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Council lobby Government on management fees for open spaces on housing estates

Last updated: 14/5/2024

Proposals to further lobby central government to regulate the governance of management companies who oversee fees associated with open spaces have been approved by Rushcliffe Borough Council’s (RBC) Cabinet.

Following their meeting today (May 14), Members agreed on plans to help further address current issues experienced across the country, that can see new homeowners sign up to unclear maintenance fees on the management of open spaces on their estate.

In most cases, developers are passing maintenance responsibility onto private management companies, with no current regulation in place as to how they should operate.

Most residents are aware of an annual service charge upon buying their new home but not of the variety of charges they would be subjected to, which are often different across each new housing estate.

RBC Leader Cllr Neil Clarke has written to Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Department of Local Government, Housing and Communities on the issue and the Cabinet pledged to continue to raise concerns with central government and will continue to lobby Government on this important matter.

The Council will also seek to work more closely with developers and management companies to set out clear expectations, particularly in terms of transparency for prospective buyers.

Reports have also been shared of poor customer service with regards to resolving complaints and more significantly, residents have reported frustration that freeholders do not have the same rights as leaseholders.

Currently residents have no way to redress schemes or mechanisms for taking a case against a management company to a tribunal or an ombudsman.

RBC’s Portfolio Holder for Planning & Housing Cllr Roger Upton said: “We’ve explored options on helping to address the current issues residents are facing with unclear fees for managing open spaces.

“We are taking an active role working with developers and management companies to encourage good practice.

“Following our Cabinet meeting, we have requested that our Growth and Scrutiny Development Group continue to review our progress on this issue.

“We’re also continuing to lobby central government to regulate the governance of management companies to ensure transparency, remove charges unrelated to the management of open spaces and mandate engagement with homeowners.”