Q. My residential developments freehold was recently sold and having met the new freeholder at our last residents meeting, there were suggestions that possibly they are thinking of synchronising everything in respect to the service charge and ground rent collection. Do you think this is a good idea, or do you think it’s better left with the existing parties given historically we have had no issues?
A. To be perfectly honest, as long as the new freeholder is competent and experienced enough in this field and has the correct systems and staff available to carry out the work load I can only see merging everything together as an advantage to the leaseholders. Purely from an agents respect, when it comes to selling property on leasehold developments so much time is wasted trying to collect information from the various companies with respect to service charge accounts and managing agent’s packs as well as ground rent receipts and copies of the buildings insurance. If these were all streamlined and available from one source it would save vast amounts of wasted time, and would surely assist in a speedier transaction all round for the seller when time is of the essence. I’m sure as a lessee you would also benefit from having one demand for all the services rather than two different bills from two different companies? Also you will likely be given a contact that will service your development so that one call to one office would answer any query you may have in relation to ground rent or service charges rather than having to contact two different offices. Change is something that most resist but change is sometimes for the betterment of those concerned and I think in this case with a competent new Freeholder and managing agent at the helm you really have nothing to worry about.