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    • richdeniro
    • By richdeniro 9th Feb 18, 11:02 PM
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    richdeniro
    First Tier Tribunal Form for unfair service charge
    • #1
    • 9th Feb 18, 11:02 PM
    First Tier Tribunal Form for unfair service charge 9th Feb 18 at 11:02 PM
    I am just completing the form to take the management company for my flat to a First Tier Tribunal as I believe the management fees in the service charge are excessively high.

    I was just wondering if anyone might be able to help with the form.

    Section 4 asks for 'Details of Respondents' and states 'this will not be the landlords managing agent unless they are party to the lease'.

    Am I to assume that I just put the landlord of the property in this section and then just attach a separate statement detailing the management companies details?

    Also it asks for the years that I am looking for service charges to be considered by the tribunal. I presume that I cannot ask for years prior to when I bought the flat even though I have the paperwork?

    Just wondering as I am going to forward the paperwork to the other leaseholders in the property before sending it off and they might want other years looking at even though I am doing this in my name.
Page 1
    • richdeniro
    • By richdeniro 12th Feb 18, 8:34 PM
    • 283 Posts
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    richdeniro
    • #2
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:34 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:34 PM
    Just a bump on this.

    Spoken to the guy who owns the flat below and he wants to come in with me for his portion of the service charge so we're going to split the 100 and challenge the service charge together.

    As he has owned his property for a lot longer he will be claiming for years further back - I presume this will be ok on the form but how far back can he claim?

    Thanks in advance.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Feb 18, 8:59 PM
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    G_M
    • #3
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:59 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:59 PM
    I've no experience and no particular knowledge beyond some basic law. But...

    1) yes, the Respondant must be a Party to the Lease. So whoever is the Freeholder. They are responsible. If they have delegated responsibility to an agent that is immaterial.

    2) My guess is you can claim as far back as one of you has owned the lease (ie the downstairs flat owner). But there may be a 7 year limit.


    Read up on the leaseadvice website.

    And/or phone leaseadvice.
    • patman99
    • By patman99 12th Feb 18, 10:12 PM
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    patman99
    • #4
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:12 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:12 PM
    What do you deem to be an unfair amount for your service charge?

    That is what the tribunal will base their conclusions on.
    I live in a 1990 development and pay 850 a year for my service charge. As the site is farely modern, it is reasonable.

    If the development consisted of a converted series of older Victorian age buildings, i would consider 1,250 to be reasonable as the infrastructure is older and more likely to require expensive repairs.
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    • richdeniro
    • By richdeniro 12th Feb 18, 10:24 PM
    • 283 Posts
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    richdeniro
    • #5
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:24 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:24 PM
    What do you deem to be an unfair amount for your service charge?

    That is what the tribunal will base their conclusions on.
    I live in a 1990 development and pay 850 a year for my service charge. As the site is farely modern, it is reasonable.

    If the development consisted of a converted series of older Victorian age buildings, i would consider 1,250 to be reasonable as the infrastructure is older and more likely to require expensive repairs.
    Originally posted by patman99
    There is a small hallway, some stairs and a front garden. None of which have had any sort of work done in 4 years - the front garden is a tip and it's a nightmare just getting the council to enter it to take the rubbish/recycling every week and the hallway has wallpaper peeling off it and the handrail which fell off before I moved in has not been repaired.

    We have set up our own management company and have been trying RTM but keep getting refused on technicalities. We have lawyers involved as we know that they have close links to the freeholder and are doing all they can to keep the management of the property.

    The breakdown of the service charge is always broken down in the end of year statement so we see things like the electricity charges, repairs, etc. 1k a year of it is always just 'Management/Supervision fees' which to me just appears to be profiteering.
    • economic
    • By economic 12th Feb 18, 10:36 PM
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    economic
    • #6
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:36 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:36 PM
    Who is the freeholder?

    Have you spoken to him about it? The freeholder usually has power to remove the managing agent and replace with a new one.

    also keep in mind if you do make official complaints, you will have to disclose it to future potential buyers. They maybe put off by the complaint.
    • richdeniro
    • By richdeniro 12th Feb 18, 10:48 PM
    • 283 Posts
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    richdeniro
    • #7
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:48 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:48 PM
    Who is the freeholder?

    Have you spoken to him about it? The freeholder usually has power to remove the managing agent and replace with a new one.

    also keep in mind if you do make official complaints, you will have to disclose it to future potential buyers. They maybe put off by the complaint.
    Originally posted by economic
    The freeholder is a company called Resolute Property Management. They appear to be intrinsically linked to the management company. They have no interest in allowing us RTM.
    • demontfort
    • By demontfort 12th Feb 18, 11:37 PM
    • 171 Posts
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    demontfort
    • #8
    • 12th Feb 18, 11:37 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Feb 18, 11:37 PM
    Why does the RTM keep getting blocked? I've just completed an RTM for my block and despite the best efforts of the freeholder to thwart us, it was all pretty straightforward.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 12th Feb 18, 11:38 PM
    • 6,117 Posts
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    eddddy
    • #9
    • 12th Feb 18, 11:38 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Feb 18, 11:38 PM
    The breakdown of the service charge is always broken down in the end of year statement so we see things like the electricity charges, repairs, etc. 1k a year of it is always just 'Management/Supervision fees' which to me just appears to be profiteering.
    Originally posted by richdeniro
    Is it just the 1k Management/Supervision fee that you think is unreasonable?

    What evidence are you presenting to show that 1k is an unreasonable management fee? For example, do you have lower quotes from other management companies?


    There is a small hallway, some stairs and a front garden. None of which have had any sort of work done in 4 years - the front garden is a tip and it's a nightmare just getting the council to enter it to take the rubbish/recycling every week and the hallway has wallpaper peeling off it and the handrail which fell off before I moved in has not been repaired.
    Originally posted by richdeniro
    You might be fighting the wrong battle - your complaint seems to be more about the freeholder/management co breaching the terms of the lease by not maintaining the property properly.

    In fact, if you're saying that you want those things dealt with, it will cost money - so your service charge will probably be higher.
    Last edited by eddddy; 12-02-2018 at 11:46 PM.
    • richdeniro
    • By richdeniro 13th Feb 18, 12:18 PM
    • 283 Posts
    • 170 Thanks
    richdeniro
    Is it just the 1k Management/Supervision fee that you think is unreasonable?

    What evidence are you presenting to show that 1k is an unreasonable management fee? For example, do you have lower quotes from other management companies?
    Originally posted by eddddy
    Yes we have had a quote for 0 management fees and only pay for what we need and use so electric, maintenance and repairs, etc.
    • richdeniro
    • By richdeniro 13th Feb 18, 12:21 PM
    • 283 Posts
    • 170 Thanks
    richdeniro
    You might be fighting the wrong battle - your complaint seems to be more about the freeholder/management co breaching the terms of the lease by not maintaining the property properly.

    In fact, if you're saying that you want those things dealt with, it will cost money - so your service charge will probably be higher.
    Originally posted by eddddy
    Last time they arranged to have some gardening done they arranged for a contractor based in Middlesex (where the management company is based to do it). The property is in Bromley.

    We can arrange all that stuff ourselves as it is such a small communal area.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 13th Feb 18, 12:56 PM
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    eddddy
    Yes we have had a quote for 0 management fees and only pay for what we need and use so electric, maintenance and repairs, etc.
    Originally posted by richdeniro
    So you intend to put the case to the tribunal that a reasonable annual fee for managing a block of 2 flats is 0?

    With respect - I think you're being obtuse. I'd say that's a fast-track way of getting your case thrown out.

    Tribunals are like courts - they don't like people 'playing games'.


    Last time they arranged to have some gardening done they arranged for a contractor based in Middlesex (where the management company is based to do it). The property is in Bromley.
    Originally posted by richdeniro
    So again, get some quotes from local contractors - to show what they did was unreasonably expensive.

    And/or you could see if the freeholder will agree to you and your neighbour maintaining the garden - if you want to.
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