We know there are many of us, but we don’t yet know figures up and down the country. Add your estate/development to our directory – it will help us all in our campaigns. We will post the directory on our FaceBook group and on this site but will not publicise your name or email. We ask for these details in case we need to contact you directly for more information.
Please let us know your Estate Name, UK area, number of homes, builder, management company and if it is finished yet. Please either comment here or on facebook or use this form
19 Replies to “Estate Directory”
I’m on the South Middleton estate in West Lothian. It was built by Persimmon, has 93 freehold properties and it was finished approximately 10 years ago. Sadly the common land areas are owned and maintained by Greenbelt.
We are based in Kent and have had many erroneous charges appear on bills, for things such as ‘playground maintenance’ of nearly £1K pa for one wooden climbing frame, yet nothing is broken, been repaired or had any work due to the pandemic. We asked questions but are just stone-walled by our management company ‘Remus.’ Residents withheld payments whilst they promised to investigate and freeze accounts. We never got answers and are still waiting for final accounts. Next thing we know they are threatening legal action against residents via a debt collection agency for the charges they promised were frozen. We even have a resident who had invoices sent to the wrong email address, which Remus admitted was their admin error and now they levy late payment charges to the resident for the same invoices. No one from the management company ever visits the development so we have no idea whether the work is being completed or provides value for money. These companies are just using residents as cash cows and we desperately need legislation to protect consumers.
There’s a few of us here from Sankey Drive in Shropshire. We’re small, just 26 houses, which means we’re organised. The estate was finished in 2012. Mainstay are the maintenance agents appointed by landlords Taylor Wimpey.
I am on a Taylor WImpey Estate in Northamptonshire. There are 120 homes and the management company is Central Management. The estate is looking to be completed at the end of the year, to which Taylor Wimpey have informed us that any issues after they leave on site (not snagging) will be addressed by the management company, but no one will answer to who pays the management company for this, but you can bet your bottom dollar it will be out of the fees we are paying.
So you too have been charged before the estate is completed? We have an issue here on Newcastle Great Park about correctly identifying land which has been handed over for maintenance.
Hi Joanne. I’m a Parish Councillor in Duston (Northampton) chairing a Working Party to call for changes in the way new homes are (mis)managed by Companies. I’d be interested tgfo hear your story. Where are you in Northampton? Which Management Company do you deal with? How have they been in terms of charges and service?
The Registers of Scotland i.e. the Scottish version of the Land Registry will be removing the burdens from the deeds of all homes on the West Myerton estate based on the judgement in the Lands Tribunal.
The Lands Tribunal found the burdens were invalid due to the open spaces NOT being clearly defined within the deeds. Our Estate are finally rid of Greenbelt. This will have favourable implications for all Scottish estates. If all the open spaces are not clearly defined within the four corners of the deeds including plans the burdens will NOT be valid.
I noticed my deeds has a reference to the UK index of Basic Materials and Fuels as a cap on annual increases in management costs.
This documents refers to the financial times.
Do I have a case to challenge in line with the four corners rule?
Any help much appreciated.
See sections 174 and 175 of the verdict for the answer, but in a nutshell, the court ruled that the index isn’t a viable capping mechanism and falls outside of the ‘four corner’s rule’ – however, it also says that doesn’t necessarily invalidate the burden in itself – however a company would have to prove that its raises were ‘reasonable’…. and if homeowners don’t agree that the raises are ‘reasonable’, they have a right to withhold payment, thus forcing the company to prove its claim in a court of law… see Section 137 which says… Be that as it may, what the proprietors would be entitled to do is withhold payment of the sums claimed as not being reasonable remuneration, given the standard of the respondents’ performance. It would then be for a court to determine what, if anything, was reasonable remuneration.
Our development of 310 dwellings (Taylor Wimpey) was completed last year and we have had a maintenance agent in place doing a reasonable job, albeit expensive. We have now been informed that an additional contractor (Greenbelt) have also been engaged and will be charging around £45,000 per year for work they have yet to start. They are sending out invoices for £147.00 to residents and these are incurring a £20 a month, late payment charge. I cannot fathom why a development in East Kent requires a maintenance contractor based in Scotland to carry out this work.
Hi Scott, I am currently considering a Taylor Wimpey development in Folkestone – I have spent the whole night reading into the maintenance charge having nothing mentioned about it during our reservation meeting – I am becoming increasingly concerned and am considering pulling out having had my heart set on the property – Could I confirm which development you are referring to in East Kent?
Fortunately I have not formally engaged in any of the process as of yet but really want to understand whether the roads, sewage and lights have been adopted by local authority. Any advice would be most appreciated.
Hi, my estate is only 55 houses in Ashbourne. We have been landed with this service charge without any prior consultation, no service level agreement and no terms and conditions. Some residents are now putting themselves forward as a Director of the management company, I think this in the hope that their neighbours will then pay up to save embarrassment. On the plan the area is clearly marked as “public open space”. It has a footpath which connects other estates and it has now become a cycling, jogging, dog walking circuit for anyone living in the area. Residents are objecting to paying for something that is used by any member of the public. We feel that this is already provided for in our Council Tax. Derbyshire Dales District Council take 106 money from the developer but I’ve been told this can’t be used for maintaining the public open space, yet they have millions which is unspent. Feel stronger since I found out about you guys. I am convinced this is open to challenge.
I bought an ex MOD house on the Fort Halstead estate in Sevenoaks. I remember the TP1 saying that on average the service charge would be in the region of £500 although this figure could go up or down. However, just over a month following the completion of the purchase, I was presented with a bill for nearly £1,500. Many of the residents have disputed and withheld some of the service charges over the past few years but now the management company Acorn Estate Management are threatening legal action to recover the arrears.
I am on a mixed Freehold and Leasehold development in St Helens Merseyside, it is built by Harron Homes and managed by FirstPort Property Management. Our service charges rise year on year with no justification. Residents are now challenging fees and withholding payment but FirstPort use bullying tactics and threaten solicitors, a number of residents have taken them to court and been charged excessive legal fees. We are not happy with the service and have no rights apparently as Freeholders. How can this be legally allowed? We need the law changed to cancel perpetual contracts that is basically a licence to rip off residents. Let’s fight back!
Hello, at the start of lockdown I needed a home quickly so bought a property on a 10-year-old estate. Details on the estate charges were not forthcoming and only once the sale was underway did the full extent become clear and when I questioned it with my solicitor she said this was standard on new build estates. So I pressed ahead nevertheless.
Since moving in 11 months ago I have put in several requests for street repairs but the management company, Firstport, have taken no action, citing coronavirus as their answer. However, they have continued to cut the communal grassy patch every few months.
There are a lot of new estates going up around where I live – Chichester – and I have now submitted an FOI request to the district council asking how many privately managed estates there are in the area and how many are in the pipeline.
This is interesting as I live on an estate managed by FirstPort and we have very little response from them for basic requests. We are Freeholders and there’s flats which are leaseholders. We pay an exorbitant amount for effectively cutting the grass on the green. They budget nearly £5k for gardening a year, they send in gardeners maybe 2,3 times a year? And yet all of the communal rear access to the properties are overgrown and untouched. No response, absolutely nothing from raising a request on their webpage. Their phone number goes to a call centre in South Africa who are always very friendly, but you cannot get through directly to a team member. They hide, they take your money, and then ignore requests. Has anyone had any luck going through an ombudsman with a complaint?
Our supporters report that where they have gone to the ombudsman, they have not found it very useful. To be fair, since we are campaigning for abolition of estate charges, we may only hear from people who are dissatisfied. However, there are very many of them!!
Hi I moved to Keepmoat Homes site -Herons Reach 15 months ago.
The site has 3-400 homes and has been ongoing for 5 years.
Roads not finished,public areas incomplete .We haven’t yet had any idea of the management costs.Keepmoat have been bought by Aermont Capital following this the third and final phase has been named “Pinnacle”.Why,we don’t know but you can guess it’s dodgy.
My conveyancer “forgot” to get me to sign the Deed of Covenant with Blue Water Group (the management company).
They are threatening legal action to get me to sign it -15 months later!!
Any advice please??
We aren’t lawyers, but have heard from other home buyers that conveyancing mistakes are not uncommon in this field. There seems to be minimal understanding of the privately managed estate model within the legal profession resulting in botched transfers and very often buyers feeling they have not been advised of the legal nature of the deal (liability) they are signing up to. As for your specific question we can only say that you may have an obligation to sign the DoC via a clause in the TP1 (first transfer from the builder). This arrangement is known as a “chain of covenants” and is set up to ensure that on each future transfer the new owner also takes on the responsibility to pay the estate charge. Usually there is no way out and if not resolved this situation may affect a future sale, particularly if a mortgage lender finds out there is a defect in title. The good news is that the Competition and Markets Authority are just starting an investigation into these “non adopted” estates. If it is anything like their investigation of the doubling ground rent leasehold scam, it should result in government action.