Residents’ anger over soaring ‘service charges’ on estate near Horsham

Residents on a village housing estate near Horsham are up in arms over the cost of soaring ‘service charges’ for their homes.

Monday, 22nd July 2019, 2:20 pm
Some of the residents of the Wickhurst Green estate who are angry at spiralling service charges SUS-190722-131338001

People living in properties on the Wickhurst Green Estate at Broadbridge Heath say that they face increasing annual maintenance fees for communal grounds but have received no explanation for the costs - and no cap on the increases.

Residents say that many of the communal areas are overgrown and unkempt and that they rarely see anyone working on maintaining the areas.

John Hallinan, who moved into his home on the estate in 2017, said he had complained to property management company Chamonix Estates and is now campaigning for a change in the law concerning such charges.

He said: “The 630 residents who have been paying on average around £200 to Chamonix - £126,000 a year - have been shocked to receive a demand for even more money, in my case £73.88.”

He said there was no explanation for the increase. “The charges have gone up from £100, to £160 to about £200 - and now we are being asked for another £73. Some people are being asked to pay even more.

“Chamonix don’t have to justify the charges and there is no cap.”

He added: “This demand has created a lot of consternation on the Wickhurst Green Estate with residents saying they are not paying this demand for many reasons.

“One is that there has been no proper summary given other than a rather ambiguous list of reasons for an overspend.”

Chamonix Estates spokeswoman Louise Pugh said: “The recent invoices relate to 2018 and a potential under collection in charges.

“In accordance with the terms of the legal documents signed by the residents, charges may be billed retrospectively as we have done in this case.

“However we have further reviewed the accounts for 2018 and are contacting the residents to clarify the position.

“We would urge residents to get in touch with us if they have any questions.”