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  • Leasehold Property

    Is it really worth it?

    Hi all,

    I own a BTL one bed flat in Colchester, Essex. It is leasehold and the fees come to nearly £90 a month. I have been considering taking over the management myself as after looking at the breakdown of costings, all 26 of the 'tenants' are paying a ridiculous charge for menial tasks such as cleaning and grass cutting! By tenants I mean the other 26 flats in the block(the 26 flats are in 5 separate blocks and my flat is in a block of 4 flats).

    I just wondered if anyone had been or is in the same situation because I'm tempted to sell and take the equity out to fund another purchase but if I can save considerably on the management fees, it makes sense to keep hold.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Adam

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    The service charges do not sound unreasonable, if you feel any particular aspect of the charges are expensive discuss it with the managing agents and ask them if they can obtain alternative quotes with a view to changing a particular contractor.

    It is unlikely that you will obtain agreement from all other leaseholders to take on the management, you may be able to persuade them that another managing agent would be more cost effective but if the property is being reasonably well maintained I suspect that also will be unlikely.

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    Hi Adam

    It's definitely the best option .. may be give the leasehold advisory service a call .

    Both my flats are managed by a board of directors of owners .. we employ a managnent agent who looks after maintaince issues .. collection of service4 charges and all legal matters .

    All charges and contracts are agreed by director owners .

    We don't charge ourselves for lease extension fees ( just legal fees )

    We currently pay £ 350 every 6 months .. this includes a fund towards roof works that will need to be done around 2023 

    Cleaning contracts, gardening , maintaince contacts are reviewed by owns annually .

    It works extremely well for us ... I would assume you would need to start by consulting other owners ... we changed managnent companies last year and made a £13k saving just on this ... best of luck .

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    That's good to hear and very encouraging-many thanks.

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    OK so the latest from my freeholder is that I have to register my property as being sub-letted out to a tenant, for insurance purpose-fine, I get that.

    What I'm not fine with is that they want £120 every year as an administrative charge!!

    Is this acceptable in your opinions??

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    Check what your lease says on this, some say freeholders need to be notified without mention of a fee, others may say each time the legal title changes the freeholder needs to be advised and a fee is due although £120 sounds toppy, I think the FTT felt that £40 was about right where a fee is payable.

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    The freeholder for the one flat I own charges exactly the same. I think they judge it as as high as they can get a way with without being taken to court.

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    I have a freeholder charging £240 for each new tenancy. Not too expensive but never understood what the charge is actually for. I can understand if they just wanted me to inform them of any new tenancy, but to charge £240 each time is unreasonable I think.

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    you are being taken to the cleaners, quote the ruling in Upper Chamber (Lands Tribunal) in 2012 whereby the charge should be £40 +vat. then claim the back charges as you have been over paying. IF they don't. try applying to the small claims court under this ruling and their over charging. Don't worry about them threatening to withhold permission for you to rent as I understand it they cannot unreasonably withhold that permission- a test of reasonableness; section 19(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 states that this kind of clause must always be read subject to a qualification that consent cannot be unreasonably withheld. I am not a legal person so you would need to check my comments out. All I can say is when I had a flat the covenants where quite restrictive but the court did not accept some as they were not consistence with today's way of life and living.One interesting one was no animals and that one was upheld so usually depends upon the judge.

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