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  • FIRST POST
    • aMuseMe
    • By aMuseMe 4th Sep 17, 11:47 AM
    • 10Posts
    • 7Thanks
    aMuseMe
    Persimmon Greenbelt Management Charges on Freehold properties
    • #1
    • 4th Sep 17, 11:47 AM
    Persimmon Greenbelt Management Charges on Freehold properties 4th Sep 17 at 11:47 AM
    Morning all - just wondered if anyone here had any experience of having purchased a Persimmon freehold property, only to have to pay an annual management charge to a company called Greenbelt.

    We were given a heads up on the AMC which was supposed to only increase according to RPI - however the contracts seem to indicate that this might be only part of the charge, not all of it...
    Can anyone can clarify whether this is a leasehold by stealth from a legal perspective?

    Have any of you experienced Greenbelt land management (for the communal spaces), and if so, what are the costs like? We know that the current management costs are being covered by Persimmon at 135+VAT per year at present and whilst they're still building - but after that, we can't seem to get a straight answer , so any experience would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
Page 1
    • benevs
    • By benevs 4th Sep 17, 12:31 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    benevs
    • #2
    • 4th Sep 17, 12:31 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Sep 17, 12:31 PM
    Good question! I don't have the answer, but i'm currently buying a persimmon new build with estate management fees, so would like to know the answer to this.

    On the estate i'm buying on they have set up a separate limited company which all the residents are directors of
    • aMuseMe
    • By aMuseMe 4th Sep 17, 12:37 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    aMuseMe
    • #3
    • 4th Sep 17, 12:37 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Sep 17, 12:37 PM
    Good question! I don't have the answer, but i'm currently buying a persimmon new build with estate management fees, so would like to know the answer to this.

    On the estate i'm buying on they have set up a separate limited company which all the residents are directors of
    Originally posted by benevs
    That sounds a little more reassuring than our situation - at least you'll have some control over the work (and who does it/costs, etc.) - be interesting to see how they've dealt with this elsewhere too. Good luck with your house purchase
    • tim9966
    • By tim9966 4th Sep 17, 3:26 PM
    • 442 Posts
    • 181 Thanks
    tim9966
    • #4
    • 4th Sep 17, 3:26 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Sep 17, 3:26 PM
    We have Greenbelt on my Persimmon estate. I've only been here a few months but it's also 135 a year, and as far as I can see should only go up by inflation each year, so should be about 140 next year. I think the price is set on 1st October.


    It seems to have been sub contracted out to a local garden company, but they have been out cutting grass and planting shrubs. There are at least 2 of their vans out today that I can see.
    • alex_163163
    • By alex_163163 4th Sep 17, 3:35 PM
    • 231 Posts
    • 157 Thanks
    alex_163163
    • #5
    • 4th Sep 17, 3:35 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Sep 17, 3:35 PM
    I can't say for certain but from everything I've read, the management company could put up the charges despite the RPI. Put it this way, if a company have spent more than what they originally budgeted for worthy year, they aren't going to lose money so likely that prices would be increased for the following year.

    I was looking at a persimmon leasehold house earlier this year who used this company - I did some internet trawling and the reviews/ articles I found weren't very positive.

    It's not ao much leasehold by stealth, but charging fees and having an external company do the maintainence is the only way the would have got planning permission to build, as councils don't want to adopt the open spaces and pay to maintain them themselves.
    • aMuseMe
    • By aMuseMe 4th Sep 17, 4:40 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    aMuseMe
    • #6
    • 4th Sep 17, 4:40 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Sep 17, 4:40 PM
    Thanks Alex and Tim - we rather suspected that if there is an excess spend (let's say a collapsed drain/road resurface) which wasn't budgeted for, the costs would be passed on to the freeholders or leaseholders and that any 'cap' dissolves the following year when the costs are then recalculated (as you suggested Tim).

    I understand that part of the estate has been adopted under Section 38 of the Highways Act (the road we're on), but the other private roads/drains/sewers etc. are covered by the 'service charge' - I'm waiting to hear back from Persimmon for clarity on exactly what we would be liable for and what sort of cost might be reasonably expected, but not heard a word from them as yet... The uncertainty is making us very twitchy about the purchase, especially as we only plan to be there for two years or so.

    Has anyone had any experience with Greenbelt specifically? I think we would be less twitchy if the management company was a local one, but these guys are based in Scotland.
    • aMuseMe
    • By aMuseMe 4th Sep 17, 4:46 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    aMuseMe
    • #7
    • 4th Sep 17, 4:46 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Sep 17, 4:46 PM
    Thank you

    I was wondering how they coped with emergency issues (other than grounds maintenance) - have the roads on your estate been adopted under Section 38? Or are they all covered by the Greenbelt contract?
    • tim9966
    • By tim9966 5th Sep 17, 6:40 PM
    • 442 Posts
    • 181 Thanks
    tim9966
    • #8
    • 5th Sep 17, 6:40 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Sep 17, 6:40 PM
    As far as I know nothing has yet been adopted.


    The only thing the council do is empty our household bins. All verges and park land is covered by Greenbelts sub contractors.


    We haven't had any emergency issues yet. I'll also wait for see if the grit / salt the roads in the winter.
    • aMuseMe
    • By aMuseMe 6th Sep 17, 8:43 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    aMuseMe
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:43 AM
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:43 AM
    Thanks again Tim - we're under the impression that around half of the roads are adopted (including the one we're on), and although the fee (same as yours) will stay the same whilst Persimmon are still there - after that it's a bit of a lottery...

    We're 80/20 on pulling out at the moment as we're only planning to have the house for just over two years, and thinking of the potential resale issues if the price of the AMC increases rapidly...

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you in the winter!
    • Isha_s
    • By Isha_s 12th Feb 18, 1:57 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Isha_s
    Hi all,

    I had asked the sales.person of persimmons whether the service charge includes salting the roads in the winter.

    the sales person said no.

    Have others any experiences or issues in dealing with persimmons?

    any other information on how their houses are once you start living in it?

    Any increase in service charges?
    if yes how much was the increase and over how mamy years?
    Is there any work carried out by the management company ehich gets the service charges?

    I am looking for their new built freehold
    but don't want to have any surprise charges once I have bought a house with them

    Any information is welcome it will help me making a decision.

    Thank you all for your help.

    Isha
    • tim9966
    • By tim9966 12th Feb 18, 6:59 PM
    • 442 Posts
    • 181 Thanks
    tim9966
    So far it's been ok. I haven't been asked for the 135 for this year yet, but reading through my paperwork I'm not sure if I will need to pay it this year as the site hasn't been fully finished.


    When it snowed back in December a JCB did come up and cleared all the roads, which I assume was just one of the workman doing it, but the roads haven't been salted.
    • muckles
    • By muckles 13th Feb 18, 1:40 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    muckles
    I pulled out of the purchase of a Redrow house a couple of years ago when my solicitor pointed out that Greenbelt could do as follows:
    -increase their charges at will
    -leave me with no right of challenge if they failed to do the work on the estate
    -have an unending monopoly over the provision of estate management on my estate
    -charge me for the certificate of compliance regarding estate fees if I sold my property.
    -charge my buyers solicitors similarly and with no limit set on such fees
    -halt my sale of the property if I failed to pay all their charges
    Also Greenbelt did not provide for, (in my title deeds ) any provision for succession. This would have caused me serious problems selling if Greenbelt ceased trading for any reason.
    I had a huge emotional investment in the property and did not discover the above until we received the final title documents shortly before exchange. Thereafter the many questions my solicitor raised went unanswered for a time as the vendors' head solicitor was 'on holiday'.
    • gagahouse
    • By gagahouse 15th Feb 18, 11:41 AM
    • 348 Posts
    • 580 Thanks
    gagahouse
    I pulled out of the purchase of a Redrow house a couple of years ago when my solicitor pointed out that Greenbelt could do as follows:
    -increase their charges at will
    -leave me with no right of challenge if they failed to do the work on the estate
    -have an unending monopoly over the provision of estate management on my estate
    -charge me for the certificate of compliance regarding estate fees if I sold my property.
    -charge my buyers solicitors similarly and with no limit set on such fees
    -halt my sale of the property if I failed to pay all their charges
    Also Greenbelt did not provide for, (in my title deeds ) any provision for succession. This would have caused me serious problems selling if Greenbelt ceased trading for any reason.
    I had a huge emotional investment in the property and did not discover the above until we received the final title documents shortly before exchange. Thereafter the many questions my solicitor raised went unanswered for a time as the vendors' head solicitor was 'on holiday'.
    Originally posted by muckles
    Had a similar experience myself when looking at a 5 year new build with a monopoly management agent. What was even worse than your situation is that you would be forced to become a director of the management company, face all its liabilities but have absolutely no say over the running , management and charges of the 'company' you supposedly 'own' nor any share of the profit.Furthermore, you had to enter into a Deed of Covenant with the management company on your property, effectively collaterising their receivables with your asset.

    They could borrow a load of money and do a bunk and the howeowners would be left with the liability secured on their house!

    Needless to say I told the agent and vendor you'd have to be mentally deficient or completely ignorant to enter into such an asymmetrical relationship with all the downside and none of the upside.
    • mailmannz
    • By mailmannz 15th Feb 18, 12:53 PM
    • 290 Posts
    • 177 Thanks
    mailmannz
    Its interesting that they make the residents directors of their estate.


    I would check this very carefully for the simple reason that you could, as a residential director, appoint different agents to run the estate if you saw fit.


    We had this exact issue on a new build estate we brought on a few years ago. The estate agents were pants, not delivering any services and charging through the nose for everything with the final straw being some houses on the estate getting several thousand pound service charge demands while others got refunds because they screwed up the finances!


    In the end the residents took over and appointed new estate agents who have been awesome since taking over! The estate is clear and tidy and looks cared for and people are actually getting a service AND their charges have come down!


    And therein lies another issue service charges only ever go in one direction AND they are never ending! You pay your council taxes so why aren't they maintaining the green areas in these new estates!!!
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