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Do you pay a service charge to Port Marine Management Limited?

Portishead has expanded vastly in recent years, with development taking place on the old power station site (now known as Port Marine) and on the other side of the old dock (which was originally known as the Ashlands Site as it was the site where the ash and the old power station was deposited).

As part of this major development a wildlife refuge area has been created with properties in the vicinity being required to contribute towards the cost of maintaining it and also maintaining the old sea wall. This annual payment initially started out as being estimated at £30 – £35.00, but over the years the amount has increased. The budget for the year from 1st January 2013 to the end of that year is £70.00 per property. From the recent accounts submitted by Remus, who act as managers for Port Marine Management Limited, the service charge has been kept at the figure of £70.00 only by virtue of a transfer from their reserves of nearly £47,000.00. Without that contribution for the reserve the service charge would have been over £30.00 more, bringing the total charge per property to up to just over £100.00 per annum. Obviously they cannot continue to subsidise the service charge from reserves for ever and therefore it is likely that the annual charge will increase in future years.

A restriction should have been registered against the titles or all the properties on the development in favour of Port Marine Limited, to ensure that whomever owns any of the properties is aware of the requirement to make a contribution. The effect of the restriction is that before any sale of a property can be registered certain requirements need to be gone through – in particular a Deed of Covenant needs to be sent to Port Marine Management Limited in which the new owners promise to make the appropriate payments. Without those requirements being met, and certain fees being paid, Port Marine Management Limited will not give their consent and any new purchaser will not be able to be registered at the Land Registry. Local solicitors are fully aware of these procedures but, there are often issues when non-local solicitors, who are not familiar with the arrangements, are used.

As a solicitor dealing with these properties on a regular basis I have prepared an information pack which I can send out electronically to solicitors outside of the area, which I have found helps to speed the transactions through.

For more information please contact Chris Perkins on 01275 858515 or email chris.perkins@wards.uk.com

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