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  • FIRST POST
    • DD1A
    • By DD1A 18th Oct 17, 4:09 PM
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    DD1A
    Chamonix Estate Management Contract with New Builds That do Nothing!
    • #1
    • 18th Oct 17, 4:09 PM
    Chamonix Estate Management Contract with New Builds That do Nothing! 18th Oct 17 at 4:09 PM
    not sure if this is posted in the correct area but please advise if not,

    Purchased a new build over 2nd half years ago which has a contract tied in with the purchase of the home which everyone has and pays towards their front flower beds to be maintained (which is not on our deeds) and the parking area which we all use.

    They have done less that 2 days work on our flower bed the whole time we have lived here, they spend all the time the days they are in our estate practically in their van doing no work. I have brought the matter to their attention a few times by email with photos of plants heavily overgrown in our bed and neighbours beds and also leaves gathering in car ports etc.

    I paid them for the first year but refused to pay anything after as i was asking questions about works not being carried out and so little was done the previous year and requested pricing to be looked into if it could be altered etc to compensate but I have never had a reasonable reply about the matters other than letters through the door demanding outstanding moneys and they will take legal action etc.
    I am not the only member who has this attitude either. The company hosted a meeting in the local village hall over half a year ago and quite a few of the residents of the area who attended wanted them not to manage the flower beds and lowered fees and complaining about little works done and feeling like we're being taken for a ride. they basically finished the meeting with they will find out info regarding the ownership of the front gardens, send us all write ups (minutes) of the meetings which i never received and keep us posted.

    I have heard nothing since receiving the letter the other day which was again a bill threatening to take action within 14 days if the outstanding is not paid.

    Can anyone offer any advice on this matter as we feel like we are summons by them to pay their high premium and they do virtually nothing and they can just get away with it!
    Many thanks
    Last edited by DD1A; 23-10-2017 at 11:34 PM.
Page 1
    • DD1A
    • By DD1A 19th Oct 17, 10:28 PM
    • 108 Posts
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    DD1A
    • #2
    • 19th Oct 17, 10:28 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Oct 17, 10:28 PM
    Have I posted this in the correct place?
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 19th Oct 17, 10:57 PM
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    Slithery
    • #3
    • 19th Oct 17, 10:57 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Oct 17, 10:57 PM
    Yes, but you'll probably have more answers if you edit your first post and add paragraphs. A lot of people won't bother reading posts made up of a wall of text.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 20th Oct 17, 6:23 AM
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    NeilCr
    • #4
    • 20th Oct 17, 6:23 AM
    • #4
    • 20th Oct 17, 6:23 AM
    Do you, as a group of residents, own the freehold of your estate or is there a a separate freeholder?

    Is your house freehold or leasehold?
    • Mickygg
    • By Mickygg 20th Oct 17, 7:58 AM
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    Mickygg
    • #5
    • 20th Oct 17, 7:58 AM
    • #5
    • 20th Oct 17, 7:58 AM
    I had a similar issue years ago. I was paying something like £15 a month for the management company to cut a bit of grass and do my front garden, which they only ever did once or twice over many years.
    I did also hold the payments back, but all this did was cause resentment and like you letters chasing the outstanding balance. I was literally getting no where. Then I got a letter saying they were doubling the fee.
    That was enough for me so I sold, and then vowed to never buy a house with management/resident/maintenance charges ever again.

    It is common paying charges and not much happening for the charges.

    How much are you talking about to put into context? For a small amount I wouldn't go to court, but grudgingly pay say half of what is owed and then in writing express your concern again saying you want the minutes and the actions from the meeting to be acted upon, once you have satisfactory responses you will happily pay over the remainder.

    Either that or get legal advice.
    • DD1A
    • By DD1A 20th Oct 17, 1:48 PM
    • 108 Posts
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    DD1A
    • #6
    • 20th Oct 17, 1:48 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Oct 17, 1:48 PM
    Do you, as a group of residents, own the freehold of your estate or is there a a separate freeholder?

    Is your house freehold or leasehold?
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    all properties are free hold im unsure about the parking area and our front gardens. when we had the meeting the estate management were saying that the land and highways do not technically belong or no one has taken ownership as of yet and waiting to be transferred or something.

    they should have sent us the minutes of the meeting and i would know exactly what was said but have not received anything since that meeting.
    Last edited by DD1A; 20-10-2017 at 2:01 PM.
    • DD1A
    • By DD1A 20th Oct 17, 1:52 PM
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    DD1A
    • #7
    • 20th Oct 17, 1:52 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Oct 17, 1:52 PM
    I had a similar issue years ago. I was paying something like £15 a month for the management company to cut a bit of grass and do my front garden, which they only ever did once or twice over many years.
    I did also hold the payments back, but all this did was cause resentment and like you letters chasing the outstanding balance. I was literally getting no where. Then I got a letter saying they were doubling the fee.
    That was enough for me so I sold, and then vowed to never buy a house with management/resident/maintenance charges ever again.

    It is common paying charges and not much happening for the charges.

    How much are you talking about to put into context? For a small amount I wouldn't go to court, but grudgingly pay say half of what is owed and then in writing express your concern again saying you want the minutes and the actions from the meeting to be acted upon, once you have satisfactory responses you will happily pay over the remainder.

    Either that or get legal advice.
    Originally posted by Mickygg
    It is roughly £200 a year.

    that a fair comment regarding paying half. but i have already paid a year asking questions but getting no answers i have put it in writing that i am not paying until getting something in return ie a reduced rate/discount for the following year anything really but get nothing other than the demand payment letters with an invoice enclosed.
    Last edited by DD1A; 23-10-2017 at 11:36 PM.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 20th Oct 17, 1:55 PM
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    NeilCr
    • #8
    • 20th Oct 17, 1:55 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Oct 17, 1:55 PM
    all free hold. when we had the meeting the estate management were saying that the land and highways do not technically belong to anyone as of yet and waiting to be transferred or something.

    they should have sent us the minutes of the meeting and i would know exactly what was said but have not received anything since that meeting.
    Originally posted by DD1A
    IF you as a group of residents own the freehold of the estate then the management company work for you. Do you know if there is a group of directors made up of some of the residents?
    • DD1A
    • By DD1A 23rd Oct 17, 11:32 PM
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    DD1A
    • #9
    • 23rd Oct 17, 11:32 PM
    • #9
    • 23rd Oct 17, 11:32 PM
    all our properties are freehold, the land out the front of our homes (flower bed) have not been taken ownership by anyone as of yet same as the roads around here apparently this is what we was told at the meeting
    Last edited by DD1A; 23-10-2017 at 11:35 PM.
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 24th Oct 17, 1:47 AM
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    deannatrois
    Sounds to me like you all need to have a meeting, discuss what happened when the original agreement was put in place. Find all the information you have collectively as it all seems rather vague, which isn't helpful for you all.

    What paperwork do you have (like documents regarding any contracts when you purchased the property). I see you say you don't have something but there must be something somewhere otherwise they wouldn't be able to demand payment for the work - perhaps its worth contacting whoever built the estate to find out what agreement was set up.

    It might be worth you all putting a tenner into a pot and seeking the advice of a specialist solicitor and showing them any documents you have (hopefully someone in the village has something useful if you don't).

    You could also look up the name of the company that does the work and seeing if they have an official complaints procedure.., and even asking them for a copy of the contract/agreement. You might get lucky.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 24th Oct 17, 7:25 AM
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    NeilCr
    I was going to say the same as deannatrois that your information is vague and that you may want to get together with other residents to present a united front

    Someone owns the freehold of the other bits (flower beds and parking etc) - possibly the builders - and someone has appointed these managing agents. And yes there should be something in your deeds/paperwork.

    £200 a year isnít a huge amount. Could they be putting some of it away into a sinking fund in case work needs doing on the car parking area (do you have gates?) or the roads.

    I am not an expert on this area (I am sure someone with more knowledge will come along) but I think Iíve read here that freeholders in this situation have less rights than leaseholders (see link below now). One thing you could all consider is seeing if you can, yourselves, obtain the freehold of the other parts -then you would be in a position to set the charges.

    Personally, I think you should pay. I understand your stance (although I am not sure you are fully informed). I am a director of our estate and non payers of service charges were once the bane of our lives. The cost of the letters being sent out to you - and the time of the management company - could end up in everyoneís service charges being raised as they will be passed on. And it may be in your paperwork that you do have to pay.

    But, also, work with other residents as opposed to by yourself.

    ETA

    This may well be of help

    http://arma.org.uk/downloader/f15/2014-07_ARMA_Advice_Note_-_Freehold_Houses_in_Estates_V01.pdf
    Last edited by NeilCr; 24-10-2017 at 8:06 AM.
    • DD1A
    • By DD1A 24th Oct 17, 10:33 AM
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    DD1A
    Sounds to me like you all need to have a meeting, discuss what happened when the original agreement was put in place. Find all the information you have collectively as it all seems rather vague, which isn't helpful for you all.

    What paperwork do you have (like documents regarding any contracts when you purchased the property). I see you say you don't have something but there must be something somewhere otherwise they wouldn't be able to demand payment for the work - perhaps its worth contacting whoever built the estate to find out what agreement was set up.

    It might be worth you all putting a tenner into a pot and seeking the advice of a specialist solicitor and showing them any documents you have (hopefully someone in the village has something useful if you don't).

    You could also look up the name of the company that does the work and seeing if they have an official complaints procedure.., and even asking them for a copy of the contract/agreement. You might get lucky.
    Originally posted by deannatrois
    I Have started reaching out to people around the estate just waiting for some response from them, I have been told by one of them already that they just pay it as they donít want to get black listed. I just replied what about our rights?

    I searched up Chamonix estates and yes they have a reputation online

    Iíll have a dig through our paperwork from the house purchase and post what I find
    • DD1A
    • By DD1A 24th Oct 17, 11:15 AM
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    DD1A
    Chamonix Estates Limited

    Chamonix Estates Limited

    Chamonix Estates Limited

    Chamonix Estates Limited

    This above is what came through the door the other day.

    I have attached a plan and key from our contract so you get an idea of what and whoís involved

    Untitled

    Untitled

    There is nothing much there in terms of reserves hence the reason Iím kicking off about the lack of work they do for the high service charges and we all roughly pay the same and there is 9 of us in this courtyard section.
    Last edited by DD1A; 24-10-2017 at 10:37 PM.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 24th Oct 17, 12:32 PM
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    NeilCr
    Well from that there are two areas of service charge. One for your Courtyard (which I assume is the flower beds) and a general one for the whole estate.

    We work that way, too. The general estate one covers things like gates, fences, gardening of the whole site etc etc. As what you seem to know is quite vague it could well be worth asking the specific question of what the general estate service charge covers.

    ETA.

    Are you sure you own your house freehold? It!!!8217;s just that your service charge Ts and cs mention leasehold. Might just be something generic I guess
    Last edited by NeilCr; 24-10-2017 at 12:50 PM.
    • DD1A
    • By DD1A 24th Oct 17, 1:00 PM
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    DD1A
    Well from that there are two areas of service charge. One for your Courtyard (which I assume is the flower beds) and a general one for the whole estate.

    We work that way, too. The general estate one covers things like gates, fences, gardening of the whole site etc etc. As what you seem to know is quite vague it could well be worth asking the specific question of what the general estate service charge covers.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    I have just uploaded a load more data I got from our purchase documents
    The courtyard bit is the hard and soft standing area in green and yellow on the plan, everyone obviously pays the same estate rate and then people pay their calculated courtyard fee.

    The lighting in our courtyard since completion was off for way over a year which we have all paid for, everyoneís bushes were grown over their windows both years most neighbours in our courtyard which Iíve witnessed managed them theirs themselves. A couple refused to pay and I saw one day they came and chopped all the over growth down then a rep sweet talked them into paying again. Well Iím sorry Iím not that easily lead and they know that because they never knocked my door to talk to us but did everyone else.
    Again they have only been once this year and attended the rest of the garden except ours my lady does ours as it just looks embarrassing if left to them to do. So really they donít even touch ours as sheís does it but yet want me to pay for it.

    Chamonix Estates Limited

    Chamonix Estates Limited

    Untitled

    Untitled

    Untitled

    Untitled
    Last edited by DD1A; 24-10-2017 at 10:47 PM.
    • DD1A
    • By DD1A 24th Oct 17, 1:17 PM
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    DD1A
    I have photographed over the years of how our neighbours and our bed have been poorly maintained and over grown they get. All my communications with them have been done over email so I have paper trail.

    I was going through my house contract and spotted this management arrangement section,

    Untitled

    Untitled
    Last edited by DD1A; 24-10-2017 at 10:53 PM.
    • DD1A
    • By DD1A 24th Oct 17, 2:07 PM
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    DD1A
    I have just spoken to my legal advice rep and emailed chamonix to keep them notified of my actions so they don!!!8217;t assume I!!!8217;m ignoring the payments. I sent the following email

    Hello,

    I am notifying you that I am still withholding payment due to seeking legal advice regarding your poor service and lack of response to my questions earlier in the year that you have failed to sufficiently answer.

    We attended the meeting at Kingsnorth School and was told that we would receive the minutes from the meeting which you failed to produce followed with the answers for the questions we asked that evening which you also failed on. I have nothing in writing for my record for this meeting just a voice memo that I recorded myself that night.

    I recently noticed that your representative knocked our neighbours sharing courtyard 1 and they expressed their thought about your service (as I spoke to the neighbours afterwards) and avoided knocking my door.

    I also witnessed a chamonix gardener attended the neighbours (no.15) garden and did not touch ours one bit a month ago or so.

    Our flower bed gets so disgracefully overgrown and embarrassing due to you lack of attendance every since we have lived here we have had no choice to tidy and maintain it ourselves.

    The courtyard also gets left with leaves and rubbish blown in everywhere and our carports I have to sweep it up every month and the lighting never worked in the courtyard for over a year but we still paid for that.
    • DD1A
    • By DD1A 26th Oct 17, 1:11 PM
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    DD1A
    Just received a response,

    Further to the below, please provide photos of your unkempt garden in order for us to forward your complaint to the Chamonix Property Care team. I cannot see that you have sent any to date?

    I can see that my colleague resent the minutes to you for your reference.

    As explained at the residents meeting you contribute to the following within your service charge annual contribution;

    Total due as a contribution towards service charge estimate for period 1st January !!!8211; 31st December 2017 being £258.97 which is split as follows;

    - £86.70 Courtyard 1 !!!8211; which is for the following items as per the attached estimate; grounds maintenance, sundry minor repairs, contingencies, health and safety, electrical, electricity, public liability insurance audit and accountancy.
    - £164.03 Estate Charges which is for the following items as per the attached estimate; grounds maintenance, sundry minor repairs, contingencies, health and safety, public liability insurance audit and accountancy, management fees and sundries.
    - 0.65 Courtyard 1 general reserves !!!8211; for items such as the eventual replacement of hard surfacing.
    - £3.59 Estate general reserves !!!8211; again for the eventual replacement of estate roads.
    - £4.00 Courtyard 1 equipment reserves !!!8211; for the eventual replacement of street lighting/bollards etc

    You may recall at the meeting it was advised that Chamonix Estates were to investigate as to whether residents can potentially opt out of contributing towards front garden maintenance. This is still ongoing with the developers and the local council. We shall communicate to residents once this is clarified.

    The current service charge estimate collects approximately £70.24 from each resident as a contribution for grounds maintenance for front gardens and estate areas. This is currently being reviewed whilst we prepare the service charge estimate for 1st January -31st December 2018.

    When the property was sold a service charge estimate for maintenance would have been provided. At the time your solicitor would have been provided with the service charge estimate and a copy of the information sheet for the development which I believe is clear in setting out the management obligations in relation the estate.

    I would also draw you attention to the attached Transfer and in particular to:

    Definition of managed facilities

    Third Schedule Clause 1 - covenant to pay maintenance on your part

    Fourth Schedule - Covenants by Chamonix in respect of the maintenance of the estate

    Any concerns such as the ones you have raised should have been dealt with before the property was bought.

    In any event, all properties are bound to pay for the maintained areas and bespoke arrangements cannot be agreed post completion. There is an obligation on Taylor Wimpey to ensure all the Transfers contain the same mutual provisions.

    If we released individual owners from the covenants under the Transfers then Chamonix Estates would be short of money and the managed areas on the estate would become unkempt and unsightly as there would be no maintenance funds in the kitty.

    I can therefore confirm you will be obliged to contribute maintenance going forward as per the Transfer you have entered into and covenanted to do so.

    I trust this clarifies your enquiry.

    Do not hesitate to contact us should you have any further queries.
    • DD1A
    • By DD1A 26th Oct 17, 2:20 PM
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    DD1A
    They did not send us the minutes in the first place for them to be calling it resubmitted

    They state that issues and concerns should have be brought up before property was purchased, well we didn!!!8217;t know you was going to rip us off and do no work!

    And going forward from the transfer you should be doing the job properly as we pay you to!

    Chamonix Estates are clearly breaching the contract!
    • alliumlover
    • By alliumlover 12th Apr 18, 9:09 PM
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    alliumlover
    Can I ask if you have made any progress with Chamonix DD1A? We are in a similar situation to what you have described. Several years in and the service from them is poor at best, they never return phone calls, their grounds maintenance is shocking, attend as scheduled but the groundsmen sit in the van, eating and sleeping - one of my neighbours took a photograph of 1 of them sleeping mid morning and Chamonix did nothing about it! We have dead shrubs and the grass during the summer is overgrown and makes the area look unkempt. We have just formed a residents group, we have plenty of evidence, emails, notes of phone calls and photographs but Chamonix arrogant and clearly are not bothered. We are at the stage of having to take legal advice and cover the costs between us. Searching the internet and their are many forums and disgruntled people who are paying Chamonix for nothing and putting up with threats if we don't pay. If anyone has any idea how to pursue this, I'd be grateful.
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