Residents furious over 'extortionate' service charges which doubled to £51k
- Credit: Kash Malik
Residents of a block of flats and houses in Ilford are outraged over what they say are "extortionate" charges after their management company doubled its fees to £50,880 in one year.
JPW Real Estate, which manages The Parks in Blackthorn Road, a block of more than 200 flats and houses, has also increased the cleaning fee by £9,000 and is charging £22,000 for "jet washing", which is a new item in the budget.
A group of more than 20 residents say they have no idea where all this money is going and have sent multiple emails and messages to JPW requesting invoices but have yet to get any answers.
Usman Gulfraz said his service charges have almost doubled since he bought his flat six years ago.
"We are paying in the region of £2,000 in services charges, which is an extortionate amount considering the service we get in return is of a very poor standard.
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""To make matters worse there is no transparency about the charges."
He cited ongoing issues of trespassing, drug abuse, fly-tipping and no CCTV in the buildings.
Last year drug users were squatting in one of the buildings and residents found blood smeared inside.
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The Recorder asked JPW about the sharp increase in fees and what the money is going towards but it said it could not discuss specific financial information about the development.
Property management director Rani Sahota cited "constant fly-tipping by either residents and outsiders as there are no gates to the development", anti-social behaviour by residents and "human excrement" as a brief summary of some of the challenges it faces there.
Resident Kash Malik said in the two years he has lived there he hasn't seen substantial maintenance work being done to justify the high costs.
He said: "The paint is chipping off, there are marks throughout the building walls, CCTV cameras are not functional at all, many of the cameras are dummy only, so we are not sure what actually they are doing for us."
Ms Sahota said the company is looking to carry out a number of works to enhance security, including installing a CCTV system, possibly having an on-site caretaker and changing the block entrance door to give more security.