How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
75100385
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

I am buying my home of twenty five years through RTB. this

Resolved Question:

I am buying my home of twenty five years through RTB. this will be a freehold property but the housing association has imposed a yearly service charge as part of the contract to buy. I was a council tenant before the housing people took over the council stock and the council always said that I would not loose any of my rights. Under the council I would not be subjected to this charge. can you please advise. Graeme.J.

there are 6 houses in the block,three of which purchased by council tenents before the switch. they do not pay this service charge

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know whether other tenants pay a service charge please?

Customer:

two other tenants pay this through there rent.

Customer:

as indeed I do until purchase but I will have to after which is my bone of contention.

Customer:

As a matter of point. if I were to purchase and sell after 10 years who would buy this property freehold from me with a service charge attached to a third party.

Alex Watts :

So there is a service charge, but its included in rent?

Customer:

yes

Alex Watts : Was there a service charge included in the rent when the council owned it?
Customer:

no.

Alex Watts :

Thank you. It is bad news I am afraid.

Alex Watts :

All leased properties ie flats are subject to a service charge - this is entirely normal.

Alex Watts :

You are correct in that you do not lose your rights. However all leased properties have a service charge because there are communal areas that need to be paid for such as lighting, decorating, maintaining lifts etc (if applicable).

Alex Watts :

Also the landlord is responsible for the windows, outside and fabric of the building

Alex Watts :

Sadly they are entitled to make a fee unless the Council wrote to you and said you would never have to pay this

Alex Watts :

If the Council did then you have a right

Alex Watts :

If the Council did not then sadly you have to pay the service fee

Alex Watts :

Any service charge must be reasonable. If not then you can take it to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal who assess service charges

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Please see: http://www.charlesrussell.co.uk/UserFiles/file/pdf/Real%20Estate/Guides%20and%20info%20sheets/A%20guide%20to%20resolving%20service%20charge%20disputes.pdf

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Just one more piece of information please.

Alex Watts : Of course.
Customer:

The freehold of the property I am buying. The service charges in question is for a piece of common ground 25 metres away from this property, not gated, not well maintained,and no notices to say that this property is owned by anyone.

Customer:

Will this make any difference to your answer. sorry my original question was rather vague. GJ.

Alex Watts : Sadly not. But usually you only buy the leasehold if it is a flat.
Alex Watts : I am sorry
Customer:

Thank you for your time and patience. I will still go ahead with the purchase of my home as, indeed, it is still a good deal.

Customer:

I will be rating your work as excellent. G.J.

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you