Outrage as residents in England’s ‘affordable’ housing forced to pay thousands of pounds extra in service charge

Pressure on Michael Gove to act as householders see bills rise 40%, with many saying that they cannot afford to pay

Some of the UK’s largest housing providers have dramatically increased annual service charges by thousands of pounds, plunging residents into financial crisis, an Observer investigation has found.

Many residents who bought shared-ownership properties built as affordable homes have been sent bills in recent weeks with increases of more than 40%. Some say they are unable to sell the properties having now been lumbered with “extortionate” charges and no cap on future increases. More than 1,000 people across the country are now threatening to refuse to pay.

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