Dudley MP Ian Austin is calling for action to help homeowners who are being ripped-off by maintenance fees on new-build developments.
Estate charges, also known as service charges, management charges, or maintenance fees are now a common feature of many new housing estates. The public green spaces have been retained by the developer or sold to a managing agent, rather than being adopted by the local authority. Residents are then charged inflated fees for its upkeep.
Homeowners currently have very few powers to dispute the fees or change supplier if the service provided proves inadequate.
It is estimated that over 1.3 million households across the country are affected, and given the government’s ambitions for house building, many more soon will be.
Ian Austin said:
“It’s really shocking that homeowners on new-build estates are being charged over-the-odds by private companies for the upkeep of shared facilities on their estates.
“These fees are high, rising, uncapped and unregulated, and do not result in quality service. There is little transparency about the fees, and homeowners have virtually no rights to contest them, even if services are not provided.
“This isn’t fair on people in Dudley, and I’ll campaign for these charges to be regulated, for homeowners to have more say in what happens to their shared facilities and for management companies to ensure these shared facilities are of an adequate standard for residents.”