I welcome the news the Government has tabled amendments to the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill to offer vital protection to residents against the actions of Property Management Companies as reform in this area is long overdue.
I invited Dartford residents to contact me to share their own experiences with Management Companies and I have had hundreds of responses. 98% of people told me they were unhappy with their Management Company and 86% felt their complaints were poorly handled. In some cases residents had seen their management fees increase by several hundred pounds a month yet still received a poor service.
When the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill was first debated in the House of Commons, I asked the Government to make changes; it was clear from what people told me that residents needed to be given more of a voice and the power to change their Management Company if they were unhappy. Since the debate, I've continued to lobby the Housing Minister and I am delighted the Government has listened to what so many people in Dartford have said.
Power will be included in this Bill to change Management Companies on the application of any resident where unreasonable charges have been imposed or shoddy work carried out. Even if residents are unsuccessful in their challenge, it will severely restrict costs that can be awarded against them.
This is great news as it transfers power from Management Companies to residents. Provided the Bill goes through as expected, these changes will end the abuse of residents in new housing estates by Management Companies.