With the student rental market overturned by the Coronavirus pandemic, desperate leaseholder investors are struggling to meet service charge demands on empty properties.
One, who owns a student flat at Central Park Towers, in Plymouth, has copied in his angry correspondence with property manager Warwick Estates, which seeks contributions to the reserve fund.
“You have put up the service charges by nearly 28% and you are collecting reserves while we are struggling even to find tenants due to coronavirus, as most of our tenants are from abroad??!!!!
“I am a pensioner and depend partly on the income from this flat to live and I cannot get any tenant due to the lockdown.”
The annual service charge appears to be £832.68. In addition, Warwick Estates has offered an “alternative payment plan”.
It has told the leaseholder:
“Whilst we sympathise with Leaseholders regarding the issues surrounding COVID-19, please note that as per your lease, the obligation to pay service charges remains in place. This is to ensure sufficient funds so that fundamental services can be maintained on the development.
“With regards to your Reserve Fund, your lease will stipulate that this is a collectable charge and is provided for within the Service Charge budget but is a separate item on your demand and statement for clarity. Unlike the Service Charge itself which is used for day to day expenses, the Reserve Fund is collected for unforeseen future works. This could be emergency repairs of a high value or used to pay for future planned major works projects. By using these funds we can minimise the amount that each leaseholder may have to contribute as and when the time arises.”