CMA to Investigate Estate Charges

Great News

Wonderful news for all HorNet supporters and other estate dwellers who have worked so hard to inform the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) of the problems associated with privately managed estates. You know who you are – thank you so much!!

The CMA have announced a wide ranging enquiry into new homes provision, land banking and planning. Included will be “unfair”estate charges – at long last! We look forward to this enquiry and will be offering evidence of detriment to consumers over mi-selling and anti-competitive management arrangements, as well as the longer term quality issues.

Why does a CMA enquiry matter?

If they confirm a problem in the market they have powers to enforce rectification and their findings often lead to a change in the law. They have just completed their investigation into doubling ground rents in new leasehold homes, and succeeded in getting these banned going forward, and the big developers to change the ground rent terms for existing properties. We know they will find problems with consumer and competition laws in the privately managed estate market and trust they will also take action in due course. We still need to be patient as it will take time, but the news they are investigation is still fantastic!

Read the press release from the CMA here


Self Management Struggles

It’s not easy for residents to take over the management of their estate maintenance, even when the company set up allows it. As this example shows, you need determination and a willingness to dig into the specific set up for your development. The pay off is greater control of costs, better quality work and value for money. However self management does not remove the liability for maintenance of what is often sub standard infrastructure. Many other estates, although not this one it seems, include public open spaces.

Hornet’s goal is for these areas to be adopted, but many residents on existing privately managed estates want to self manage to get better value for money. They can then choose to run things themselves or on larger estates appoint their own managing agent, answerable to them. In this instance the residents chose to run things themselves. We thank you for sharing your experiences, which we hope will help others who wish to self manage…..


Size Matters!

Congratulations HorNets! We have reached over 10,000 supporters in our FaceBook group.

This not only shows how many people support our campaign to abolish privately managed estates in favour of adoption by councils, but gives an indicator of the size of the problem nationally.

If we want a change in the law, we need to demonstrate a large number of people are disadvantaged by the current system.

The bottom line is that estate dwellers regardless of tenure end up footing the bill for maintaining cheaply constructed estate infrastructure, sub standard for adoption. Developers maximise profit at the consumers expense.

Who knows the size of this rapidly growing problem? Neither the government nor the local authorities are counting, so we are in our own small way and now have a good representative sample of C800 estates.

The government do count completed dwellings and from their statistics we find that between the start of 2001 and the end of 2021, 3009750 dwelling were completed – yes that’s over 3M! If we accept that private estates were not universal near the beginning of that time span and not all dwellings are on estates we could round it down to 3 million. Three million disadvantaged!

From our own data we have 677 estates with clear information on estate charges per home per annum and the average is £273. We began collecting this data over 5 years ago, so this is almost certainly below the current figure.

However we could use it to get a feel for the size of the “industry”. 3 x 273 = 819. We calculate that managing agents are collecting £819 million per year in estate charges. Little wonder there is resistance to change.

Let’s make 2023 the year we work together using this data to create change!


Updated Slideshow

In response to questions from supporters and fellow sufferers we have updated and expanded our slideshow to try to cover all of the aspects of the private estate scam in the UK. Everything we know has been gathered through our network.

One of the reasons for updating the presentation is that we are going to use it as the basis for a talk (via Zoom) to new build residents groups brought together by their prospective councillor. The aim is to inform them of their situation and help them organise appropriately to protect themselves from exploitation as far as is possible at the moment.

If this event is successful, we may be able to run it with other groups.


Updated Briefing Paper

Our numbers increase with time, so we have had to update our briefing paper for politicians and press to reflect this. The best place to find up to date numbers is in the “Who are We?” section of this web site.

The issues outlined remain the same as does the lack of government action!

We propose a number of solutions in our paper:

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