Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Service charges rip-off?

Housing associations and local authorities are to be included in an investigation into the service charges, sometimes thousands of pounds a year, which are imposed on home-owners with leasehold property.

The Office of Fair Trading is launching a market study into the charges, paid by 5 million leaseholders in England and Wales for maintenance of the shared areas of their building and for roof repairs.

It is acting on concerns about overcharging, commission paid by contractors to freeholders to win business and the lack of choice for leaseholders over who does repair work.

Since it gave warning of the investigation in December the OFT has received complaints that leaseholders with public sector landlords face just as many problems as those in the private sector - so the scope of the study is being expanded.

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