What are Estate Rentcharges, aka “Fleecehold”, and How Can servicechargesorted.co.uk Help?


Author : Mary-Anne Bowring

What is an Estate Rentcharge?

An Estate Rentcharge is a term used to describe a situation where homeowners are charged fees, often in the form of a service charge, for the maintenance and management of communal areas and infrastructure, even though they own the freehold to their property and their garden.

Communal Areas

These communal areas could incorporate roadways, grassed areas and children’s playgrounds. There may also be bin stores, Electric Vehicle charging areas and even tennis courts or a swimming pool.

In all cases these are facilities that require maintenance, often including cleaning, and, therefore, need somebody to fund it. Estate Rentcharges were created, and incorporated into covenants within the Deeds of each house, to establish a payment methodology.

So What is “Fleecehold”?

These payments have become known as “fleecehold” due to the fact that the house owners may not have been properly informed of the Estate Rentcharges when purchasing their homes. They may also feel that the charges are inequitable and too high.

The term "fleecehold" is used to highlight the perceived unfairness and lack of control that homeowners in these arrangements may experience, as they are often unable to challenge or change the fees and terms imposed by the original house builder.

Why the Animosity Towards “Fleecehold”?

In recent years, there has been growing concern and criticism of “fleecehold” arrangements, with calls for greater regulation and transparency to protect homeowners from excessive fees and unfair practices.

In many instances a managing agent is required to collect these fees and manage the communal areas. In some instances this process is managed by the house owners. This could be an individual or by committee.

Help for House Owners paying Estate Rentcharges

There is, however, an alternative. That is to instruct servicechargesorted.co.uk to manage it on the house owners’ behalf. This is for a low annual fixed fee and will take away all of the time, money and complications involved with self-management.

We may also be able help if you wish to change your existing managing agent.

Please go to servicechargesorted.co.uk for further information and to register to see just what we can offer. We look forward to hearing from you.

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