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. 
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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

Leasehold Extension Guide

Keith Greensted, MRICS of Warmans Surveying has provided the attached  guide with FAQ and illustration of how premiums are calculated for Leasehold Extensions,  which will hopefully deal with the main issues and leaseholders rights under the 1993 Leasehold Reform & Urban Development Act (As Amended).
There is also a sample report which is indicative of a typical valuation and advice provided.

Lease Extension – FAQ & Illustration of Costs

Sample – Lease Extension Report

Islington Council must face investigation for scandal of contractor overpayments

Islington Gazette reports calls for investigation into Islington Coucil “…Islington council had a vested interest in overcharging by contractors …… The message being sent out to contractors by Islington council is ” if you get caught overcharging, don’t worry we will pay the legal cost with public money to defend your actions…..”

Full   Islington Gazette  articles here  

Leaseholders get massive bill reduction at LVT for extremely poor major works, and massive overcharging.

One of the most important Leasehold Valuation Tribunal LVT decisions to date, from an Islington leaseholder’s perspective, was announced last week, (Merryweather court and Brennand court vs the mayor & burgess of Islington 29.3.12).

Please see the downloadable LVT decision pdf for details on the bill reductions, and to see how Islington leaseholders supported their claims before the LVT, plus the degree of detail they provide in evidence of shoddy workmanship, overcharging and gross mismanagement.   LVT – Merryweather & Brennand court vs LBI 29.3.12

Examples of the council overcharging identified by the LVT include roof works charges of £208,661 which were reduced to  £50,000, i.e. £25,000 per block. and asbestos removal charges of £157,371 that the Tribunal reduced to reasonable expenditure of £15,737.

This is one example, where the Council has authorised expenditure without satisfying itself that the expenditure is really necessary, and it demonstrates what can be achieved when leaseholders have the courage to challenge the bills they are sent, and demand that council officers ,  councillors and their contractors  are made accountable for their actions.”

Since the ILA can only supply ‘useful information’ on our web site, and not “advice”, as always, we suggest that you should obtain ‘professional independent legal advice’ before considering issuing such a challenge.

The Islington Gazette  has reported that millions of pounds of public money could have been wasted.

The ILA has already lobbied Islington Council, and, both the leader of the council, and the chair of housing, in regard to applying the reductions obtained by Merryweather/Brennard Courts leaseholders to all leaseholders in the same contract, and insisted that the council also reclaim, on behalf of the public purse, all monies related to tenanted properties in the same contract.   LVT – Merryweather & Brennand court vs LBI 29.3.12


Please feel free to pass on to other leaseholders you think may be interested


Late News:  The ILA  understand that LBI intends to appeal the decision.