Management Agent Overcharging from 2019?

Management Agent Overcharging from 2019?

9:26 AM, 21st December 2021, About A year ago 15

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Dear All, I own a flat in a block of 6 flats and have been up-to-date with my service charge. Every so often, I get an extra fee called “balancing service charge” after which I had made payment for the annual service charge, normally about £180 extra each year.

This year I have been sent an invoice for a balancing service charge of £880.13 dated back in 2019. I have asked the Managing Agents (MA) to explain where this bill came from, and they produced a receipt that was probably overpriced.

1. Is there a time frame where these monies should have been billed?
2. Can the MA approve works without consulting leaseholders to the tune of an extra £880.13 on top of the service charge?

Aren’t we supposed to get some sort of notice like a S20 if it exceeds a certain amount? (Not sure)

Many thanks


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15:42 PM, 22nd December 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Suresh Parikh at 22/12/2021 - 13:32
Service charge invoices and "all related documentation".

Glyn Jenkins

8:20 AM, 25th December 2021, About A year ago

Didn't realise we could request to have copies of bank statements for the service charge account.


20:22 PM, 25th December 2021, About A year ago

I agree with Bernice that u hv the right to examine financial docs at the agent's office.
It might b a first step to satisfy yourself whether the agent is suitable for what u want. A good agent will make it easy for u (n for them) if u ask politely.

Be ware that an agent is a business n needs to make a profit for their service - in the form of Management Fee or some sort of formula may b stipulated in your lease. It is not an easy business n requires a very wide range of knowledge/experience to do a proper job of it. Agents r in effect selling their time in exchange for money. Most agents only make a profit when nothing happens (read: may b do nothing) or when they can charge for S20. It is fraudulent to get a kickback but not unheard of - there r worse. Tradesmen sometimes take advantage of lethargic agents who r after an easy life esp when it's a case of saving them time or saving u money. Sometimes u just hv to pay a bit more to get a job done - tradesmen also hv priorities.
U need to understand that it is for the freeholder to appoint the agent who manages in his interest. Ie whilst it may b your money the agent is spending u r not his client. U n 50% of your fellow lessees (in your case a min of 4 units) hv the right to enfranchise n form an RTM (Right To Manage) Co which assumes the right to appoint the agent (but not the insurance which remains the prerogative of the frreholder).
A 6 unit block is a small site to manage. Often doesn't pay for the agent as no economy of scale - the service u get will depend on how much u pay.

If u r not happy with the service or cost or whatever, u may complain to the Property Ombudsman or FTT or even take the agent to court. There is a cost associated with whatever u do - at least in terms of time if not money. Most lessees take the path of least effort n just pay until n unless it becomes really outrageous. If u r so inclined, why not form an RTM n b master of your own destiny n move on? Doesn't solve the problem of finding a decent agent but then u hv the power to decide n to direct.


20:28 PM, 25th December 2021, About A year ago

S20 procedure is required when a specific job requires more than £250 per unit within the same accounting period. Or £100/unit for a continual contract like weekly cleaning or gardening.
It means 2 x 30 days consultation period n a min of 2 quotes.

Try to find somebody u can trust n leave him alone to do the job.


11:54 AM, 29th December 2021, About A year ago

Thank you once again for your input. Much appreciated. Have a great New Year!

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