Service Charge Dispute – Multiple Managing Agents?

Service Charge Dispute – Multiple Managing Agents?

1:11 AM, 22nd July 2022, About 4 weeks ago 5

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We are a block of eight Leasehold apartments. The Freeholder has always chosen the Managing Agent, changing every three years.

Each agent has been a big blue chip agent and each has delegated the management to junior staff. Each has failed to enforce the no sharing / short letting rule resulting in vandalised common parts and anti-social behaviour.

The annual S/C accounts have never balanced and the Freeholder has let it slide. Each new agent takes on a rolled-over sum of ‘arrears’ which cannot be accounted for.

A new managing agent has taken over and is threatening legal action unless the ‘arrears’ are paid. We do not feel we should pay amounts where there is no backup documentation.

Help is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

RF



Comments

Ian Dixon

8:42 AM, 22nd July 2022, About 4 weeks ago

The Leasehold Reform Act entitles you to apply to a First Tier Tribunal either to challenge the service charges or to take from the freeholder the right to manage as of right without evidence of mismanagement. We have done the latter and are on t\he point of succeeding with our freeholder.
There is bureaucracy and cost to go through but if you want more information please ring me on 0208-660-0093..
Ian Dixon

BernieW View Profile

9:47 AM, 22nd July 2022, About 4 weeks ago

The alternative would be Right to Enfranchise ... buying the freehold ... which is ultimately the best answer long-term, but does have a higher cost because you're buying an asset.

Or you could go down the route of a Tribunal appointed Manager ... which requires you to prove fault and/or mismanagement, but from what you say that won't be a problem.

Free resources available if you Google my name.

Crossed_Swords

15:39 PM, 23rd July 2022, About 4 weeks ago

Firstly you are entitled to a copy of the accounts every year which must be prepared by an independent accountant. It seems unlikely therefore that they haven't balanced especially if it's a big agency. If you haven't had them then ask for them, there is a procedure on the LEASE website but they should just send them on request, go back as far as you like.

Secondly, if your own service charge account is up to date then you don't owe arrears. If they mean the site is in arrears then presumably they have not sent a demand which must show what it's been spent on and you don't have to pay anything until they do.

It seems unlikely a blue chip agency whatever their failings would not know this.

Malcolm Norquoy

7:01 AM, 25th July 2022, About 3 weeks ago

At least take the Tight To Manage (RTM) option as previous responses have said. You nominate the management agent and have better control over what happens and costs. Better still Collective Enfranchisement (buy the Freehold). Complete control forever and very attractive to propesective buyers if the flats.

I am leading 3 such motions now to remove under performing and high cost management agents; UrbanPoint x 2 and PBM. More to come because this should not be allowed but people don't take action due to time, effort and cost. The cost of not doing so is higher in the short to medium term, let alone the long term.

Ian Dixon

11:25 AM, 26th July 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Dixon at 22/07/2022 - 08:42
Hi,

I posted a response to the original questioner who rang me and left an email address so that I could respond more fully. However, I seem to have got his email address wrong. Could the original questioner please ring me to confirm the correct email address.

Many thanks,
Ian

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