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To think our neighbours are ridiculous for paying this and refuse to pay my "share"

(1000 Posts)
Hiphopapotamus4 Tue 16-May-17 21:20:58

A house on our road came up for sale recently (its empty at the moment, was rented) and as you do, I had a nosey at the particulars on Right Move. In the description in says that there is a service charge of £500 per year. I thought this was odd as we pay no such charge and it's not a flat or leasehold or anything like that so I couldn't figure out what the charge was for.

I ran into another neighbour who made a comment about the price it was for sale for so I commented that I noticed it had a service charge and how odd that was. Neighbour gave me a funny look and said "yes, well we all pay the service charge" I said that we don't and have never been told anything about it or asked for payment. I asked her what it was for exactly and she didn't really know but kept saying "we all have to pay it".

Now, she has obviously been and spoken to some of the other neighbours about this and they are now annoyed that we don't pay when everyone else does. They want us to start paying it so that their share becomes less. However NOBODY knows what it is for, they all just pay it without questioning it. I said I wouldn't be paying anything unless they can tell me what it is for and what "service" I am receiving.

AIBU to think they have all been a bit foolish to pay so much money without questioning it and that they should stop paying it/find out what it's for rather than ask me to contribute!

To be clear, this is a fairly normal road with no communal areas and no "services" (other than the usual bin collections etc). Apparently the invoice just says "service charge" and does not specify exactly what service it is.

(I am currently the "bad neighbour" and need to make amends - may have to bribe the neighbourhood with homemade chocolate brownies then convince them to stage a mass refusal of payment and demand for refunds!)

JollySmelly Tue 16-May-17 21:22:28

Who are they paying it to? 😲

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Tue 16-May-17 21:22:34

Who do they pay this service charge to? confused

Wolfiefan Tue 16-May-17 21:22:37

How weird! Who is the money paid to? No mention of it in your contracts when you bought your place?

MinorRSole Tue 16-May-17 21:22:40

Who are they paying the service charge to?

VeuveVera Tue 16-May-17 21:24:04

Very strange
Of course you shouldn't pay it.
If there was anything to pay your solicitor would have found it when you bought the property

DartmoorDoughnut Tue 16-May-17 21:24:59

That is so bizarre! Who are they paying it to??!

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Tue 16-May-17 21:25:55

Do you have a private road? I understand they can cost a fortune for upkeep.

Ellisandra Tue 16-May-17 21:26:04

You paying it wouldn't bring down their share hmm
When a house is empty, does their payment go up?
No it does not.
You're not required to pay it - for whatever reason different to them.

SavoyCabbage Tue 16-May-17 21:26:12

They all just pay for something that they don't know what it's for! How weird.

We've had a service charge for a house on a new build estate before. I think it was for the park but it was such a long time ago I'd forgotten about it until now.

AnUtterIdiot Tue 16-May-17 21:26:38

I don't think you do necessarily pay it just because others on the street do. In our estate we pay a management fee for our shared parking/garage forecourt but our neighbours have their own drive so don't pay one. Management company knows where you are so presumably would bill you if a fee was owed by your address. When did you buy the house and did your solicitor mention a service charge? I also would not pay without knowing who and what the fee was for.

Asmoto Tue 16-May-17 21:26:59

Could it be that their houses are leasehold, and yours is freehold - a previous owner of your house might have bought the freehold where others didn't?

helloitsme2016 Tue 16-May-17 21:27:18

Are they new builds? Sometimes you have to pay for the landscaping maintenance but you should have been told this when you bought?

MyPatronusIsAUnicorn Tue 16-May-17 21:28:52

What?? How can they not know who they pay it to?

YANBU. Tell them you aren't paying and the solution is for them to not pay for something they don't even know what it's for rather than you pay out. Can you phone the EA of the for sale house and ask them? Presumably they will know.

Instasista Tue 16-May-17 21:28:56

That's so funny. Of course you don't pay it, it should be in the particulars of sale. Providing it wasnt they (whoever) can't claim it from you now.

They're all bonkers! Is it maybe ground rent? Some landowners don't bother collecting it. I live in a fairly modern affluent town but the lord of the manor still owns the land. Many people pay a small ground rent despite being homeowners and getting no service

sonjadog Tue 16-May-17 21:30:08

No, you don´t pay it until you discover who it is to and what it is for. I´m very surprised that they pay it without knowing.

rollonthesummer Tue 16-May-17 21:30:19

Who are they paying it to?

CookieLady Tue 16-May-17 21:30:33

How odd.

MyPatronusIsAUnicorn Tue 16-May-17 21:30:38

"it's not a flat or leasehold or anything"

Quote from the OP.

Wolfiefan Tue 16-May-17 21:31:12

Is the money going to you?
Shades of Stepford about this! grin

StealthPolarBear Tue 16-May-17 21:32:03

Yws they must know who the cheques are payable to.

WinchestersInATardis Tue 16-May-17 21:32:20

Is it ex-council? We had to pay for maintenance for some shared stuff on the estate like lighting/play park on our ex-council place. Agree you shouldn't pay it if you don't know what it's for.

GaelicSiog Tue 16-May-17 21:32:43

I don't think you need to do anything, I think they need to find out what it's for!

Surely they must know who they're paying? confused

Hiphopapotamus4 Tue 16-May-17 21:32:43

I'm glad it's not just us who thinks it's weird then!

Not new builds, not a private road and we are all freehold houses.

Apparently they pay it to the council confused

Most of the neighbours are quite elderly so it has crossed my mind that somebody has come along pretending to be from the council and scammed them all but that wouldn't explain why it is in the estate agents details on the house that's for sale. I'm tempted to ask the estate agents what it's for!

It was definetly never mentioned when we were buying the house!

antimatter Tue 16-May-17 21:33:59

is your house ex-council?

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