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  • FIRST POST
    • Aplily
    • By Aplily 1st Dec 17, 12:31 PM
    • 9Posts
    • 3Thanks
    Aplily
    Freeholder won't provide breakdown of costs
    • #1
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:31 PM
    Freeholder won't provide breakdown of costs 1st Dec 17 at 12:31 PM
    Hi everyone
    I need a bit of advice regarding the charges from our freeholder.
    We always pay a set amount of £133.03 every 6 months; this includes the insurance and the ground rent. However, I've just received the bill for the following 6 months and it is £450. I have asked for a breakdown of costs as they had told me the increase is for "account of services and anticipated expenditure". The freeholder will not give me a breakdown of costs until I pay the full amount, are they able to do this? I just want to know where the money is going as they do not carry out repairs or maintenance to the building (my husband and I do all of this).
    Any advice would be very much appreciated as I feel that the increase is far too high, especially considering they won't tell me what the extra charges are for.
    Thanks in advance
Page 1
    • JoJo1978
    • By JoJo1978 1st Dec 17, 3:01 PM
    • 181 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    JoJo1978
    • #2
    • 1st Dec 17, 3:01 PM
    • #2
    • 1st Dec 17, 3:01 PM
    Check the terms of your lease, where there should be clauses on cost increases. It may be that you have agreed to increases of this nature, in which case you will be reliant on goodwiil of FH to tell you.
    Hamster in the wheel (London) 1999-2017
    Mortgage free since 2015; Pension pot sorted 2017
    Second career (what TBD!) 2018
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 1st Dec 17, 3:40 PM
    • 5,551 Posts
    • 5,233 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #3
    • 1st Dec 17, 3:40 PM
    • #3
    • 1st Dec 17, 3:40 PM
    Check the terms of your lease, where there should be clauses on cost increases. It may be that you have agreed to increases of this nature, in which case you will be reliant on goodwiil of FH to tell you.
    Originally posted by JoJo1978
    It's not possible to specify Service Charges in the lease - they are variable, and it would be impossible to predict what they might be over the life of a lease.

    However, the ground rent will be specified in the lease.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 1st Dec 17, 4:12 PM
    • 42,330 Posts
    • 49,180 Thanks
    G_M
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 17, 4:12 PM
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 17, 4:12 PM
    as above, but leaseholders are entitled to see the annual accounts. See also

    What should a summary of the service charge account under Section 21 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 contain?

    My landlord has failed to provide a summary of the service charge account or allow access to inspect supporting documents in accordance with Sections 21 and 22 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. What can I do now?

    How can I find out what my service charge is being used for?

    My service charge has been consistent for some time, is it fixed?
    • Aplily
    • By Aplily 8th Dec 17, 10:03 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Aplily
    • #5
    • 8th Dec 17, 10:03 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Dec 17, 10:03 AM
    Thank you for your help everyone. I've finally got a reason for the costs, they are charging £316 for their time in obtaining a quote for the buildings insurance. This doesn't seem fair at all as there are 2 leasehold flats that will be paying this amount each. Is there anything I can do as it seems unfair that they can just make up a number to pay for their 'time' (I wouldn't mind paying a little bit for their time but over £300 seems so ridiculous especially considering we only have the one buildings insurance and nothing else). Thanks in advance
    • Aplily
    • By Aplily 8th Dec 17, 10:05 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Aplily
    • #6
    • 8th Dec 17, 10:05 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Dec 17, 10:05 AM
    I forgot to mention that the name on the email is different to my freeholder (it's the same email address but a different name has come through on it, so I'm thinking it's the daughter or something)
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 8th Dec 17, 10:50 AM
    • 5,551 Posts
    • 5,233 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #7
    • 8th Dec 17, 10:50 AM
    • #7
    • 8th Dec 17, 10:50 AM
    I've finally got a reason for the costs, they are charging £316 for their time in obtaining a quote for the buildings insurance. This doesn't seem fair at all as there are 2 leasehold flats that will be paying this amount each.
    Originally posted by Aplily
    Is that exactly what they said?

    As opposed to "It's an annual fee for managing the building, including doing things like arranging insurance".

    Either way, the law says the fee must be 'reasonable'.

    A £632 fee for arranging an insurance policy is almost certainly not reasonable.

    A £632 annual fee for managing the building might be reasonable.

    If you pay, put it in writing that it is 'under protest'.

    And maybe discuss it with LEASE : https://clients.lease-advice.org/appointments.aspx
    • Carrot007
    • By Carrot007 8th Dec 17, 11:01 AM
    • 758 Posts
    • 621 Thanks
    Carrot007
    • #8
    • 8th Dec 17, 11:01 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Dec 17, 11:01 AM
    So if is took say 18 hours. Which is way too much time! Then that is around £20 an hour. Which is IMO (depending on the area) OTT for such an activity.
    • Aplily
    • By Aplily 8th Dec 17, 11:05 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Aplily
    • #9
    • 8th Dec 17, 11:05 AM
    • #9
    • 8th Dec 17, 11:05 AM
    Thank you, I have a telephone appointment on monday with LEASE. Yes that's the reason I was given, the payments are every 6 months so if they were to ask for the same amount again in June then that would mean the charges are £1264 per annum for both flats which seems so high. I have not ever met the freeholders nor seen anyone that has come to do maintenance on the building, we have been fixing problems ourselves but it might be an idea to pass it on to them seeing as the bill is so high. Thank you for your help
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 8th Dec 17, 11:12 AM
    • 5,551 Posts
    • 5,233 Thanks
    eddddy
    we have been fixing problems ourselves but it might be an idea to pass it on to them seeing as the bill is so high.
    Originally posted by Aplily
    Yes - they might say that they have been available to get problems fixed, but you have never reported them.

    When you say fixing problems yourselves - do you literally mean DIY (you climbing up ladders etc)?

    If you report it to the freeholders, they're likely to instruct tradesmen and pass the cost on to you.

    Similarly, if you're using a 'cheap' local handyman, they might use a more expensive building firm, and again pass the cost on to you.
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