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


7 Replies to “CMA to Investigate Estate Charges”

  1. Good news. After living in 3 UK properties with estate charges (all freehold houses), we have finally moved to an older property without such charges. We would prefer to buy new, but have been unable to find anything that does not have unfair estate charges and the accompanying disagreements with estate managers and neighbours. Time to stop this new way of extorting money from house owners.

    1. Agreed! We think your point about lack of choice if you want to buy new is something the CMA needs to hear!

      1. This was something I came up against. Having sold my Edwardian home, and me getting older and with health issues , I wanted new. Every house I looked at included Estate Charges of at least £500 to start. In every case no defined formula for annual increases. So with no option I had to accept these extortionate changes. It was a matter of ’take it or leave it’. Lets hope this can be put a stop to.

  2. I want to help. But I don’t know how to word my emails. I’m just frustrated. Solo battle with council as neighbours have head in the sand.

    1. You can now email the CMA – they are asking for comments by 20th March – it’s short notice but there is some guidance here You can keep it really short if you want – just thank them for investigating and say you were misled at the time of purchase and are now tied in to rising costs charged by an unaccountable managing agent/company. If you would prefer adoption by the council, say so. If you wanted/needed to buy a new build were you given any choice or did they all have estate charges?? Send your email to

  3. Having problems with the fleece hold of which I had not heard of before. Recently purchased new build with a little play area for, which I believed or lead to believe, kids who live on the estate! The sales office informed, once I had reserved and signed, that there is a small charge for upkeep of this facility and green space yearly. Now having all of the local teenagers playing outside my front door because we have no rights to ask them to leave. Paying for the privilege to be harassed on a daily basis.
    This is something I am now very annoyed and anxious about.

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