An MP is to introduce a Private Members Bill in parliament today that will seek to radically reform how management firms charge freeholders service fees within private ‘unadopted’ housing estates.
These are developments built by large house builders and who then sell off the estate’s communal areas to a property management company which then levies a service fee.
Preet Kaur Gill, Labour MP for Edgbaston in Birmingham, will introduce her Freehold Property (Management Charges) Bill just after prime minister’s questions in the Commons.
If she can steer her bill through to Royal Assent, then landlords and their agents will be forced to provide accounts detailing their management charges and how they are spent.
Campaigners claim the new law is needed to stop freeholders and leaseholders on unadopted private estates being charged excessive fees for the upkeep of roads and pavements.
Gill (pictured, left) is to argue during the opening debate that while homeowners within these estates face enforcement action if they do not pay the fees, the companies who collect them have no statutory duty to disclose how or where they spent or justify increases.
“Residents who own their own homes as freeholders are left feeling helpless as they try to find out how much is left in the scheme and they are rightly aggrieved that, despite their payment into said fund, the opaqueness of it makes them powerless to try and enforce the responsibilities of the landlord or management scheme manager,” she says.
The MP has been prompted to introduce the bill after getting involved with a residents’ association in Edgbaston that has in the past clashed with its management company.