BBC Documentary – Leaseholders Wanted

The BBC is making a short documentary to mark the 30th anniversary of Thatcher’s “Right to buy” policy. We’re looking for leaseholders who have bought ex-local authority flats and want to hear about their experiences – positive and negative. Have you recently had bills for huge repair costs on your property that you couldn’t afford and didn’t want? Do you feel that these costs for home improvements are justified?

If you’re happy to be contacted by the BBC then please get in touch with Victoria either by email at victoria.holden@bbc.co.uk or by phone Tel 0207 765 5985 or 07790 903213

if you do contact the BBC, could you copy any emails sent, to Dr Brian Potter (his email address is “Brian Potter” islington.leaseholders@hotmail.co.uk).

We will update you all when the programme is being shown.

ALMO ends contract with Connaught

23 August 2010 | By Carl Brown

An arm’s-length management organisation has cancelled a £7 million repairs contract with struggling contractor Connaught.
Barnet Homes, which manages Barnet council’s 15,000 homes, will end the contract next February.
A Barnet Homes spokesperson said: ‘We would like to assure residents that we are implementing transition plans as a matter of urgency, and we are seeking to minimise any disruption to our repairs service.
‘We will provide further updates on our website.’
Connaught, which earlier this year issued two profit warnings and was forced to take out a £15 million emergency loan, is continuing talks with lenders as it attempts to avoid collapse.

Note: Connaught is Homes For Islingtons (HFI) preferred option for a long term maintenance for Islingtons social Housing!

ITV London Tonight program – overcharging of Newham leaseholders

You can watch this ITV London Tonight program on Newham leaseholders@
http://www.itv.com/london/

or by googling itv tonight leaseholder ( don’t know how long it will be available on above link)

it shows leaseholders getting their second round of £5k + bills in 5 years, and a chartered surveyer suggesting that Newham leaseholders are being charged 4 times the usual cost for work by their council appointed quango, and talks of one London leaseholder getting a £90k bill.

Hammersmith and Fulham council plans to close ALMO

11 August 2010 | By Isabel Hardman

Hammersmith and Fulham council has announced plans to take its arm’s-length management organisation back in-house.
The board of H&F homes has launched a consultation with tenants on closing the ALMO and returning housing management services to the council from March 2011.
The council hopes to save more than £400,000 by shutting the ALMO now that its £230 million Decent Homes programme is complete.
Harry Audley, chair of H&F Homes, said: ‘Our job is to provide the best possible quality housing to our residents and we believe this move in challenging financial times would be good news all round.’
Lucy Ivimy, cabinet member for housing, said: ‘Bringing H&F Homes back in-house means that we can focus the resources we have on delivering an even better service to tenants and leaseholders rather than wasting that money on unnecessary costs.’
The consultation will run throughout August and September and the ALMO board will make a final recommendation to the council in November.

Leaseholders and Scaffolding

It has been brought to ILA’s notice that scaffolders are not being pursued for costs for which they are supposedly insured (and presumably should extend to all damage caused).

It states on the information pack for a Scaffolding Licence that –

“All applicants must hold a public liability Insurance policy in for the sum of £5 million or above.”

Leaseholders should note that scaffolders usually need a Licence to erect scaffolding at any given location and that if scaffolding really is needed for major works, members should ask for a copy of the Licence. Furthermore, if damage is caused by scaffolding in any way, then members should ensure that all associated costs are claimed under the scaffolder’s insurance (rather than the leaseholder accept to pay those costs instead).

We strongly recommend that photos be taken of any damage.

If members have mistakenly paid bills including works arising from damage caused by scaffolding (proof being available in Reports etc), we suggest that they contact HfI, Partners or the Council to ask for reimbursement.