Rip Off service charges on leasehold flats

Rip Off service charges on leasehold flats

8:34 AM, 19th September 2013, About 9 years ago 13

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I own 2 leasehold flats in a block of 9, there is also a separate block of 9 housing association flats, and 11 houses (houses only contribute a small figure to the service charge)

My problem is that the yearly service charge is now just under £2,000 pa not including ground rent. I have flats else where and I’m paying approx £1,000 pa service charge on average so I’m getting increasingly frustrated by this £2,000 service charge. When I question the management company they just fob me off with excuses like oh the landscaping budget has gone up or the insurance has gone up blah blah blah!!!! I have had several rows with the management company about the quality of there works so the fact that I also think I’m being ripped off is very frustrating. Getting rid of them would be ideal but I do not have the knowledge, time or patience to contact and then get together with the other residents and form a RTM etc… Is there something a bit easier and quicker I can do to get this management company in check, I’ve heard about Leasehold valuation tribunals but is that the correct route for this problem and can anyone tell me how it works? Rip Off service charges on leasehold flats

Or is there a quick way of just just simply sacking them and getting another management company in, I always thought the management company was employed by the freeholder so would that be a job of the freeholder?

Thanks in advance


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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

8:40 AM, 19th September 2013, About 9 years ago

Hi Rob

You can get all of these things sorted but if your criteria is that it must be A) quick, B) cheap and C) easy, then I'm afraid you are going to be disappointed.

There are a few members here who may be able to help you but if you want them to do some or all of the work for you then you will need to pay them.

See the member profiles for:-

Annette Stone >>>

Roger Hardwick >>>

Lauren Wadey >>>


10:19 AM, 19th September 2013, About 9 years ago

I was not aware that there are people that would do it all for me, thanks for the info!

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

11:35 AM, 19th September 2013, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob walsh" at "19/09/2013 - 10:19":

Annette manages a block of flats in Portsmouth for the Alexander Family Partnership 🙂

Chris Hayden

9:24 AM, 20th September 2013, About 9 years ago

Welcome to my world. We have been battling our managing agents for 5 years. We have taken them to three LVTs valuation tribunals, and each time have had the budget reduced by £thousands p/ a. We will soon be in a position to apply for a new manager as we have now have a history of over charging. It costs money, it's a long drawn out process, there will be head banging, but you must act as a group as it will take collective funds and energy.
It seems to me that some, Not all, managing agents have a business plan that amounts to theft. It's a white collar crime that goes un punished and is easy to do.
If I charge you £500 to change a light bulb in your hall you may think that I'm stealing from you but a MA will simply say " that's what it cost". The onus is then on you to prove them wrong. In my experience of you go to aLVT they may then agree with you
but reduce the charge from £500 to £300. That's still ten times what it cost to do, so they still win, but at a reduced rate.its a win win situation for them.
Law needs to change!

Jay James

16:43 PM, 20th September 2013, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Chris " at "20/09/2013 - 09:24":

think I best stop getting the hump about my £300/400 per year plus one off jobs!
can you keep this page up to date?
I may need the information for myself in future


17:20 PM, 20th September 2013, About 9 years ago

It does like an awfull lot of work! I think paying someone to do it all for me sounds quite appealing. I do agree the law or something needs to change regarding these management companies, i think the whole process of employing and sacking these companies needs to be simplified to stop these companies ripping us off!

Annette Stone

20:42 PM, 21st September 2013, About 9 years ago

If Rob or Chris would like my firm to help them and their blocks are in London or the South East please let Mark have your contact details and I will be in contact.


14:44 PM, 22nd September 2013, About 9 years ago

Hi Annette

If its possible for you get this company out of my life and take it on yourself then im certainly interested in discussing it with you, this comany i deal with manage flats i have in 4 different developments in Berkshire, Mark can you pass on my contact details to annette.

Thanks Rob.

paul cullip

22:37 PM, 20th October 2013, About 9 years ago

Hi, just wondering if anyone can help with a RTM question.

If I owned 2 properties in a purpose built block of 4 studio flats, would I have the right to manage?

Thanks in advance


Annette Stone

18:04 PM, 21st October 2013, About 9 years ago

If both flats are in your own name then you may have a problem as the claim to right to manage could be disputed by the freeholders claiming that even though you own two flats you have only one vote. Also, is the block of four flats part of a larger development or a freehold on its own? Even if you had the right you would still have to offer your co-lessees the right to participate in the rtm

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