Excessive Service Charge

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    I really feel leaseholders are being ripped off with excessive service charges. This year’s bill is £1,288.78. We have no lift, no hot water, no other facilities – just a basic hallway entrance! This just does not add up, I was at a better homes meeting recently and when discussing costs the council employee said ‘but I guess your Service Charge is reasonable at around £400’ he was shocked when I told him its over £100 a month for no facilities.

    In comparison I have a friend who lives in Judd Street where they have 2 lifts, carpeted hallways, hot water and heating and a day concierge for exactly the same price!

    Since 2011 the management charge has increased 318%, each flat paying £228.72 so with 25 flats in my block that’s £5,718. This is surely excessive and can not be justified.

    Anyone else feel the same? What can we do as Leasehold Services just waffle answers to complaints and no one takes any notice. I feel Camden Council are very poor at managing costs.


    I totally feel the same! this year I sent an email to the lease holders services to ask for some explanation.
    My bill is over 1900£ (including 800£ of water and gas), and the also sent me a major work notice of 1300£ (which none of the people I spoke to at the phone can still explain what works will be about).
    Including in the costs there is a 80£ a year for the ventilation system?!?! it’s just a fan, that we changed last year and it costed me over a 1000£ ( already a rip off), and another fee for the Door system (they never broke down), and the care taking is listed twice ( also care taking means just cleaning the stairs once in a while, that’s all) ?!
    I am so sick of the Council and how the treat leaseholders as walking, dumb, wallets. I bought a flat in this horrible building because I couldn’t afford anything better, but it’s turning out that it will cost me more then a better house is a more secure area!
    I also have to deal with loud neighbours, leaks, and stealing in the communal ares.
    How can we move toward a change?



    Totally agree with your response. I had to pay towards fixing a communal door last year… one from the block next door which you can not gain access to my property from but ‘becuase its on the estate’ we all had to pay.

    It seems to me that no one holds Camden Council to account. They keep saying about the need to save money and the pressure they have due to budget cuts but then agree to spend huge sums on expensive contractors that do sub standard work. They could save the tax payer a lot of money for the social housing and for those in leashold, if they cared to get better quotes.


    I also feel that they don’t have any track of the works carried out in the flats (the even forgot to install the bloody new fan in my bathroom, and they billed me without doing the job!).
    I already started a formal complaint about a leak in my flat from one of their property that it’s on since last DECEMBER!
    But I still feel they don’t care, and they won’t improve any of the services!
    What’s the institution in charge of the Council? I think we really need to start a formal battle, in order to make things better. I can’t live in the Fear of more HUGE bills coming at my doorstep. My house is costing me over since a bought my flat (a little 45 m, 1 bed) It’s costing me around 4000£ a year just in bills and major work!! who can afford that?!?!
    And for what? for living in a horrible area, with no improvements at all!


    feel the same here!
    we just had a bill of £6000 for heating and gas distribution, without any explanation, and that’s on top of the day to day service charge… It’s totally unreasonable. My neighbours and we have started discussing actions
    Can you get in touch maybe we can do something together?


    Hi all, I feel exactly the same frustration due to the inexplicably high service charges.

    I have bought my flat in 2006. An ex council flat was the only decently sized property in a central location I could afford.
    The service charges have gone up so much that I pay as much or more than other people I know pay in private flats, with 24 hours concierge and neighbours that do not spit, pee or litter in the communal areas like they do in the street. Estimate service charge for 2016-17 are now £ 2,413.74 plus an extra £ 2,413.74 major work estimate.
    This is without taking into consideration the new lifts that were replaced last year
    and that due to carelessness look exactly the same as the
    old ones as nobody really gives a damn if the communal areas are clean or not especially if they
    do not get the same kind of bills leaseholders get.

    It seems to me the few leaseholders in Camden and probably in other council in London are targeted and treated like “money pigs”.

    Better homes is a great project and I am sure everybody welcomes decent communal areas and decent looking council blocks/flat but overcharging the few of us that own the properties is just going to drive us away as unable to afford to pay the yearly fees without seeing any benefits.

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