April 22, 2024

No thanks! We don’t want to inherit Brook Court flat with all its service charges


A family does not want to inherit a retirement flat because it is now worthless and would come with service charge liabilities.

The flat at Brook Court in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, is advertised for sale at £97,500 here

The flat is owned by an elderly woman, who has dementia and has been in care for more than three years. She is now dying, the family believes.

A separate local authority social services department has a charge on the property in excess of its value, and all the woman’s cash has gone.

For three years, the family have been trying to sell the Bovis property, but without success. They have also paid service charges.

The family are reconciled to the fact that this estate is valueless and therefore do not wish to inherit the property – or more accurately the service charges for a flat that at this point has no value.

Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation has advised that the beneficiaries of this estate make it clear to the solicitor handling matters that they decline to inherit.

Our concern is that because family members have paid service charges in the past, have they now accepted on-going liability for the flat?

Also, even were the flat forfeited would the beneficiaries have liability for the outstanding service charges?

This must have happened to many other families, so it is surprising that Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation has not been contacted on this issue in the past.


  1. This flat was originally sold to current owner for £153K in 2004 and now up for sale at £97.5K since April 2015 ( 9 months ago. ). The flat is subject to a charge by the LA Social Services Dept for more than the asking sale price. So basically the elderly woman owner suffering from dementia has now lost all of her £153K life time savings wealth which she still had in 2004.

    The flat appears to be in good decoration order and the asking price at £97.5K is at current market level for 1 bed flat. But since the local rental market for 1 bed flat stands at £485 pcm which gives a yield of 5.96% to any investor , is the lack of buyer interest due to excessive service charge ???

    Can the flat be absorbed into local council stock ?

    • They don’t allow subletting at Brook Court, but if they did the service charge would put the total rental price out of reach.

      • Michael Hollands says

        if retirement apartments can be obtained so cheaply or for next to nothing, how about Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation/LKP acquiring one and installing an elderly supporter.
        They would then have first hand access to what goes on and be able to really stir things for the benefit of the Leaseholders. And be able to give a day to day account of progress or otherwise.

      • I forgot to mention that the landlord, Kingsdale, will collect up to 3% of the sale price in fees. Not that it will be very much!

  2. I can understand what is happening at Brook Court as we live in a M&S 58 retirement apartment block only 16 years old with at present 8 one bedroom flats for sale varying from £69,950.00 to £90,000,00 posted on Rightmove.

    With service charges to FirstPort/Peverel at present being £118,889 part of this being £10,000 for the house managers flat rental on a hectic 31 hours per week ,”who would be crazy enough to purchase my flat off us?”
    I must just add we recieve absolutely no income from our 99 year Leaseholder Landlords Fairhold No4’s guest room, as I have had the cheek to challenge the house managers flat rental increase twice in a few years once through the LVT so their punishment was to withdraw the guest room allowance or so called Gift.

    Please read my related posts on this Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation Site titled service charge increases at Arkle Court and yes we still have ongoing roofing defects and faults adopted from builders McCarthy & Stone when built in only 2000 which must have now broken the six figure sum!

    What an achievment by M&S as a builder and What an investment by us for our children and granchildren

  3. John Henche says

    There were eight sales in 2015 at Brook Court including two sales of 1 bed flats, one at £112K and another at £135K. The lease length is not an issue (999 years) but excessive service charges are and perhaps the ground floor location of this particular flat also deters prospective buyers. Auction?