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    • Stevelondon2017
    • By Stevelondon2017 14th Jun 17, 3:19 PM
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    Stevelondon2017
    19000 for unknown service charge fees!
    • #1
    • 14th Jun 17, 3:19 PM
    19000 for unknown service charge fees! 14th Jun 17 at 3:19 PM
    I bought a freehold house last year in Essex. And the house comes with the garage separate to the house and under a coachhouse style flat. This garage is leasehold but has many years left on it. I have a parking space within a little forecourt which is also on the freehold lease.

    The estate is only eight years old and subject to a service agreement with the company that appears to be a complete Mickey Mouse outfit. I'm currently paying 175 every six months which I know isn't a lot, but when they are doing next to nothing it is. There is basically two small patches of grass that has a Gardner to attend it, there are two lights in the forecourt of my car park, and they provide mandatory insurance for the car park.

    The meaning for my question is that when they sent me a summary six months ago of what they spend the money on, the electricity for the lights, the insurance, the gardening maintenance, and all the little bits in between even including the end of year accounts all total to 8000. They have then added on an additional 19,000 and listed this as 'management fees'.

    I have sent them numerous emails and several phone calls with the promise of an answer into what this 19,000 goes to, and I either get ignored or the phone cut off on me. It doesn't seem right to me that they can charge almost triple what it actually costs them to maintain the estate as profit for their company. I know they will need to make some money to run the business, but triple!?!?

    Any advice, opinions or experiences please. Thank you.
Page 1
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 14th Jun 17, 3:30 PM
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    hazyjo
    • #2
    • 14th Jun 17, 3:30 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Jun 17, 3:30 PM
    I had a similar set up in Essex - but the estate was enormous. Are you sure it's just for the tiny area you mentioned? How many properties is that split between - 150-ish?
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    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 14th Jun 17, 3:36 PM
    • 10,335 Posts
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    hazyjo
    • #3
    • 14th Jun 17, 3:36 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Jun 17, 3:36 PM
    PS what I was getting at is that if there is around 150 properties, and a company said to you 'pay us 120-ish a year for us to invoice, collect monies, chase, sue if necessary those 150 properties rather than you all doing it amongst yourselves, you'd prob bite their arm off.


    Adds up to around the same, just seems a lot when lumped together.
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    • Stevelondon2017
    • By Stevelondon2017 14th Jun 17, 4:31 PM
    • 7 Posts
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    Stevelondon2017
    • #4
    • 14th Jun 17, 4:31 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Jun 17, 4:31 PM
    Yes I think there is about 100 properties in total
    • Stevelondon2017
    • By Stevelondon2017 14th Jun 17, 4:35 PM
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    Stevelondon2017
    • #5
    • 14th Jun 17, 4:35 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Jun 17, 4:35 PM
    But it's 240 per year and their service is shocking. How can they charge 3 tims what it costs to maintain? If they sue someone who don't pay they can be awarded expenses and costs so that's out. 120 I would agree, but not 20 per month. They don't even have to do anything as it's all direct debit.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 14th Jun 17, 4:41 PM
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    hazyjo
    • #6
    • 14th Jun 17, 4:41 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Jun 17, 4:41 PM
    But it's 240 per year and their service is shocking. How can they charge 3 tims what it costs to maintain? If they sue someone who don't pay they can be awarded expenses and costs so that's out. 120 I would agree, but not 20 per month. They don't even have to do anything as it's all direct debit.
    Originally posted by Stevelondon2017
    Meant the hassle of having to chase/sue someone. Yes 240 is a lot - I could only guess at home numbers. Maybe you can all get together and do it yourselves (I'd not fancy that) or get a quote from another company?
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    • dimbo61
    • By dimbo61 14th Jun 17, 4:50 PM
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    dimbo61
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 17, 4:50 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 17, 4:50 PM
    You can get together with the rest of the homeowners and apply to take over the management of the estate.
    However someone has then got the job of sorting the contractors to maintain the gardens, lighting, estate insurance etc.
    Holiday pay, sick pay, maternity pay, pension etc
    Maybe you fancy doing this for nothing ?
    Legal costs, long term maintenance issues
    • Stevelondon2017
    • By Stevelondon2017 14th Jun 17, 4:51 PM
    • 7 Posts
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    Stevelondon2017
    • #8
    • 14th Jun 17, 4:51 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Jun 17, 4:51 PM
    Will the reason for my thread is to see if it is the going rate to charge that much in 'fees' compared to what it actually costs them.
    • Stevelondon2017
    • By Stevelondon2017 14th Jun 17, 4:54 PM
    • 7 Posts
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    Stevelondon2017
    • #9
    • 14th Jun 17, 4:54 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Jun 17, 4:54 PM
    I get what you are saying but the grass is literally a 10 minute job it's that small. There is no more than 20 light fittings, it takes 30 seconds to change a lightbulb, all of the insurances and electricity bills for those lights will be direct debit. The sewers and water supplies and streetlighting have All been adopted by the local authority so that is literally all they do, replace a lightbulb once every couple of years, spend half an hour cutting the grass and trimming a bush and then sit back and let the other things come out on direct debit.
    • Rosemary7391
    • By Rosemary7391 14th Jun 17, 6:01 PM
    • 1,847 Posts
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    Rosemary7391
    Many small jobs will attract proportionally more in admin charges than a single large job. It can be a nightmare getting things arranged. I'd expect to see management broken down per property though - at least that's how ours are, for a block of flats. If I recall rightly, it's around 8 a month each just for the management, but there probably is more to do for a block of flats than an estate of houses.
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