Kent MP has proposed a new homeowners law

MP Gareth Johnson has suggested a new law should be in place to stop residents paying extortionate fees to maintain their property. 

At the beginning of this week, Gareth Johnson, an MP for Kent, claimed residents were paying unnecessary expenses to estate management companies. He cited the example of a tenant living in Greenhithe, who said he was paying £600 a year for ‘grass to be mowed near his home’.

flat-lay photograph of hammer and nails

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Johnson said: ‘Residents are having to pay ever increasing management fees and if they want to swap the companies that look after their estates, they are finding it is virtually impossible to do so. There is no accountability.

‘What we need is legislation that gives power back to residents, so they are in charge of their management companies, rather than the other way round.’

However, one organisation which seems to be arguing against this idea is LRM Property Management, who have been accused of charging thousands for mediocre maintenance services.  

Martyn Dwight, who lives on a new estate in Greenhithe, has recently expressed concern that he and his neighbours are not getting their value for money from services provided by LRM Property, who charge him an annual bill between £600-£700.

Martyn added: ‘We get charged nearly £8,000 for landscaping but they don’t clear much of the estate they just cut a bit of grass outside of our property.

‘Parts of the estate are in disrepair with broken fences. Roads have collapsed and there’s raised ironworks. Nothing has been don’t, but we are paying £2,000 a year for repairs.’

Although, yesterday King Charles confirmed that the government will be introducing a new Leasehold Bill, which, plans to phase out Britain’s current ‘broken’ system. Currently, many tenants who have purchased leasehold properties face expensive service charges to maintain their homes, and, in some cases, have had to fork out thousands to extend their lease. However, due to the new Bill, all new properties will now be sold as freehold, which will stop residents from paying excessive and unnecessary costs.

Against this backdrop, the Leasehold Reform Bill could also include an online calculator, which, could be used by tenants to work out an accurate price should they decide to extend their lease or buy the freehold property outright.

Campaigners in favour of the bill have claimed this would reduce potential legal disputes between freeholders and leaseholders on how much their property costs.

Image: T R A V E L E R G E E K

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