Anyone Here Deal With Property Service/maintenance Charges?

My service charge is going up every year & Im getting the impression that Im being ripped off with what Im being charged for. Last year I had to pay an extra £500 for ‘major redecorations’ that consisted of a decorator who turned up in a Merc everyday who just varnished over the already rotten windows - so unprofessional! I’ve been sent my service charge for this year but before I pay it I would like it checked out by someone who is in the know of these things to make sure there arent things listed that I dont have to pay for. Ie: Im paying £60 a year for a window cleaner to clean communal windows? Whats the point? I dont stand and look out of the front door of the flats all day. Also charged for refuse collection when I pay council tax for that.

I’ve emailed the company who deal with my place and they just spoke to me like Im sort of idiot & that I need to pay & thats that, no questions asked! So if anyone on here knows whats what & could take a look at the service charge for me I’d appreciate it, I can email it over or something.


Oh dont start me on service charge!!!

Mine went up £500 this year as well. I am now paying the Princely sum of £3600 per year now thats from £250 a month to £300 a month! The really annoying thing is that I live on the ground floor and have to still pay for the lift maintenance!

That’s a brand new street triple R for me that I had to cancel due to lack of funds!

My service charge is £650 (for 6 months) - and they added on a refuse collection charge because some bastard dumped their fridge in the communal bin area, so I’m guessing your refuse charge might be for something similar. It does sound like there is bad communication between you and the service provider.

Mine is Solitaire and they generally give you a break down of what the charges are for and need 90% vote to perform any more decorating and upgrades. But I think they can override it in some circumstances so its all shite really.

That’s the joys of living in flats/communal dwellings.

We had same problem when we lived in a block of flats, they hit us with £3k each flat for roof repairs, £1k for new lifts in one year as well as our standard monthly service charges… they can hit you for what they like if they have proof of it needing done and estimates/invoices.

I’d never ever live in flats/shared dwellings again.

Their accounts should be audited and sent to you. If not ask for them. They have to explain why the increase. Do u have a residence association for your building? If not form one and question every charge…

Well this is the thing when I spoke to them they said their 2008 budgets/accounts havent been finalised yet so I asked how they arrived at the figure they have for this year they and I didnt get a reply. I think if they did send me any kind of figures they could put what they want down & I’d be none the wiser as I dont know what I should & shouldnt be paying for. I wouldnt mind paying it so much if they actually do what they say their going to do but they just take the money & dont really bother to maintain much & make it as hard as possible if anything does need to be done. Usually I pay up asap with the whole amount in 1 go but they can wait this time :slight_smile:

Mark, these people are really useful:

Get yourself aquainted with the LVT ! This was set up by John Prescott to give the leaseholder a say, he went far too far and the LVT is commonly used by leaseholders to jump on management companies and screw them. The LVT will cost you hardly anything to use and will pretty much always award in your favour. I’m a director of a management company and we’ve been screwed to the floor by the LVT, unfairly, unreasonably and I would happily punch the LVT wan*ers as hard as I could given their preference for ignoring fact and siding with leasholders.

But in any case, have they ever issued a Section 60 notice ? Any manager wanting to spend more than £250 a flat (since IIRC about 2001 I think ?) has to issue a S60 notice and allow recommendations from leaseholders of suitable tradesmen/suppliers. If they haven’t done that then they will be liable for the cost of that repair work over and above the £250 limit. If they have made that mistake then the LVT will rip them to pieces . . . use that to get some sense out of them.

They also have to show that theya re obtaining best value for the leaseholders by getting multiple quotes, going to tender etc. They have to justify the service charge and document that for you.