Islington leaseholders win the battle over council’s £1million repair bill
by Jon Dean Saturday, November 3, 2012
Homeowners have declared victory after the council announced it will not contest a ruling that it blew £1million overpaying on repair work.
Leaseholders on the Tremlett Grove Estate, in Archway, took Islington Council to the Leaseholders Valuation Tribunal (LVT), which said the authority was overcharging by seven figures for work on two blocks.
It told the council to slash the bill by £225,000 – meaning each of the 14 leaseholders would get £16,000 knocked off their original £28,000 bill.
But the council contested the decision, taking an appeal to the LVT and the Lands Tribunal, a higher body, both of which refused.
The council then said it would take the matter to the highest authority, the Administrative Court, but on Thursday of last week, the authority said it would drop the appeal.
Judy Granville, 62, one of the leaseholders behind the action, said: “I am so relieved. It has been two years since I first downloaded the forms to go to the LVT and I’m delighted.
“I just hope it is going to encourage anyone in a similar position now, and in the future, to do the same thing. It’s daunting and scary but with the right help and advice, we have shown it’s possible.”
The plight of the leaseholders was featured on Channel Four investigative documentary Dispatches in August.
A spokesman for the council said: “We’re committed to investing in our homes for the benefit of our tenants and leaseholders, while keeping down pressure on rents and service charges. Getting this balance right often involves difficult choices.
“The tribunal is not saying that this work was unnecessary, but rather that they wanted more evidence to prove it was necessary.
“Decisions about whether to appeal LVT rulings are very finely balanced and after careful consideration, we have decided not to appeal to the Upper Tribunal.”
Journalist Jon Dean – “Dean, Jon” <firstname.lastname@example.org>,