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    • micky007
    • By micky007 11th Apr 18, 3:18 PM
    • 122Posts
    • 114Thanks
    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 2
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 11th Apr 18, 6:40 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 3,420 Thanks
    BorisThomson
    Looking at your service charge breakdown they did no actual work last year, your fees are solely for their management fee and associated administration costs. That doesn't surprise me in the slightest, I pay 700 a year for nothing more than buildings insurance (leasehold property, but no maintenance needed and no communal areas).

    Service charges are becoming more and more common. They can be necessary for larger developments or leasehold properties, but the additional charges on them can be ridiculous. With leasehold flats you can apply for the right to manage the property, but that right unfortunately does not apply to houses.
    • takman
    • By takman 12th Apr 18, 11:10 AM
    • 3,320 Posts
    • 2,909 Thanks
    takman
    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.
    Originally posted by micky007
    At least your not paying a massive amount; your service charge and ground rent only work out to 35a month.

    It's a shame you don't have one of those old leases where you only pay a peppercorn rent then you might have not felt so bad about having to pay a service charge for a lane you don't even need to use.
    • AlexMac
    • By AlexMac 12th Apr 18, 3:07 PM
    • 2,032 Posts
    • 1,786 Thanks
    AlexMac
    All we can do is sympathise and hope you can live with it and put it down to experience.

    Better luck next time; lets hope they continue to underspend so that all you're stuck with is the two and a half grand management, admin and accounting fee and the sinking fund contribution. I see from the budget that they anticipated spending twice that, so presumably your service charge will be adjusted down for the underspend on the actuals? That's what my Local Authority Freeholder does. But then, they ain't profit-driven capitalists, lol

    As regards...
    ... 3) I was told when buying the house there would be a service charge but wasnt told what it was for at first
    Originally posted by micky007
    ... that too is unfortunate, but at best, just means you've learned lessons about house-buying. Including not to trust solicitors to ask the right questions. Although to be fair, they often only ask for the past three years' Service Charge accounts, which didn't exist as you were buying a new build. I hope you didn't use the solicitor recommended by the Sales office; but if you did, that too would be a lesson learned.

    I've walked away from leasehold purchases in the past if Service Charges have not been completely transparent; including asking my own questions (direct or via the Solicitor).

    Hope you can live with it? You're right to think that it's not fair, but I fear that a Complaint to your Solicitor (because they failed to brief you properly) would not succeed in terms of a result of financial redress .

    You could look at
    https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/service-charges-other-issues/
    and consider if you could get all the other leaseholders on board in a Tribunal challenge of the charges' "reasonableness"... But I don't know what your chances would be, since, as the web guidance says at paragraph 2.8 -

    - "leaseholders have a right to ask the Tribunal whether a charge, or a proposed charge, is reasonable; however, there is no statutory definition of what is reasonable;. "
    Last edited by AlexMac; 12-04-2018 at 3:11 PM. Reason: taking out MSE's weird formatting of apostrophes!
    • InterestedParty2018
    • By InterestedParty2018 16th May 18, 1:39 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    InterestedParty2018
    Sorry OP, didnt revisit your post so didnt see the subsequent posts. Also, I am too late to open the attachments now.
    Based on the subsequent exchanges, it appears that that you knew that service charge would be levied and you proceeded with the purchase anyway. Therefore your question is about value for money rather than "is it or isnt it" due.

    Obviously I cannot comment on your individual TP1/Lease, however broadly with Estate management with limited "communal services" there still needs to a be a central point to manage things.

    The trees that are referred to may not need much maintenance now, but who is going to take responsibility for them when they need lopping/crowning etc?

    The footpath you mention which was in situ prior to the development, is it on Estate owned land? If so, there will need to be someone maintaining it, possibly insuring with PI Insurance?

    What about breaches? Some Estates have strict covenants regarding external house colours & materials - who will deal with these if there is no central managing agent?

    I guess the management may seem non-existent, until you need the services.
    • bobwilson
    • By bobwilson 16th May 18, 6:30 PM
    • 405 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    bobwilson
    At least your not paying a massive amount; your service charge and ground rent only work out to 35a month.

    It's a shame you don't have one of those old leases where you only pay a peppercorn rent then you might have not felt so bad about having to pay a service charge for a lane you don't even need to use.
    Originally posted by takman

    "At least you're not paying", not "At least your not paying". You know, takman, for someone who corrects other people's spelling & grammar, and berates others' lives, it's ironic you can't spell yourself and are guilty of these things.
    • takman
    • By takman 17th May 18, 11:34 PM
    • 3,320 Posts
    • 2,909 Thanks
    takman
    "At least you're not paying", not "At least your not paying". You know, takman, for someone who corrects other people's spelling & grammar, and berates others' lives, it's ironic you can't spell yourself and are guilty of these things.
    Originally posted by bobwilson
    It's seems I've touched a nerve with my comments on your thread .

    You should go back and read the last post I made on there again. Due to autocorrect on my phone a whole word has been incorrectly replaced in a sentence!. Your going to have a field day when you spot it, have fun!.
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