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Service Charges. Can a residential property maintenance company charge all residents for the actions of one?


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I live in a small apartment block of 12 flats. They are all leashold and there is a property management company that looks after communal areas and gardens. 

 

Over the past couple of months someone, maybe more than one person in the block has been placing large items in the communal bin sheds that the local council will not take. Things such as broken tv's, computer chairs, a large pet cage etc. 

 

There are notices up around the building about not doing this but it continues to happen. 

 

The property management company has now emailed a few of the residents stating that if this happens again, ALL residents will be liable for any charges incurred in having the items removed. 

 

There is nothing in our lease or property management agreement that states we will be charged for the actions of other residents. 

 

I think the property management's actions are not only morally wrong but possibly illegal? Not sure hence why I ask here. 

 

Thanks.

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I don't know what the legal documents say, but if particular individuals are causing this problem but they cannot be identified, then who else do you think should be responsible for dealing with it?

Somebody will have to take responsibility and get it done and that will cost money. Everyone wants to benefit from a well-run property with tidy bin sheds. Clearly you are all the victims of some irresponsible person but if you all take the view that you're not prepared to pay for the upkeep – then I don't know where that leads you except to eventually, a slum.

Somehow or other the responsible person or persons are going to have to be identified – and that will probably be tricky but in the meantime, I'd be interested to know how you expect the dustbin area to be cleaned up if nobody is prepared to pay for it.

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I expect the property management company to deal with it. We are not here to police the other residents. We pay the property management enough money every year for very little in the way of maintenance. 

 

Of course, it is difficult to identify who the perpetrator(s) is but that doesn't mean I or any of the other residents should be paying to remove someone else's rubbish. 

 

And how can we even be sure it is residents of our block putting this stuff in there? The bin sheds have no locks so anyone could be dumping rubbish in there. 

 

I hear what you are saying about not letting the place slide into the realms of being a slum. This is a nice modern development and certainly myself and the residents that I know personally would never let that happen. 

 

I guess we are just going to have to find out who is doing the dumping. Not sure how but there must be a way.

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This is just my opinion but I'm with the OP on this.

 

I don't see how or why the management company can hold all residents responsibile for the actions of others, especially as it sounds like the bin areas are not secure, so anyone could be dumping rubbish and may continue to do so once they discover that the rubbish gets cleared away at someone else's expense.

 

I would write to the management company and advise them that you wil not be accepting any charge to clear the rubbish until they ensure the bin area is secure or provide secuirty such as CCTV .

 

Bear in mind any extra security will mean extra charges for the residents but as it seems they expect you to pay anyway you may as well get something for your money.

 

Can you get all the residents together to sign the letter? Strength in numbers.

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1 hour ago, Homer67 said:

This is just my opinion but I'm with the OP on this.

 

I don't see how or why the management company can hold all residents responsibile for the actions of others, especially as it sounds like the bin areas are not secure, so anyone could be dumping rubbish and may continue to do so once they discover that the rubbish gets cleared away at someone else's expense.

 

I would write to the management company and advise them that you wil not be accepting any charge to clear the rubbish until they ensure the bin area is secure or provide secuirty such as CCTV .

 

Bear in mind any extra security will mean extra charges for the residents but as it seems they expect you to pay anyway you may as well get something for your money.

 

Can you get all the residents together to sign the letter? Strength in numbers.

Good idea. There should definitely be locks on the bin sheds. At least that would prevent non-residents from dumping anything. The only problem then is that someone would need to make sure the sheds are unlocked for the refuse collections every week. I am sure we could sort something out. 

 

Cameras would be very handy but given these clowns have trouble fixing the loose handle on the front door in the lobby and take an age to respond to requests to replace blown bulbs in the entrance area I don't hold out much hope. 

 

This is a fairly large development and they have the contract for all of it. They are making an absolute fortune for doing bugger all! Now they have the cheek to threaten us with charges for removing someone else's rubbish...which by the way has not actually been removed and is still in the bin shed.

 

I will deliver a letter to each resident and see if we can sort this out. I "think" I know who the culprit might be but can't prove it and in any case I am not sure they are away that these items will not be taken in a "normal" bin collection. Worth giving them the benefit of the doubt and perhaps guiding them toward the right solution.

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I don't know about the legalities of this, site team member @stu007 is good at this. But if enough of you agree about taking action, does someone have a flat that overlooks the bins area where you could install a not very expensive CCTV camera?

 

I understand your frustration with the costs, but overall it might be cheaper to take legitimate action yourselves than wait for a management company that only wants to take your money and then charge you for the dumped rubbish.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi

 

I can appreciate  you are annoyed at this correspondence from the Management Company.

 

Have the leaseholders asked the Management Company what action they are taking to find the perpetrator/s?

 

You say they have contacted a select few leaseholders within your building, I would ask the Management Company to clarify that that correspondence was sent to ALL Leaseholder of that building.

 

If everyone within that building is a Leaseholder have your considered setting up a Leaseholders Residents Association or chatting with others to consider it as an option?
https://www.lease-advice.org/faq/how-do-i-form-a-residents-association/

 

The Leasehold Advisory Service- Living in Leasehold Flats – A guide to how it works:
https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/living-leasehold-flats-guide/

 

The suggestions to making sure the bin area has i.e. Locks to Cameras, nice suggestions but you need to bear in mind the costs for doing these suggestions as these will be added as a shared bill/service charge bill to all leaseholders within that building as it will have to be paid for.

 


 

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