Call for photo evidence of poor Council or Partners workmanship on your home

The ILA are looking for photo evidence from Leaseholders of poor workmanship on their home from Islington Council and Partners workers and their contractors for possible publication on our website and social media.

Please email ILA links to your digital photos to this address with name of the contractor.

or send copies of physical photos  to: PO BOX 66633, London N1 1AA


Note: Please don’t send more that your 5 best photos – but tell us if you have more,  We can’t return copies of physical photos and paper photocopies may not be be good enough to publish

Hustings and ILA meet Wed 14 May 2014

 Islington Leaseholders Association Meeting and Hustings
Wednesday 14th May  2014
Islington Town Hall
7pm – 9pm

The apolitical ILA have invited all Islington political parties to attend a Hustings at our ILA monthly meet, to tell us how they will help Leaseholders.

Leaseholders are invited to come along and ask them how they’ll help you.


Guest Speakers from Islington’s political parties confirmed so far include:


Cllr. James Murray – Executive Member for Housing (Labour),

Cllr. Terry Stacy (Liberal) ,

Charlie Kiss (Green),

Patricia Napier (Conservative),

Pete Muswell  (UKIP)

Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman ILA
Twitter @ilaorguk

    If you wish to join or renew your membership please contact our website where you can obtain the appropriate membership forms.

      Feel free to share, tweet, like, tell your friends about this meeting

Leaseholder poll – How can council improve their relationship with you?

When Leader of the Council Richard  Watts came to the Islington Leaseholders’ Association meeting at the Town Hall on February 12th, 2014, he spoke of the need  for an entirely new council/leaseholder relationship, based on working together.With this in mind, your thoughts and input would be appreciated.

Leaseholder poll Please tick 3 boxes then press vote  button below

In which three ways do you think your council landlord could most improve their relationship with you?

View Results

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If you think the council should be doing something more important for leaseholders than the suggestions above, tell us publicly on comment form below, or privately via the contact form and we may ask the council about it and/or add it to this poll, or flag it for future discussion.

Please Share Poll /Email On / RT / Like / Tell someone else.

ILA Meet 9th April 2014

Islington Leaseholders Association Meeting
Wednesday 9th April 2014
Islington Town Hall
7pm – 9pm
Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman ILA
Guest Speaker: TBA
Twitter @ilaorguk
If you wish to join or renew your membership please contact our website where you can obtain the appropriate membership forms.

ILA meet Wed 12th March 2014

Islington Leaseholders Association Meeting 
Wednesday 12th March 2014
Islington Town Hall
7pm – 9pm
Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman ILA

Guest Speaker: Two solicitors from “LEASE” organisation will be giving a presentation on the latest lease extension procedures and outlining the new remit of the LVT. 
Twitter @ilaorguk
If you wish to join or renew your membership please contact our website where you can obtain the appropriate membership forms. 
Please impress upon any other leaseholders that it is in their interest to attend these meetings regularly…
Dr Brian Potter Chairman ILA has asked me to forward onto you all this Leaseholders letter in the Islington Gazette, Thurs, Feb 27, 2014 –  Please see below to view at your convenience [1] Why not withhold PFI payments?
Dr B.S. Potter Chairman ILA


Islington Gazette,

Thurs, Feb 27, 2014


Council housing

Why not withhold PFI payments?

“[It] seems to be a pretty unsatisfactory contract,” “We’ll see what our options

are,” “We need a plan of management” and “We want to be transparent whenever

possible” (!) Cllrs Richard Watts and James Murray (housing) were speaking

about the council’s PFI (private finance initiative) housing-management

contract with Partners at a recent angry town hall meeting with council



The council isn’t only an estates’ landlord. The PFI is the two-part contract under

which the majority of the borough’s 6,500 street properties are managed – many would say mismanaged.  It doesn’t expire until 2033, by which time it will have cost the general taxpayer upwards of £720 million – some estimate about £1billion, allowing for interest payments incurred over its lifetime.


Bad enough? Now for the alleged sting in this nasty scorpion’s tail: “There’s ‘an eight-digit financial penalty for ending that contract.”


So here we have it – “We wouldn’t sign that kind of contract now,” but it’s too expensive to cancel. Who, one wonders, is advising the council?  This is money paid by all Islington taxpayers, not only residents of the council’s freeholds.  As for political will, where were the dissident voices when Gordon Brown was pushing PFI?


Ironically, the question to which Cllrs Watts and Murray gave the above answers wasn’t about the lifecycle of the contract – though searching questions need to be asked about that – but the suspension, on grounds of breach of contract, of the monthly payments by which Partners receives its guaranteed PFI monies.


Since Cllr Watts agreed that it’s “pretty clear” that work carried out by United House,

“particularly in the first round” of the contract, was “not good enough” – there was, “frankly, some pretty shocking work” (he should see some second-round examples) – why is the council refusing to consider withholding such payments?

As the questioner asked, how can a contractor (Partners) “fail to deliver with such impunity?”


If, as was stressed at the meeting, Islington wants to be a “responsible landlord”, the politicians will have to go further than this.

Meg Howarth,

Ellington Street, N7

ILA meet wed 12.2.14

Islington Leaseholders Association Meeting

Wednesday 12th Febuary 2014

Islington Town Hall

7pm – 9pm

Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman ILA
Guest Speakers: To be advised
Twitter @ilaorguk
Face Book

If you wish to join or renew your membership please contact our website where you can obtain the appropriate membership forms.

Spot checks have exposed appalling conditions in council homes

Islington Tribune Letters: by Meg Howarth – Published: 8 November, 2013

• POOR maintenance of Islington’s housing stock isn’t, alas, uncommon or confined to the borough’s estates(Homes repair complaints ‘rising’, November 1).

A group of volunteer housing campaigners carrying out spot checks on randomly selected street properties has exposed some appalling conditions.

Their findings can be seen in a series of photographs at

more here


‘£30k maintenance charge drained my life savings’ says 88-year-old leaseholder

‘£30k maintenance charge drained my life savings’ says 88-year-old leaseholder

Joan Leonard and Doc Potter

Joan Leonard and Doc Potter

Published: 13 September, 2013   by PETER GRUNER and SERINA SANDHU  from Islington Tribune
HOUSING activists are launching a campaign to force Islington Council to pay back most of the £30,000 in maintenance fees which drained the life savings of an 88-year-old leaseholder.
They will claim that widowed pensioner Joan Leonard was not properly consulted some eight years ago, nor did she give her approval of work done on the tower block Emberton Court, on the Brunswick estate, Clerkenwell.
The move follows plans for more work on the estate for which Mrs Leonard will be asked to contribute another £8,000.
Retired tailor Mrs Leonard, who has lived on the fifth floor of the estate for more than 60 years, said: “I paid the money for four new windows and two doors. They also replaced a perfectly good boiler.
“But I got a shock when I got the bill. Now they want more money for things like CCTV and repairs. Well, I don’t have it.”
Two of the borough’s most formidable campaigners, Dr Brian Potter, chairman of Islington Leaseholders Association, and student barrister Patricia Napier will take on the case.
The work on the estate was carried out by the now-defunct housing management organisation Homes for Islington in 2008-09.
Dr Potter said: “This is a woman who was forced to spend her entire life-savings on work which probably wasn’t needed. She came to us because she’s being asked to spend more money.”
He added: “We hope of course that rather than a long, protracted tribunal or court case the council will agree to a refund.”
Ms Napier said: “£30,000 is a huge amount of money. I hope to get a great proportion of it back. Mrs Leonard is obviously not a wealthy woman and it appears she was not aware of her rights at the time the work was done.
“The council will have to prove that the work was necessary.”
Councillor James Murray, executive member for housing, said that if any leaseholders have difficulty making the payment a member of the housing team can help them by discussing options.‘£30k-maintenance-charge-drained-my-life-savings’-says-88-year-old-leaseholder

Open Letter to Leader Catherine West and Islington Council

From:  Dr Brian Potter ILA

To: Catherine West (,,,,

Dear Catherine.

Since the ILA’s last proposal to raise cash for Islington (99 year Lease Extensions) appears to have drawn so much attention (including from other borough’s!) we hope that you will also consider another of our schemes, which although not as lucrative as the first, will potentially raise a great deal of much needed cash, very quickly.

Very briefly

A/ In Islington’s leases, Leaseholders only own the glass, not the window frames!

B/ A major source of problems has been due to window repairs/replacement for which contractorsgrossly over charge. (Most windows have under gone extensive work through the Decent Homes Project already)

C/ So..When contacting leaseholders re a 99 year lease Extension…also offer to sell them their windows…at a discount…as a one off offer…in the same time frame as the lease extension?

Back ground

Formally, to buy your windows through HFI      you were required to seek planning permission and alicense…all of which cost money and involved administrative costs to the order of approximately £1000-2000 per property.

The ILA has finally convinced HFI that both the planning permission and license were an unnecessary cash burden, which prevented leaseholders from buying their windows via a “Deed of Variation”. However, as a result of years of negotiations with HFI, leaseholders can now purchase the DOV within a couple of weeks, at a total cost of £380. (I purchased mine last month).

If this sum was reduced to £180 in a one off promotion, I am sure that the majority of Islington’s leaseholders would be happy to take part.

Peripheral advantages to this scheme…

1/ Many more leaseholders would be inclined to use the small local builders…thereby generating bothcash and employment in the borough, and reduce both the council’s responsibility and contractual work load!

2/ The large contracts currently being allocated cost the borough a fortune, and are totally un-manageable and impossible to monitor…and, invariably uses sub-contracted labour from…who knows where?

3/ If the leaseholders are satisfied with this arrangement they will have no need to challenge the billing at law (LVT), so saving the borough a great deal of cash during the course of the year in defending issues related to cost and quality of works by employing very expensive external firms of solicitors. See Tremlett Grove…!!!

Legal safe guards

In order to ensure that the leaseholders comply with council requirements in regard to conservation areas etc…Caveats can be included, if and when required…

Possible income of…non-ring fenced cash…

Math…11,000 x £180 = £??????????


Listed Building Consents on works done by Council Agent

Islington Council ( PFI) managing agent for street properties “Partners” have recently said that they will only obtain Listed Building Consents (LBC)/ planning permissions on works that they have done on properties in conservation areas or that are listed buildings IF the matter is brought to the attention of Partners directly by the resident concerned.
Islingtons  Planning Conservation department on the other hand says that ” that unauthorised works carried out to listed buildings is a criminal offence. As such persons with a material interest in the property may be liable to prosecution”
Leaseholder may also find that they have an issue if they ever wish to sell their properties, and they need to obtains the the LBC’s to give to potential buyers. Trying to get consents from Partners  in 2 or 10 year after works have been done may be tricky.
The ILA can’t give advice, so this shouldn’t be taken as such, but If your a leaseholder in a Conservation Area or Listed building you may want to check with the Islington Council conservation section of the Planning Department. whether the Major Works  that Partners have done on your property should have had or require LBC., and if so bring it directly to Partners attention.
Please also let the ILA know if the Councils planning department  confirm that council’s  agents (  e.g. Partners,[the former] HFI etc) or Housing Property Services have done works to your property without getting the appropriate consents. contact