- Service charge on the flat I want to buy = £190 pcm. Is that normal?
that is a lot. But it wouldn’t hurt to see the accounts to see if it’s being spent on things like lifts, security etc or if they save it for repairs.
We have a £70 p/m charge but get hit with about £5-7k every 5 years so tbh I need to start putting £100 p/m away into a savings account so at least i am getting the interest on it.Posted 4 years agocranberryMember
€330 a month here for a 120 sq M apartment, the service charge includes, water, hot water and heating, for which I got a €1000 rebate last year, so actually about €250 a month all in.
What you do need to check, if things in the UK are similar to Holland, is that there is plenty of cash in reserve for the owners association to cover any expected/unexpected issues in the future – a friend bought an apartment where the service charges had been buttons for the last 30-odd years, and they have no money in the pot to repair the roof, so each owner ended up with €6000 cash they had to find in a hurry.Posted 4 years agoDanny79Member
Is the block of flats Right To Manage? If the flats are RTM you and other residents can pick the management company this insures you get best value for money. If it’s the lease holder who decides they won’t be fussed about you getting value*, it is possible to get RTM for the block if you get 50% of owners on board. My flat wasn’t RTM when brought it but after lots of hassle it is now and we got shot of crap management company. Worth finding out who the management company are as some of them are shocking.Posted 4 years ago
*some lease holders will even use a company that’s a part of the same group. Get lease agreement checked out as there are some shocking ones about.brooessMember
I’m a first time buyer. Love the flat I’m in – got approval in principle on the mortgage, beginning the process of negotiation with the landlord who’s keen to sell – private sale too.Posted 4 years ago
Asked a few questions about the lease and service charge and apparently the service charge is £190pcm!
Now I’ve no idea about what’s normal but that seems extortionate. If I upped the amount I want to borrow by that much each month I could buy a house instead… which potentially means the bikes can go in a shed instead of the spare bedroom…RichPennyMember
Mine is ex-council and service charge is about £10 a month. Every 7 years they’ll do a balcony repaint etc, cost for that was about £500. There was a notice a few years back regarding a charge to fit new arial/sky dish, but plenty of folk must have told them to do one, as the next letter said it was free 😀Posted 4 years agozilog6128Subscriber
Mine is £110 pm and I think that’s quite expensive. Bear in mind it can (and will) creep up over the years – mine is double now what it was 10 years ago.
A few years ago we did what Danny79 suggested (RTM) and, although it didn’t decrease the service charge, we can actually get things sorted now e.g. fire the gardeners/cleaners if they’re rubbish (both of which we’ve done!) Before we were RTM we found that, although the management company made the right noises when we complained, nothing actually get sorted.
Definitely find out who the management company is first if it’s not RTM. Google them to see if any other developments have problems with them. If they are Peverel/OM – run away!!Posted 4 years agoStonerSubscriber
I own a flat in a block of 4 of a converted town house. A few years ago we enfranchised the freehold amongst the leaseholders and took over the ownership of the block in London and put a management company in to look after things.
The normal annual costs are:
Accounts & Co. Sec £350
Utilities & cleaning £500
Management fee £600
We aim for a s/c payment of about £1,300 per flat + £800 from the commercial tenant which leaves us plenty that goes towards exceptional maintenance and a sinking fund. We are putting a fair chunk of extra in to build up to a £10-20k sinking fund to do some decoration and refurb work. But in terms of annual cost, each flat covers about £600.
Ask to see the accounts and dont forget to look at the sinking fund contribution – that is still your money, just held on account against future capital expenditure so you dont get hit with a big bill if something big goes bang.
The management co has earned it’s fee many times over by being brilliant dealing with a commercial tenant who’s an arse.Posted 4 years agoGJPMember
Is that just the service charge or does it include the sinking fund for major repairs? I pay over £3k per annum for my flat (about £2k service charge and £1k sinking fund). In addition in the 12 years I have lived here i have been asked to pay a further £19k as a 1/32nd share for a new roof.
Yes I agree about the buying a house comment.Posted 4 years agocouldashouldawouldaMember
If I upped the amount I want to borrow by that much each month I could buy a house instead…
A much better idea. If your mortage co agrees with the figures for both the flat and house . I suspect they wont (treating the SC as part of your optional spending – if that makes sense).
So basically if you can get a mortage on the house with no SC it make more sense to me than a flat with the same monthly mortage+SC that you cant borrow for / or invest in.Posted 4 years agozippykonaSubscriber
My friends management company on his flat decided to change all the numbers on the door at £35 a pop.Posted 4 years ago
Management companies are vultures and there’s nothing you can do.
I nearly bought a flat once but the fees steered me towards a house. You never own your lease hold flat.
Ok amongst other things we get for our £4k, before anyone has a pop, we get:
Fully heated pool
Fully fitted Gym & Equipment
Serviced cleaning ( you can ask them to do your Appt if you want at an extra charge of £50 week, we don’t )
Fully maintained building and grounds
We have lifts
We have 5 penthouse Appts ( no, no we don’t live in one )
We have very few folk moving in/out, all seem happy to stay so we don’t suffer with temporary letting, most have bought.
We have had a new lift system, fire system, the decorating gets done once a year in the access/entry/exit areas, carpark has been refurbed once ( new concrete layed and security lighting, fire sprinklers )
We have a communal area and most important we have an Owners Union whereby we have 50% say in any works undertaken by the Mgt Company.
I think for our money, we’ve done rather well.Posted 4 years agojambalayaSubscriber
Do they have a concierge / door man ? Ask to see the annual accounts and/or expenditure, £190 PCM is high but not excessive.
We pay £110 pcm for an apartment, this covers basics like insurance, cleaning, gardening, regular maintenance plus small reserve for future large works – the management agent skims off 25% but not enough of the owners care to get rid of them and do it themselves.
£4k – ouch, underground car parking is something I’d think would be reflected in the purchase price not service charge.Posted 4 years ago
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