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Expense charges for access rights


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I own a property in a small development of 7 houses.

There is a tarmac access area and some paved footpaths around the houses for which ownership has been retained by the developer but over which the residents have right of access, subject to our each paying a share of maintenance and upkeep expenses.

 

 

The developer has appointed an agent to act for him and this agent has issued invoices for expenses annually, typically in the amount of £250 per property i.e. £1750 per year in total for the whole development.

 

As far as we are aware little or no maintenance work has been carried out, and none is really needed,

but there is a possibility that someone has visited occasionally for the purpose of sweeping and general tidying.

 

 

No substantiation of the amount claimed has been provided despite request but the agent has stated that, as well as actual maintenance cost, we are liable to pay for insurance, lighting, management and accountancy fees for the whole estate.

 

The residents acknowledge liability for maintenance costs actually incurred and have agreed to pay a nominal amount of £100 each (making £700 in total), which should be well in excess of the costs actually incurred.

 

The agent has responded by issuing a "Formal Demand" and stating that unless we pay the amount claimed in full either the account will passed to a debt collection agency who may issue court proceedings or a first charge may be added to any applicable mortgage.

 

 

We are also informed that the developer can place a charge over our properties, and that we will be liable for any legal and financial administration costs incurred.

 

The question is therefore can the developer or his agent carry out any of these threats? How? Do they have to go through the courts?

 

If it were a one-off charge we would probably pay the amount claimed,

but it is annual and so would accumulate in perpetuity.

 

 

Also, any registered outstanding claim would have to be settled if any of us wished to sell.

And there may at some point be some genuine maintenance or repair work that is required to be done.

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They can try but it's very unlikely they'd get a charge for 200 quid. Plus they'd have to justify the charge in court

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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moved to residential forum.

 

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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the managing agent cant do anything off their own back but commonly they will say all sorts of things to earnt ehmselves money. If you forma residents association you can remove them and either bring in someone else or do the job yourselves. You may also be able to purchase the common parts. As there are only 7 houses both of these options should be failry easy to execute, the latter being the most sensible.

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I assume your property isnt leasehold ?

 

What you are paying is effectively leasehold service charges but for a freehold property, unfortunately many of the protections in law dont aply to FH only LH.

 

However I think the provisions of Estate Management Charges apply here, see Section 8 here on LEASE site > http://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/service-charges-and-other-issues/

 

You can phone/email LEASE for advise to check if Im correct.

 

Basically you are contractually bound to pay the charges but you may be able to question the amount.

 

You should have a contract somewhere that will spell out what you are liable for, any extra admin/legal costs are not recoverable unless the contract (or lease if LH) mentions it.

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Get together with the other landlords and ask to purchase the land.

Usually they're characters are after a quick buck

 

If this isnt leasehold property I dont think this is an option, even in leasehold it can be a complicated process and can be very expensive (depending on how long is left on lease and level of ground rent etc).

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