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    • micky007
    • By micky007 11th Apr 18, 3:18 PM
    • 122Posts
    • 113Thanks
    micky007
    Service Charges - Will i see the benefit?
    • #1
    • 11th Apr 18, 3:18 PM
    Service Charges - Will i see the benefit? 11th Apr 18 at 3:18 PM
    Hey,

    I was thinking the other day about the service charge i pay on my property, my property is on a main road owned by the council and the pipework has been adopted by United Utilities.

    My understanding of a Service charge is that the management company is to ensure repairs are made to things like Roads and Grounds Maintenance. But i live on a main road owned by the council, so surely its the Council/County Council that are supposed to do that anyway. There is no communal area here (like a kids play area) either incase you guys wondered.

    So my question is... what is the point in me being charged a service charge of 90 every 6 months, will i actually see any benefit from this?
Page 1
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 11th Apr 18, 3:25 PM
    • 7,343 Posts
    • 7,390 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #2
    • 11th Apr 18, 3:25 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Apr 18, 3:25 PM
    Well, we don't know. Why did you think you were paying a service charge? Presumably you were told about it when you bought your house? What do your title deeds say about it?
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 11th Apr 18, 3:28 PM
    • 338 Posts
    • 396 Thanks
    need an answer
    • #3
    • 11th Apr 18, 3:28 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Apr 18, 3:28 PM
    Do you own a freehold property or a leasehold property?

    if leasehold elements of the property may be covered by the service charge,less so if you own a freehold property

    When you purchased the documentation from the management company should indicate what you pay the service charge towards.
    Last edited by need an answer; 11-04-2018 at 3:31 PM.
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    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 11th Apr 18, 3:32 PM
    • 21,717 Posts
    • 10,499 Thanks
    lisyloo
    • #4
    • 11th Apr 18, 3:32 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Apr 18, 3:32 PM
    Depends on what type of property it is.
    For communal flats it often include building insurance, cleaning, decorating, gardening, internal repairs and sinking fund.

    You need to give more details on what type of property it is and whether it's free or leasehold.
    Do you have access to any communal facilities?
    • InterestedParty2018
    • By InterestedParty2018 11th Apr 18, 4:08 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    InterestedParty2018
    • #5
    • 11th Apr 18, 4:08 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Apr 18, 4:08 PM
    A few questions:

    1. Do you own a leasehold property in a shared block/building or a Freehold property with a Title stating you pay Estate Charges (also referred to as Service Charges). Either the lease document or the title document will explain what you are obligated to pay towards

    2. Are these new charges to you? Where you not made aware of these charges and what exactly they pertain to when you purchased the property?

    3. Have you received a budget from the managing agent for these service charge? Have you seen/reviewed any service charge accounts for previously completed financial years?

    4. I know you mention there are no play areas (or obvious communal facilities), but are there any footpaths off the main road? Any land (grassed, river, tow path) which may be shared with other homes? Are these areas lit? Do they need to be covered by PI insurance?

    Perhaps with more information we can help you further.
    • micky007
    • By micky007 11th Apr 18, 5:07 PM
    • 122 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    micky007
    • #6
    • 11th Apr 18, 5:07 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Apr 18, 5:07 PM
    to answer some of your questions:

    1) Its a detached house
    2) Its a lease-hold property (but i also pay ground rent which is 125 every 6 months)
    3) I was told when buying the house there would be a service charge but wasnt told what it was for at first
    4) There is no communal facilities
    5) @InterestedParty2018 there is 2 roads they built (different streets) which the other houses are built on, but i dont see why the houses that are built on the main road should be billed for that when we never use that road to access our property etc... since we are on the main road owned by the council. There was 7 houses built on the main road and around 33 houses built on the 2 roads they made off the main road.
    6) You can view the sitemap of the build here, ive hidden the street name of the main road and also the development name. - https://screenshots.firefox.com/IjilgRaGa84AA3xI/www.redrow.co.uk

    As you can see there is no need for the houses built on the main road to even access the 2 streets they made since we all have driveways and our properties are accessed via the main road.
    Last edited by micky007; 11-04-2018 at 5:19 PM.
    • micky007
    • By micky007 11th Apr 18, 5:15 PM
    • 122 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    micky007
    • #7
    • 11th Apr 18, 5:15 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Apr 18, 5:15 PM
    oh and also this is what the money is being spent on:

    https://screenshots.firefox.com/islzhJmJ1wQWTibc/null

    So from that statement im paying them for doing nothing? Yet there charging a fee for them to do nothing. Its so stupid!
    • kirtondm
    • By kirtondm 11th Apr 18, 5:28 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 124 Thanks
    kirtondm
    • #8
    • 11th Apr 18, 5:28 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Apr 18, 5:28 PM
    but you agreed to it when buying!
    • micky007
    • By micky007 11th Apr 18, 5:40 PM
    • 122 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    micky007
    • #9
    • 11th Apr 18, 5:40 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Apr 18, 5:40 PM
    but you agreed to it when buying!
    Originally posted by kirtondm
    You dont have a choice, you have to else they don't let you buy the house.
    • shirlgirl2004
    • By shirlgirl2004 11th Apr 18, 5:44 PM
    • 2,800 Posts
    • 4,484 Thanks
    shirlgirl2004
    I bought a freehold house with a service charge and it's to pay for green areas on the development. This was part of the planning agreement that small green spaces would be provided and maintained. It clearly says grounds maintenance is being charged for on your bill so that's your answer.
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 11th Apr 18, 5:50 PM
    • 338 Posts
    • 396 Thanks
    need an answer
    You have every choice but you chose a house on a development that attracted ground rent and service charges.

    Clearly you have a copy of the accounts and can see how the charges you pay are being spent so I assume your post was more of a vent rather than needing clarification of why you pay the charges.

    When you next purchase a property in order to avoid the ground rent or service charge pick something freehold without the constraints.
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    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 11th Apr 18, 5:51 PM
    • 9,031 Posts
    • 9,923 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    You dont have a choice, you have to else they don't let you buy the house.
    Originally posted by micky007
    So don't buy the house. Not seeing the problem here.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 11th Apr 18, 5:57 PM
    • 7,343 Posts
    • 7,390 Thanks
    davidmcn
    4) There is no communal facilities
    5) @InterestedParty2018 there is 2 roads they built (different streets) which the other houses are built on, but i dont see why the houses that are built on the main road should be billed for that when we never use that road to access our property etc... since we are on the main road owned by the council. There was 7 houses built on the main road and around 33 houses built on the 2 roads they made off the main road.
    6) You can view the sitemap of the build here, ive hidden the street name of the main road and also the development name. - https://screenshots.firefox.com/IjilgRaGa84AA3xI/www.redrow.co.uk

    As you can see there is no need for the houses built on the main road to even access the 2 streets they made since we all have driveways and our properties are accessed via the main road.
    Originally posted by micky007
    So I'm guessing the common areas are the private roads and at least some of the landscaped areas/verges? There's nothing particularly uncommon about having to contribute towards communal parts which you don't see/use.
    • micky007
    • By micky007 11th Apr 18, 6:00 PM
    • 122 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    micky007
    I bought a freehold house with a service charge and it's to pay for green areas on the development. This was part of the planning agreement that small green spaces would be provided and maintained. It clearly says grounds maintenance is being charged for on your bill so that's your answer.
    Originally posted by shirlgirl2004
    Yes but all the green area you see on the siteplan I showed you are in people's gardens or is part of their garden so it's the property owner that's maintaining it. The only bits that arnt are the ones you see at the bottom and to the right. All the green circles you see a tiny small trees that are all new and don't need any maintenance as most houses on this development have them.

    There not spending any money on maintenance as there's nothing for them to do here, it's the property owners that are maintaining the green areas. That's why nothing is being spent as shown in the statement. Instead they are paying themselves and charging us the fee for them to pay themselves for doing nothing.
    • micky007
    • By micky007 11th Apr 18, 6:03 PM
    • 122 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    micky007
    You have every choice but you chose a house on a development that attracted ground rent and service charges.

    Clearly you have a copy of the accounts and can see how the charges you pay are being spent so I assume your post was more of a vent rather than needing clarification of why you pay the charges.

    When you next purchase a property in order to avoid the ground rent or service charge pick something freehold without the constraints.
    Originally posted by need an answer
    I'm not venting about paying it as I knew about it when I purchased it. My issue is will I ever see any benefit from paying the service charge. I don't think I will, so my question is why should I have to pay, yes I knew about it but can they charge you for basically doing nothing? Like it shows in the statement, they are just charging us for them to pay themselves.
    • micky007
    • By micky007 11th Apr 18, 6:05 PM
    • 122 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    micky007
    So don't buy the house. Not seeing the problem here.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe


    Thanks for the advice.....
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 11th Apr 18, 6:09 PM
    • 3,735 Posts
    • 6,488 Thanks
    Fosterdog
    What about the areas of green beyond the garden boundaries? There looks like there is a footpath looping around the bottom of the development with a water feature of some sort possibly in some sort of park/communal green space. Are they part of the development? If so then they will need maintaining. If it is a newish development they may not have needed to do much maintenance yet but as the years go on, more work will be needed.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 11th Apr 18, 6:14 PM
    • 1,549 Posts
    • 2,033 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Good information on service charges here

    https://www.lease-advice.org/fact-sheet/service-charges/#

    It includes how to challenge them if you consider that they are unfair
    • micky007
    • By micky007 11th Apr 18, 6:19 PM
    • 122 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    micky007
    So the green spaces you see near the houses are the front gardens of the houses. That long dark green you see going along the gardens at the top if the sitemap is a big brush, it runs along a number of properties all of which is either maintained by the property owner themselves or not at all as the only way to access it is by going into the gardens of every property the Bush runs along.

    The bit you described at the bottom is just a little ditch/pong that's been there for hundreds of years, even before RedRow bought the land. I don't think they had permission to fill it in/build over it. So all that is is a ditch with water in it. Not really a communal area.Again the footpath was there before the development had bought the land, it's a public footpath.

    The development is 2 and a half years old. I moved into mine Jan 2016 but others had already moved into before me.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 11th Apr 18, 6:38 PM
    • 7,343 Posts
    • 7,390 Thanks
    davidmcn
    There looks like there is a footpath looping around the bottom of the development with a water feature of some sort possibly in some sort of park/communal green space.
    Originally posted by Fosterdog
    Looks like a SUDS pond to me, so a necessary part of the drainage system for the development.
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