Managing Agents Costs

My flat is in an old house converted into 3 flats. We have a ‘Managing Agent’ based about 200 miles from the flat. This is my first year, but I, and I presume the others, pay about 2500 quid each year to them. Ive been there 10 months, the place is run down and neglected, I have not seen any presence whatsoever from these agents. I have tried to contact them and received incorrect information. Like a leaking waste pipe from my flat - outside the flat demise = was my responsibility. What can I do to either get rid of them, or get some action from them?

200miles away Ridiculous. Check the contract with them

Why pick an agent so far away?

David, your not asking me that, are you? I bought the flat and they were thrust upon me. The flat was a bargain, I had a feeling the ‘Managing Agents’ were … dubious, shall we say, but chanced it. They are, but after nearly a year Im fed up with it. We have paid a fair amount and got nothing for it. So Id like a plan of action. First move - ask the forum. Oh, if you mean why did the freeholder do that. Well, Ive no idea at all!

What do you mean thrust upon you? You had a choice which agent you appointed. Even if this agent was managing the property when you bought it, they had no contract with you and you would have been under no obligation to continue with them.

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David, there are 3 flats in the block, Im a leaseholder, not the freeholder. I had no choice. The Managing Agent controls the block. If I didnt accept them then there was no deal. My ambition is to force them somehow into proper action. My plan now is just to confront them by email. See where it goes. Im in Essex, by the way, the Agents are in Manchester.

There is confusion here, everyone assumed estate agent rather than property managing agent, the penny will drop now!

How is your charge broken down iE how much ground rent/service charge? You may find they are just ground rent collectors and nothing more.

You can request to see receipts for all work carried out on block and their management costs. They have to legally provide this within a period of time, I think 30 days. Also details of cash in sinking fund. Ask any plans for work. Leases normally state exterior needs painted every 4 years or so etc. Verify in lease what your responsibilities are and what theirs are.

Can you get in contact with all other owners, working together puts you in a better position. Start by collating all the facts.


Thanks Mark, I felt that I ought to be able to do those things. I will certainly pursue them, with more confidence now! I am friendly with the leaseholder in one of the flats, she lives there, but the other flat has a ‘tenant from hell’ and the leaseholder is remote and probably intimidated. Ill continue with this plan (re-charged) and keep you informed !

Just to add, the Managing Agents are fully maintaining and repairing, telephone them and you get, ‘press 1 to pay us’ ‘press 2 for maintenence’ etc etc

Leaseholders can ,all together. change the management team if they feel that they are bad. You can even set up your own management company. Google it.


Hi Bill2. There are organisations that can help you like The leasehold knowledge partnership or tenants participation advisory service (

Managing agents are rogues! Good luck to you.

Contact for free government funded advice.

Right to manage might be the answer.

Re the pipe, you need to check your lease which should spell out who is responsible for what. They could be right on that one.


Thanks, I will ! asap.

Blimey! Are you sure? I feel, without checking, that the leaseholder is only responsible for what is inside the demise line, what is it for, otherwise? Worried now. :smiling_face_with_tear:

Yes, you might be right, but it is down to interpretation of the lease. If it is a main soil pipe probably their responsibility, if it is a small connection maybe not.

If you are paying £2500 and getting no services you need to find out where the money is going. There will be buildings insurance and there “might” be a sinking fund - that should be specified in the lease I think. If there is no sinking fund then they are unlikely to be able to justify the fees they are charging if they do no work.

With service charges they should be issuing formal demands in legal form. There are lots of rules around that.

Lease will read the lease for you and advise if you like. Maybe raise a query with them and send them the lease for review of these points.


David, once again, thanks for all the advice. I am taking it very seriously and will action it asap. At the moment Im involved, amongst other things with clearing the flat of all the rubbish, furniture, replacing dog soiled carpets, etc. Ive started re-painting everything and discovered the tenant has started to paint with the wrong paint, stuff that flakes and crumbles when you paint over it - GRRRRRRRRR… As General McArthur said ‘Ill be back’…

You can apply to courts to remove them & get another appointed. Courts are likely to do this if they are 200 miles away, that expensive & not doing works. If the pipe is a “communal” pipe it’s freehold responsibility. If it’s servicing your own plumbing such as toilet overflow etc, it’s your responsibility. That’s the division. So they might be right. From what you describe sounds like it’s yours.

You can write a joint letter to freehold asking them to change the management company or yiu will all take legal action. We did that, it took a while but they did get rid of them fir yet another shit agent. We are now buying freehold together. Match 2023 legislation changes in favour of leaseholders. If that’s not possible due to funds, form an RTM. Leasehold Advisory Service can help. Get a surveyor out on behalf of the leaseholders & get a report of disrepair. Send that with a letter wanting change in managing agent. The problem you have is you knew the fees when you bought tge property & Im assuming you could also see it wasn’t managed well. You knew they were 200 mikes away. So you knowingly accepted this when you bought the flat. But that doesn’t mean you can’t fight it now.

Ask to see the fire, health & safety reports. And do they go regular weekly checks of fire alarm systems etc.


Scare them by asking fir absolutely all info to do with Fire Health & Safety . Check the buildings insurance to make sure you have proper cover. If they are not maintaining your building, the insurance will be void. Throw that at them. It’s a serious breach of lease if the maintenance of buikdibg is not kept up. It makes your insurance meaningless if something does happen. you will be paying a fortune for an insurance policy that if anything does go wrong ie:your fiat gets flooded or something insurance won’t pay out. That’s a very serious breach of lease on management/freehold part. The agent is probably 200 miles away on purpose. It could be that the agent manages all their blocks. Find out more about your freehold. Look up on Companies House. I found out ours was a multibillion operation and and hundreds of little companies owning & managing: a court won’t look kindly on a big money making company doubt no works: you need to put everything into writing to them. Let them know you are pro active & not letting it go!


Amy, you are dangerous! What great advice, thank you! I most certainly will pursue it. A few years ago I had a problem with a static caravan I owned. The site owner put up an illegal transmitter (carcinogenic) next to me and wouldnt remove it. I took him to court and ended up as prosecuting council at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand! Case was adjourned to my local and the defendant settled, but I now know the full process and Im not scared Watch this space…

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Change your property management agent, they have failed at all contractual obligations. I could point you to HousingRescue an outfit that is new and would do the job properly.

I’ve been through it before!!! Wear them down. But do it smartly! Fire safety, health & Safety big big issues & anything that voids your buikdibg insurance such as disrepair!! Go Bill! Just to mention, we are currently going through a terrible situation with Managing Agent and we finally all come together all eight of us, we hired a surveyor which one woman complained about the prices but eventually agreed to it and then dropped out, but we were really glad that because she was annoying. 7 out of 8 leaseholders Hired a surveyor and it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. We got the Managing Agent to agree to our surveyor meeting with their surveyor and the contractors to go up on the scaffolding and to look at the building. He has been a godsend, worth every single penny and more. We now have evidence Of the seriously bad jobs prior to this never fixed the problem. This is our fourth major works in two years for the same problem. I will be taking them to court. These managing agents or slime bags. I wish I could say there are some good ones out there, but my experience there are not any. Read through your insurance policy thoroughly and pick up all the points to invalidate the insurance and pick up those points with the managing agent. Go Bill! Do update!