We conducted a survey of 100 HorNet Members in January 2017. Here is a summary:
Only 10% of people felt they were fully informed prior to purchase. This means 90% did not know what they were getting into.
Problems encountered and reported as individual comments:
Monopoly – no choice. Only 7% responded that there was an arrangement to switch management company.
Premature charging on unfinished estates
Lack of proper preparation by developer leading to greater expense down the line
Very common problem of play parks being unsafe and not built to standard
Errors in charging (usually overcharging – one of duplicate charging when a home was sold)
High costs for work done – poor value for money.
Disproportionate costs for administration.
Minimal or no response to concerns or queries.
Bullying tactics to recover “debt” which was often with held payment due to dissatisfaction.
Passing the buck for problems on the estate between management companies, developers and sometimes the council – can’t get anything fixed because no one will take responsibility.
Antisocial behaviour and vandalism on the amenity land.
We also ran a FaceBook group poll in December 2016
1. Forced adoption 39 votes
2. Common hold 6 votes
3. Regulation and choice in the current model 0 votes
Where does that leave us? Are these votes are truly representative?
If the government implements measures from the white paper the All Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold and Common Hold is likely to contain we would have regulation, right to manage and some redress within the current system.
However, the issues arising from private ownership of public open space and the unfairness of one small group paying for its maintenance are not addressed. We should not oppose a change which will give us more rights, but it will not fundamentally change the model.
Is there an argument for bringing open space into public ownership through community trusts? This looks to be the way parks are going to be managed in future.
What other workable solutions can you suggest?
Please comment with your views (public on the web site) – you may also email or join our forum to post in private. You can discuss with others in our FaceBook Group.