HUDDERSFIELD MP Barry Sheerman has demanded a new Government probe into tactics used by a ground rent collection firm.
In Parliament, he called for investigations into Estates and Management.
The company owns the freeholds and collects ground rent for many Huddersfield properties.
Mr Sheerman also wants a meeting with top bosses at the London- based firm.
He asked for an investigation months ago, but has renewed his calls following a continuing stream of complaints about the company.
The complaints centre on high administration fees demanded by Estates and Management from people it claims have broken leasehold agreements or defaulted on ground rents worth just a few pounds a year.
Mr Sheerman said: "This month I have had 10 phone complaints about Estates and Management, not to mention many letters.
"I am asking for an inquiry into this firm - and others like it which use these kinds of techniques to extract money from people, including the elderly and vulnerable.
"The firms bought these freeholds from Kirklees Council in the 1990s for not a lot of money and have come up with a way of making money from them," added Mr Sheerman.
Julian Allport, ground rent and arrears manager of Estates and Management, said: "Estates and Management does not wish me to comment in this instance.
"Should individual leaseholders wish to contact me directly I would be more than happy to try and resolve matters."
The firm can be contacted on 020 83491919.
Row over £70
AUTHORS Aileen Armitage and Deric Longden, of Park Drive, were in dispute with Estates and Management for almost a year after the couple's £10 ground rent cheque went missing.
The firm tried to charge the couple an extra £70 administration charges. Within 30 minutes of the Examiner calling, bosses said they had found the cheque and had dropped the surcharge.
ANTHONY GORNEY, of Rose Avenue in Marsh, received administration charges totalling £254.50 after failing to pay £7.50 ground rent eight months ago.
He paid the rent and part of the administration charge, but Estates and Management sent the cheque back and would not accept less than £254.50.
Mr Gorney was told the fee was high because of Land Registry costs.
He checked the prices with the Land Registry and decided £67 would cover the firm's administration costs.
Estates and Management cashed the cheque in February.
Mr Gorney said: "How can they justify initially asking over £200? If people panic they will pay. It is scare tactics."
NICK WILSON, of The Fairway at Fixby, was asked for £205 to cover administration charges last July.
Estates and Management said he had altered his house without consent.
Mr Wilson had planning permission for alterations, but had not carried out any work.
He told the firm this and asked for future permission. He was told it would cost £205 - an amount Estates and Management said was agreed by Huddersfield Law Society.
Mr Wilson refused to pay and carried out the alterations without consent.
In March, he contacted Barry Sheerman, who liaised with Estates and Management for Mr Wilson.
The firm lowered its charge to £110 - the amount Mr Sheerman discovered was agreed by Huddersfield Law Society until last October.
Mr Wilson now wants to buy his property's freehold, saying: "I want to rid myself of this company."
CAROLYN CLARK and husband Peter live on Benomley Drive, Almondbury.
Their latest ground rent problem was on April 6. They sent a £3 postal order to Estates and Management for their ground rent, but got a receipt saying only 65p had been paid.
An accompanying letter said the receipt may be outdated and a newer one would cost £55.
Mrs Clark rang the firm to complain and a new, corrected receipt arrived.
She said: "They just try and rip you off."
The couple also had problems in April last year, when the firm denied receiving a £3 postal order and asked for £75 administration costs. Mrs Clark ended up paying her £3 rent again to resolve the matter.
The most expensive incident was eight years ago, when Estates and Management charged the couple's mortgage lender, Abbey National, a £200 administration fee.
Mr and Mrs Clark had received no demands or letters and only found out when Abbey National told them the £200 would be added to their mortgage.
Mrs Clark said: "The charges are excessive. How do they manage to get away with it?
"I blame Kirklees Council for selling us down the river."