Estate Management Companies

 

Planning process for new housing developments

As part of the planning application process for a new housing development, a developer will contact Ashfield District Council and discuss their ideas for the site. Part of the discussion will include agreeing who will maintain any open spaces or play areas that are to be provided.

Ashfield District Council in line with other similar local authorities, may not have the long term resources to maintain new open spaces and play areas. It is often therefore resolved as part of the planning application process that the developer will make satisfactory alternative arrangements for the maintenance and long term management of these spaces. The developer will then seek reimbursement for the ongoing maintenance costs from new home owners as part of a yearly maintenance fee or service charge.

Once the works to build the houses and lay out the roads and open spaces are completed, the developer will form a management company to maintain the open spaces.

 

 

Larwood

Larwood Park,
with kind permission from W Westerman Ltd 

 

Types of estate management companies

Management companies can be formed in one of two ways. In most cases, the developer will create a management company, which will in turn employ a management agent to provide the services. However, if it is a small estate, the owners of each property will take a share in the management company and run it themselves, giving them more control over the costs. It does although rely on the owners to be responsible for and have the time available for the day to day management of the company.

How this might affect you if you have bought a freehold house on a new build estate?

When you bought your freehold house on a new build estate, you may have been advised by your solicitor that there is a service charge payable to maintain the open spaces on the estate. The charge is bound to your property though your deeds and is set by the management company for the estate. The charge is dependent on the level of service they choose to provide and can increase each year. Ashfield District Council will have no role in the management company as it will have no responsibility towards the maintenance of the open space. As a homeowner, you will still be required to pay the full council tax which is required for Ashfield District Council services and the maintenance of adopted open spaces elsewhere in the district.

It is worth noting that whilst the service charge paid to the management company for the up keep of the open space, it will not exclude the general public from using the open space for amenity purposes.

 Common concerns

You’ve just bought a new property on a housing development and you have some concerns. Please see below some common issues and courses of action.

Issue Action
 As built standard of your property (Poor quality workmanship)
  • Contact the developer and provide evidence of your concerns
  • Contact Your Solicitor
  • Contact LABC (Local Authority Building Control) for advice on building faults.
  • Contact your warranty provider
 Street lights and roads not adopted / in an  unfinished condition
  • Contact the developer as they are the landowner
 Land in a disused condition whilst development is  awaited
  • Contact the developer as they are the land owner
  • Contact Ashfield District Council - for advice on enforcement action in respect of the planning application conditions
 Standard of maintenance of unadopted open  spaces and play areas
  • Contact the developer as they are the land owner
 Litter and rubbish collection on open spaces
  • Contact the developer as they are the land owner
 Issues with the increase in maintenance fees or the  standard of maintenance of open spaces
  • Contact the management company
  • Contact your solicitor
  • Contact consumer rights organisations


 What Ashfield District Council is responsible for on a new build housing estate 

  • Emptying your household bins (general waste, garden waste and recycling)
  • Sweeping and cleaning of the roads and pavements (on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council) once adopted by the County Council

What Nottinghamshire County Council is responsible for on a new build housing estate (after adoption)

  • Road and pavement repairs
  • Road drainage
  • Street lighting
  • Footpaths designated as Rights of Way

 

 

New Homes Ombudsman

In October 2018, the government has announced that there will be a New Homes Ombudsman - a watchdog that will champion homebuyers, protect their interests and hold developers to account. The watchdog will be free to use, independent and able to resolve disputes between developers and homebuyers.

The government intends to legislate to require all new developers to belong to a new homes ombudsman. House buyers should be confident that when they purchase a new home, they get the quality of build and finish they expected The government will work with consumers and industry to develop our proposals and publish more details in due course. In the meantime government expects industry to continue to improve the current redress arrangements and improve the consistency of quality for new build homes.

The government carried out a consultation in 2019, seeking views on a New Homes Ombudsman and the detail of proposed legislation to provide better redress for purchasers of new build homes. This includes the design and delivery of the New Homes Ombudsman, its powers, remit and funding.

 

Further information

 Contact numbers and email addresses

Ashfield District Council info@ashfield.gov.uk  01623 450000

LABC (Local Authority Building Control) info@labc.co.uk   020 8616 8120

Nottinghamshire County Council    enquiries@nottscc.gov.uk 0300 500 8080

Websites

Ashfield District Council - Building Control   https://www.ashfield.gov.uk/residents/planning-building-control-and-land-charges/building-control/

Ashfield District Council – Enforcement https://www.ashfield.gov.uk/residents/planning-building-control-and-land-charges/planning/planning-monitoring-and-enforcement/

Ashfield District Council – Waste Collection https://www.ashfield.gov.uk/residents/waste-and-recycling/

LABC (Local Authority Building Control) https://www.labcwarranty.co.uk/

Nottinghamshire County Council – Roads and Pavements https://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/transport/roads

Glossary of Useful Terms