Q: Our ‘scheme’ of 32 Flats has experienced several managing agents. Residents have, at their own expense, installed new bathrooms and kitchens, also windows and front doors etc. Until now these works have had to be requested and permission gained without fees. We have now been told that a fee of £75.00 will be charged for each application. Surely, the management fee included in the service charge should include the occasional resident’s application for internal improvements?
FPRA Director Shula Rich replies:
Re a fee, this is an admin cost. If may be challenged at a Tribunal if you think it is unreasonable. It’s a fee for consent – and not unusual – but it depends what they are doing for it. If it’s just a signature, then it’s an overcharge. If it involves reviewing the work and supervising, then it’s reasonable
As an admin charge, the £75.00 demand must be accompanied by an S158 schedule 11 notice or it is not payable. I suggest you see what clerical supervisory work they are doing to justify the fee. Say you will challenge if they are doing nothing or very little.
[Submitted November 2016]