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Property Management Companies: Fees and Charges

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN 104343, tabled on 14 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what measures are in place to enable freeholders on private estates to dispute increases to land management fees made without their agreement.

Answered on

24 January 2022

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service. Where people pay estate rentcharges it is not appropriate that these homeowners have limited rights to challenge these costs.

That is why the Government intends to legislate to ensure that the charges that resident freeholders may pay towards the maintenance of communal area are fairer and more transparent.

To this effect, we will legislate to give freeholders on private and mixed tenure estates equivalent rights to leaseholders to challenge the reasonableness of estate rentcharges, as well as a right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal to appoint a new manager to manage the provision of services.

In addition, we will ensure that where a freeholder pays a rentcharge, the rentcharge owner is not able to take possession or grant a lease on the property where the rentcharge remains unpaid for a short period of time. We will translate these measures into law when parliamentary time allows.

We will also consider the option of introducing a Right to Manage for residential freeholders once we have considered the Law Commission's report and recommendations on changes to the Right to Manage for leaseholders.