As reported over recent months, there has been an on-going investigation into the monies collected from residents in relation to the site-wide estate charge. This has been a protracted process as POD did not have access to the detailed ledger information as previously held by DJC and as such directors could not determine until recently whether expenditure was legitimate.
Directors have worked on the principle that residents should only pay for the proportion of site-wide land that is available for use by the community and despite promises by the land owners about other areas being accessible, the only land that has been made available thus far has been the Western Mitigation Area. The Western Mitigation area has however been transformed over the last 2 years into a lovely communal space and is regularly used by residents. Further enhancements are anticipated over the coming months with the addition of benches in this area.
Directors have undertaken an analysis of accounts information covering the last 2 years and as a result POD has now been instructed to return £100 per year per unit (pro-rata for those that moved in part way through one of those years) to residents in relation to monies collected for the site-wide estate charge. This represents a rebate of 80% and reflects that residents have not had use of the majority of communal site-wide land.
For private owners, the credits from 2018/19 and 2019/20 will be used in the first instance to clear any unpaid arrears on their individual account. The default position will be that any remaining credit will be held on unit holders accounts unless a request is specifically made to POD for the return of the balance.
For tenants of Housing Associations, including those with shared ownership, the credits from 2018/19 and 2019/20 will be returned to your respective Housing Association and you will need to discuss with them how the refund will be managed.
Directors have made clear to POD that no payments in relation to the 2020/21 site-wide estate charge are to be released until the credits can be evidenced and as such any monies already collected from unit holders must continue to be held in a separate control account.
In addition directors have made clear that further discussion will be required with the Site-Wide Management Company to confirm the trajectory for further land being made available together with an analysis of proposed costs for 2020/21. No payments will be released until this information has been communicated with residents and until directors are satisfied that residents are receiving best value in relation to communal site-wide land.
Andrew Wright, Director
Channels (Chelmsford) Management Company Ltd