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Management company issues

(3 Posts)
LucyLambstealer Tue 10-Oct-17 22:19:17

Hi,

Wondering if anyone can give me some advice? I'm close to being able to exchange contracts on a flat I love but I've found out there's so major issues with the management company. They've been doing some really dodgy grabby things and were taken to the tribunal about it by the collective flats. The issue I can see is that the flat owners are being overcharged service fees and also charged extra unfair maintenance fees. The figures I got show that the current flat owner is paying about double the market value for service charges for this area, about £200 a month and then also was charged £4,000 (2 lots of £2,000) for maintenance works last year none of which the management company stated what they were actually maintaining, just vague "necessary periodic repairs." I'm concerned because it says in the invoice "half yearly maintenance fees" in the description which to me sounds like they were paying £4,000 maintenance every single year as well as the service charge! This sounds crazy to me! So they took it to the tribunal and afaik they won the case. The vendor stated they had a "favourable" outcome which the management company didn't appeal but I don't know exactly what the outcome is. My solicitor is obviously looking into it now but I don't know how long that will take. I really don't know if I should go ahead with the purchase or not at this point. To clarify, I can just about accept the higher service charge as the price of the flat is less than market value, - service charge is £200 a month although may decrease as per tribunal rulings, similar charge in same area for other flats is around £100-120 a month but the flat I'd say is being sold about £20,000 under value so the way I see it is for a similar flat in the same area with a better service charge I would be paying more for the mortgage so all in all that probably balances itself out at the end of the day. I am not happy at all with the maintenance charges though. Is it normal for flats to get charged that much annually extra maintenance fees? (I am not a UK native). Can I find out somehow if that will continue in the future after the tribunal rulings or if I buy the flat and have issues how painful will it be to challenge? I'm really torn because I love this place so much and this is the only thing holding me back! I can accept the service charge but not those crazy maintenance fees sad

For reference if helps the flat is not in London, it is in the SW/S of the country, the building is fairly old I think 60 or 70 years but was renovated 3 years ago. Survey didn't come up with any structural issues and I really can't even fathom how they could be legitimately spending the maintenance fee because no major work has been done on the flat or the building and it's not in a bad state. It's not an expensive penthouse or luxury apartment or anything like that.

SnowBallsAreHere Tue 10-Oct-17 22:26:06

It could be that they are building up a reserve fund for bigger maintenance. Which would be good. Better to spend £500-1000 per year than have an unexpected £££ bill for say building painting which should be done every 5-7 years.

But if the residents have taken the management co to court, it doesn't sound brilliant

Have a look at www.leaseadvice.org which is a fab resource for leasehold/freehold issues

LucyLambstealer Tue 10-Oct-17 22:31:23

I doubt they are building a reserve fund to be honest they just sound really shadey. I wonder what the outcome from them being taken to court will be, if the management company will try anything else or not? That's what really concerns me, ugh

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