 now. That part I don't have a issue with, I'm concerned they seem to be able to put up their fees without consultation, could they do the same with their management pack over the years?
    Originally posted by futuresbright
    they could charge anything. unless there are reforms. if you want to sell you will have to pay up. they dont even have to give the information, but they would be stupid not to as they can make easy money from you by chargig you for it.
    • ThePants999
    • By ThePants999 5th Sep 17, 11:36 PM
    • 863 Posts
    • 1,008 Thanks
    ThePants999
    On further inspection of my covenants there is no mention whatsoever of any fees to be paid or management pack to be produced?
    Originally posted by futuresbright
    Then I'd be asking them on what basis they think you owe them anything! And I mean the service charge, not just the management pack!
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 6th Sep 17, 1:20 AM
    • 1,075 Posts
    • 1,186 Thanks
    NeilCr
    [
    £106 when we moved in , it's £120 now. That part I don't have a issue with, I'm concerned they seem to be able to put up their fees without consultation, could they do the same with their management pack over the years?
    Originally posted by futuresbright
    Aah okay. Your 2014 and 2016 figures in the previous post appear to show a drop in service charges over the two years.

    As economic indicates my understanding is that charges for management packs are unregulated.

    If all the properties are sold is there any interest from the builder in handing over to you all the freehold of the estate (I assume they still own it)?. We own ours and it gives you far more control
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 6th Sep 17, 7:00 AM
    • 13,938 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    At the time you bought your property was the development complete? Councils no longer adopt open areas and often not even roads. All down to the residents.
    Originally posted by Thrugelmir
    I think that needs amending to "some" Councils no longer adopt etc.

    I'm sure some Councils still continue as per normal and accept their normal responsibilities. I've never heard of that sort of malarkey going on in new-builds in my home area - so I guess it's down to what part of the country one is in.
    #MeToo

    Why should our needs override the needs of all other living species? What makes us so special? (Brigit Strawbridge)
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 6th Sep 17, 7:03 AM
    • 13,938 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Just don't tell the management company you're selling. Just keep your service charge statements. My management co got wind of my sale towards the end of the process and demanded silly amounts like you've seen so me and my solicitor just ignored them. The sale went through no problem.
    Originally posted by Car1980
    As OP has now found there is nothing in writing compelling them to pay these charges - then I'd do exactly the same as you've done, ie not tell them (as it's none of their business) and, if they found out say:

    "No-one asked me for my agreement to this (there wasn't a mention of it) when I bought the house and there's nothing in writing saying you can legally do this - so I didnt agree and you can't. End of...."

    I'd cover backsides by checking they can't enforce this unagreed-charge on my buyer either - so I could tell would-be buyers they were quite safe from it. If I got the wrong answer back (ie that they could manage to put this non-existent officially speaking charge on my buyer - well an amount like that isn't going to put someone off buying a house...).

    I'd be very interested to see what happens if a group of home-owners got together legally and fought back against a charge they'd never agreed to/isnt mentioned anywhere in writing and therefore honestly/legally cannot possibly exist. Verbal stuff of someone just trying to tell you to do something cant possibly carry any legal weight and they'd be able to stick a penalty on you legally for not paying a charge like that. Worth contacting a decent solicitor for their view on this.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 06-09-2017 at 7:09 AM.
    #MeToo

    Why should our needs override the needs of all other living species? What makes us so special? (Brigit Strawbridge)
    • aMuseMe
    • By aMuseMe 6th Sep 17, 9:22 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    aMuseMe
    We're just about to buy a property (from Persimmon) with a similar set up (although 80/20 on pulling out at mo) - we're concerned about the costs increasing year on year, and the 'hidden fees'. The reason a lot of the new build companies give your solicitor all the details on a disk, is so that it's easier to miss stuff.

    I noticed in our TP1 that two of the clauses regarding future adoption of the private roads were essentially mutually exclusive - solicitor had missed it entirely - when I challenged Persimmon, they agreed that I was correct and deleted the most damning of the two. This is the sort of shark-like nonsense to expect from new build scenarios as the practices are largely unregulated when you're a freeholder paying AMC.

    That said, the management pack charge you mention would be standard in a leasehold scenario - and there isn't much you can do about capping/avoiding paying - if a leasehold is in place - other than the protection offered through tribunal under the Leasehold Acts. As a freeholder, you have none of the same protections.

    Are you happy to name the builder/management company? I'm going to assume that it's likely to be Persimmon and Greenbelt as it seems entirely their MO, but could equally be Barratt who've had a slew of similar issues. I think it's likely that this will be the next 'leasehold/mis-selling' scandal...
    • futuresbright
    • By futuresbright 6th Sep 17, 9:38 AM
    • 72 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    futuresbright
    As OP has now found there is nothing in writing compelling them to pay these charges - then I'd do exactly the same as you've done, ie not tell them (as it's none of their business) and, if they found out say:

    "No-one asked me for my agreement to this (there wasn't a mention of it) when I bought the house and there's nothing in writing saying you can legally do this - so I didnt agree and you can't. End of...."

    I'd cover backsides by checking they can't enforce this unagreed-charge on my buyer either - so I could tell would-be buyers they were quite safe from it. If I got the wrong answer back (ie that they could manage to put this non-existent officially speaking charge on my buyer - well an amount like that isn't going to put someone off buying a house...).

    I'd be very interested to see what happens if a group of home-owners got together legally and fought back against a charge they'd never agreed to/isnt mentioned anywhere in writing and therefore honestly/legally cannot possibly exist. Verbal stuff of someone just trying to tell you to do something cant possibly carry any legal weight and they'd be able to stick a penalty on you legally for not paying a charge like that. Worth contacting a decent solicitor for their view on this.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    These are my views exactly but it seems the new buyers solicitor requests these packs so unfortunatly it cant be dismissed.

    Im going to see my solicitor this morning to see if they can shed any light on the situation.
    • futuresbright
    • By futuresbright 6th Sep 17, 9:43 AM
    • 72 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    futuresbright
    Are you happy to name the builder/management company? I'm going to assume that it's likely to be Persimmon and Greenbelt as it seems entirely their MO, but could equally be Barratt who've had a slew of similar issues. I think it's likely that this will be the next 'leasehold/mis-selling' scandal...
    Originally posted by aMuseMe
    I intentionally havent named either party as i would like to pursue this further, I spoke to a few of my neighbours last night and they are not happy either.
    • aMuseMe
    • By aMuseMe 6th Sep 17, 10:02 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    aMuseMe
    That's fair enough - can completely understand that.

    You may find the BannerBrook residents group useful - I can't post the link as I'm a 'new' user!
    Also search - Advice Notice - freeholders Rounce and Evans - really useful document citing your rights (or lack of) - I gave it to my solicitor yesterday.

    Good luck at solicitors!
    • x-caitlin-x
    • By x-caitlin-x 6th Sep 17, 12:38 PM
    • 237 Posts
    • 205 Thanks
    x-caitlin-x
    As OP has now found there is nothing in writing compelling them to pay these charges - then I'd do exactly the same as you've done, ie not tell them (as it's none of their business) and, if they found out say:

    "No-one asked me for my agreement to this (there wasn't a mention of it) when I bought the house and there's nothing in writing saying you can legally do this - so I didnt agree and you can't. End of...."
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Presumably, in that case, the management company would simply reply: "Thanks for letting us know. If you don't want to purchase the management pack from us, that's fine." You'd then go back to the buyer and tell them that you're not providing the management pack that they requested. Their solicitor would probably then advise them to pull out of the sale.
    • futuresbright
    • By futuresbright 6th Sep 17, 12:52 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    futuresbright
    Presumably, in that case, the management company would simply reply: "Thanks for letting us know. If you don't want to purchase the management pack from us, that's fine." You'd then go back to the buyer and tell them that you're not providing the management pack that they requested. Their solicitor would probably then advise them to pull out of the sale.
    Originally posted by x-caitlin-x
    That's exactly what seems to be happening, the first thing the seller knows about these fees is when they are near completion and obviously don't want to rock the boat and lose the sale so the fees are paid.

    I'm not thinking if moving just yet so would like answers before I start the process and need to know their plans and fees for the coming years.

    I have also heard it mentioned that the management company is owned and run by the house builder, this is unsubstantiated but would be very interesting if found out to be true.
    • economic
    • By economic 6th Sep 17, 1:17 PM
    • 1,881 Posts
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    economic
    That's exactly what seems to be happening, the first thing the seller knows about these fees is when they are near completion and obviously don't want to rock the boat and lose the sale so the fees are paid.

    I'm not thinking if moving just yet so would like answers before I start the process and need to know their plans and fees for the coming years.

    I have also heard it mentioned that the management company is owned and run by the house builder, this is unsubstantiated but would be very interesting if found out to be true.
    Originally posted by futuresbright
    you are very likely wasting your time with all this. did you understand what i wrote in my posts?

    management company being run by the house builder - nothing wrong with that and would be surprised if in any way this was illegal.

    the fact is the system is not fair for people like you. but there is nothing you can do about. either suck up to the fees when you sell or be stuck with your home! or even wait for stricter regulation in favour of people like you (but you maybe waiting a very long time!)
    • futuresbright
    • By futuresbright 6th Sep 17, 2:35 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    futuresbright
    you are very likely wasting your time with all this. did you understand what i wrote in my posts?

    management company being run by the house builder - nothing wrong with that and would be surprised if in any way this was illegal.

    the fact is the system is not fair for people like you. but there is nothing you can do about. either suck up to the fees when you sell or be stuck with your home! or even wait for stricter regulation in favour of people like you (but you maybe waiting a very long time!)
    Originally posted by economic
    If things aren't challenged we will get ripped off more and more as time goes on, I might well be wasting my time but all I'm asking is a bit of documentation to back things up.

    I didn't say there was anything illegal about them being one and the same, obviously a nationwide house builder would be far smarter than to do anything illegal but for the house builders company solicitor to claim it's nothing to do with them and say they know nothing about it doesn't ring true somehow.

    One possibility would be to set up a residents committee instead of having a management company so we can cut our own grass, weed our flower beds, pay our insurance and produce our own management packs and not be ripped off by these company's.
    • economic
    • By economic 6th Sep 17, 2:51 PM
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    • 1,029 Thanks
    economic
    If things aren't challenged we will get ripped off more and more as time goes on, I might well be wasting my time but all I'm asking is a bit of documentation to back things up.

    I didn't say there was anything illegal about them being one and the same, obviously a nationwide house builder would be far smarter than to do anything illegal but for the house builders company solicitor to claim it's nothing to do with them and say they know nothing about it doesn't ring true somehow.

    One possibility would be to set up a residents committee instead of having a management company so we can cut our own grass, weed our flower beds, pay our insurance and produce our own management packs and not be ripped off by these company's.
    Originally posted by futuresbright
    if you have enough leaseholders then you could try right to manage. or even better to buy the freehold via collective enfranchisement (but this will cost a lot more).
    • futuresbright
    • By futuresbright 6th Sep 17, 3:11 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    futuresbright
    if you have enough leaseholders then you could try right to manage. or even better to buy the freehold via collective enfranchisement (but this will cost a lot more).
    Originally posted by economic
    Many thanks for your replies, got a few neighbours onboard so will see what's possible.
    • mailmannz
    • By mailmannz 6th Sep 17, 3:40 PM
    • 236 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    mailmannz
    Who is your management company?


    We had RMG in our site for a few years and the words, coy and boys couldn't be more apt for these scum!


    In the end we ended up taking over from them as we became too much hard work for them to manage (fancy that, expecting a service for the money they were charging us!!).


    When we went through the charges they were passing on to is we had things like £1,200 a year for cleaning 7 windows once a month and so on!!!


    So perhaps there is scope here for you guys to take over yourselves eh?


    Happy to talk off line with you about this.


    Regards


    Mailman
    • futuresbright
    • By futuresbright 6th Sep 17, 3:50 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    futuresbright
    Who is your management company?


    We had RMG in our site for a few years and the words, coy and boys couldn't be more apt for these scum!


    In the end we ended up taking over from them as we became too much hard work for them to manage (fancy that, expecting a service for the money they were charging us!!).


    When we went through the charges they were passing on to is we had things like £1,200 a year for cleaning 7 windows once a month and so on!!!


    So perhaps there is scope here for you guys to take over yourselves eh?


    Happy to talk off line with you about this.


    Regards


    Mailman
    Originally posted by mailmannz
    Not going to name and shame them publicly just yet, it has been a struggle to get them to do what they are paid to do but a new company has been set on to cut the grass etc and they do seem to be better.
    My issues are with management company, hopefully we can get rid of them and do it among ourselves.
    Will drop you a PM if needed once we get the ball rolling, thankyou.
    • ThePants999
    • By ThePants999 6th Sep 17, 6:13 PM
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    ThePants999
    or even better to buy the freehold via collective enfranchisement (but this will cost a lot more).
    Originally posted by economic
    Looks like you've missed the fact that they ALREADY own the freehold. There's no lease involved here. And apparently there's no covenants requiring them to pay service charges either. Looks like this management company have been having a whale of a time collecting money they're not actually owed for doing a job they're not actually required to do!
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 6th Sep 17, 6:15 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Am I the only one that finds it more than a little coincidental that the timing of this charge you never agreed to/isnt down anywhere in writing is = when you're on the verge of selling.

    Hence I'm wondering if they pull this stunt deliberately at just the point at which someone thinks "Agh - mustnt do anything to jeopardise my sale I'm on the point of" and "Why do anything to rock the boat now and set up our own committee - I'm going to be gone soon personally" and hence they get away with it

    Sounds like they are deliberately using a would-be buyers' solicitors requests for a "management pack" against vendors doing anything other than cough up for a basically non-existent charge.
    #MeToo

    Why should our needs override the needs of all other living species? What makes us so special? (Brigit Strawbridge)
    • futuresbright
    • By futuresbright 6th Sep 17, 6:32 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    futuresbright
    Am I the only one that finds it more than a little coincidental that the timing of this charge you never agreed to/isnt down anywhere in writing is = when you're on the verge of selling.

    Hence I'm wondering if they pull this stunt deliberately at just the point at which someone thinks "Agh - mustnt do anything to jeopardise my sale I'm on the point of" and "Why do anything to rock the boat now and set up our own committee - I'm going to be gone soon personally" and hence they get away with it

    Sounds like they are deliberately using a would-be buyers' solicitors requests for a "management pack" against vendors doing anything other than cough up for a basically non-existent charge.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Went and knocked on the door of a neighbour last night who has just had sold sign put in her garden, again they knew nothing of the fees and at first said "no chance, won't be paying it" then they realised if they don't it will jeopardise the sale, they are going to keep me informed on future developments.

    I know a few on here have told me it's quite normal but unless you are in that line of business or it's happened to them it seems nobody knows anything about it.

    Day 3 of waiting for comment from management company has passed
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