Property Lawyers or people who know their stuff around freeholds?

Wondered if anyone knows a decent resources (or brief) that’s helpful for freeholders if they’re disputing service charges from a mgt company?

Long shot I know, but my google foo is not giving me anything that is immediately helpful for something I’m helping out a friend with

Figured that forewarned is forearmed in case the problem at hand gets messy down the line
 

JohnBrodie

New Member
Unfortunately not, usually a management company will deal with the collection of service charge/ground rent. This goes for payments to contactors and sinking funds. There's no bargaining the price.
 
So if I've got this right.... Your friend owns the freehold (if a house) or a share of the freehold (if a flat). The original developer of the estate / block engaged a third party management company who manages the estate/block on behalf of the freeholders.

When the developer finished the estate, they should have transferred the engagement of the management company to the group of freeholders. How is that group constituted? Is there a Ltd company to which Freeholders automatically become directors? Or is it something more like a residents association? Is there a chairman or some sort of committee?

Ultimately the management company is supplying a service to the freeholders and if the freeholders are not satisfied with the service or its cost, then there should be some way in which they can be challenged. The ultimate sanction would be to serve notice on the management company and seek quotes from alternative companies to provide the same service. The threat of the incumbent losing the contract may make them more willing to negotiate?

Unfortunately the more people who are freeholders the more people you have to cajole to get a majority to even start to go down that route.....

An alternative thing you could decide - although this very much depends upon the property type and number of people involved - (this is what we do with a block of 6 purpose built flats where I own some buy to lets)- we self manage it. Our ground rent is zero, our maintenance charge is half of what you'd pay commercially. We have a five figure sinking fund held in corporate bank account. As the chairman I just sort everything out which is a bit of hassle once in a while, and then agree with a majority of other owners before we do anything. But we've saved a fortune over the years by not lining the pockets of a professional Management Company.
 
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