My flat is leasehold - if you're not resident in the UK don't even bother finding out about this arcane, practically feudal property pointlessness. So we have a managing agent who is effectively incentivised - to the tune of 17.65% - to get us to pay more for things, as they get a cut of it. Hence the phrase: more is more. So any call-out - electrician, plumber, gutter cleaner - is minimum £150.
We've had plants growing in our gutters for about two years. Whenever the agent sends people round to remove them, they seem to miss them. Then we have to get into arguing about what the spec was, ferchrissakes. It's expensive, aging, hassle, and I can do without it.
Just found out we can miss out the middle man. So after a lot of searching, I found a local window-cleaner - tell me who else has tall ladders - and he cleaned all our outisde windows, which is more than the sodding managing agent has ever done anyway, and I smiled sweetly, leaned forward a little, and asked him if he would mind taking the Kew Gardens set-up down from the gutter. No problem, love. I gave him £5. This isn't very interesting to other people, but it is to me: how can the agent justify their frantically pumped-up costs, and how can I make them go away without buying the freehold?