Truly terrible. Locked horns with them for four years, in no doubt that Parkgate Aspen are the most incompetent, difficult and frankly disturbing company I have ever encountered. They ran amok, so acute that ALL 44 flats in our block witheld their service charges for several years, a succesful Tribunal case saw us reclaim a staggering 110k in total (much still unpaid), a selection of issues include:
1) letting a contractor run wild spending 10k replacing INTERIOR communal lightbulbs in just a few months, then repeating this again in subsequent years - even the LVT described this as 'extraordinary'. Parkgate tried to claim that these works were 'electrical repairs not bulbs', a scan of the invoices revealed the truth.
2) More than doubling the management fee (worse service) without consultation, only telling us a year and half later.Accountancy costs doubled. The LVT reduced both by 50%. Almost all managerial duties delegated to a 'facilities manager' costing the equivalent of another management fee!
3) Awarding excessive, often unecessary works to their own companies without consulting, (RICS code violation) inc 5k just on a basic letter box unit for 44 flats (RPTS slashed this to £500)!
5) Parkgate try and get away with it, a striking contempt for the leaseholder (they likened us to a 'virus' in one email exchange) eg claiming that 'residents improper use of shower curtains flooded the shops below' to justify passing all costs to us, when in fact their own invoices showed the cause to be a failed communal rainwater drain! Many more similar examples!
6) Despite a maximum 50% liability for estate costs Parkgate saw no issue with making us (working class people in a poor part of London) pay 84% - representing almost all the cleaning costs for 9 major retail outlets! The RPTS redressed this. In their trial submission Parkgate retrospectively added 50k in phantom fees to the historical commercial accounts in an unbelievable attempt to disguisie this inequality - a potentially very serious act, our vigiliance forced them to remove these amounts.
7) their divisive win win business model: they overcharge and challenge you to take them to the RPTS in the knowledge that most people do not have the time/knowledge to do this, if you do challenge them they will seek £several hundred per hour from your landowner for representing them and so win either way!
We were so concerned by the legitimacy of some specific charges that we threatened to report Parkgate's Directors to the police, only then did they bother acknowledging us, although they strongly denied any wrong-doing. One of Private Eye magazine's exposures of this company was titled 'Mishcon impossible' (issue 1027 in 2001) - just about sums them up. Heed these long-standing warnings and stay away to avoid the hell we had to suffer, if they are your managing agent, consider getting rid of them before its too late, take an afternoon out to scan all invoices and challenge all irregularities, just don't let them carry on like this. Thank you to allagents for finally giving those who have suffered at the hands of this company a voice.
What agent could do to change your mind?
Please see narrative above, this company were just so terrible in all ways that I wouldn't recommend them to my worst enemy.