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
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
For now please let me know whether other tenants pay a service charge please?
two other tenants pay this through there rent.
as indeed I do until purchase but I will have to after which is my bone of contention.
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.
So there is a service charge, but its included in rent?
Thank you. It is bad news I am afraid.
All leased properties ie flats are subject to a service charge - this is entirely normal.
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).
Also the landlord is responsible for the windows, outside and fabric of the building
Sadly they are entitled to make a fee unless the Council wrote to you and said you would never have to pay this
If the Council did then you have a right
If the Council did not then sadly you have to pay the service fee
Any service charge must be reasonable. If not then you can take it to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal who assess service charges
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
Please see: http://www.charlesrussell.co.uk/UserFiles/file/pdf/Real%20Estate/Guides%20and%20info%20sheets/A%20guide%20to%20resolving%20service%20charge%20disputes.pdf
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Just one more piece of information please.
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.
Will this make any difference to your answer. sorry my original question was rather vague. GJ.
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.
I will be rating your work as excellent. G.J.