After pressure from leaseholders organisation and others, the Office of Fair Trading is to investigate Service Charges.
Evidence is invited from anyone concerned and results are due by the end of 2014. The study was first announced last year to look at services for flats in the private sector only, but 250 people and organisations wrote in about its limited scope and it has been agreed to include the millions of leaseholders who rely on councils and housing associations to run their estates.
In their detailed scoping report published 4th March 2014, the OFT said that the social housing sector was, on reflection “too large and important” to omit from their study.
The study’s full title is “Market study into the provision of residential property management services”. In April, the OFT gets merged into a new Competition & Markets Authority (CMA). info from Hackney Leaseholders
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.
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.
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The ILA are looking for a ‘secretary’ to take minutes and distribute them regularly to all the directors and asks for a volunteer to undertake this essential part of the work, to assist with the smooth running of the organisation. If you are interested please log into http://www.ila.org.uk/faqs/contact-form.
If you wish to join or renew your membership please contact our websitewww.ila.org.ukwhere you can obtain the appropriate membership forms.
Please impress upon any other leaseholders that it is in their interest to attend these meetings regularly…
Please click on both attachments – Islington Gazette 29th November 2013.
‘£30k maintenance charge drained my life savings’ says 88-year-old leaseholder
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.
Guest Speakers: “As our guests, we have invited two very eminent Leaseholders from the boroughs of Westminster and Camden, who will talk, and answer questions, on the differences observed in the treatment of leaseholders by their council’s and Islington’s”…
First-tier Tribunal(Property Chamber) presentation on the replacement to the Lands Valuation Tribunal ( LVT ) from ILA meeting on Wednesday 12th June 2013 by Nicholas Kissen from LEASE. ( requires Powerpoint to view).