London Mayor betrays 34 estates over housing ballots

Mayor quietly signs off funding for 34 estates, dodging new ballot rules

At Mayor’s Question Time this week, the Mayor gave me a firm promise not to sign off any new funding for estate demolition while his new policy to require a ballot of residents was out for consultation. But he was concealing the fact he has recently rushed through funding for dozens of controversial schemes, allowing councils and housing associations to dodge his new policy.

The new policy to require ballots was announced on 2 February, with a consultation on the details (such as the size of schemes, who can vote, whether independent organisations should carry them out etc) open until 3 April.

I asked him at MQT this week not to sign off any schemes meanwhile, and he was clear he would not do this, saying: “I will be signing no new funding contracts until the consultation has ended and we’ve published the final guide.”

This seemed quite good. Along with campaigners from many estates across London, and with the support of the Assembly, I’ve been working to change the Mayor’s policy on giving residents a say since his truly appalling draft ‘Good Practice Guide’ to estate regeneration was published in December 2016. A consultation on that draft closed nearly a year ago in March 2017, and the results were that 95 per cent of responders asked for ballots for residents facing demolition.

However,

I have now found out that, all this time, the Mayor has been quietly signing off funding for some of the most controversial estate schemes in London….despite promising in his manifesto to “require that estate regeneration only takes place where there is resident support, based on full and transparent consultation.”

By Sian Berry

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Invitation to free webinar on consultation re consumer redress in housing market

Register now for the free webinar

LEASE is hosting a free webinar to help you make an informed contribution to the Government’s consultation  Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market’.

The webinar will be presented by our experienced advisers, Nicholas Kissen and Kavita Bharti.

The webinar is on Monday 26 March 2018, 7pm – 8:30pm. Click here to register.

The Government is concerned that the current landscape is confusing for consumers both in terms of the number of schemes, differences in practices, and gaps where consumers have no recourse to redress. As a consequence the consultation explores and questions:

improving ‘in–house’ complaint processes, to ensure that issues get resolved as quickly as possible;

the practices and functions that should be expected of redress schemes and the powers that they need to do this;

How to fill existing gaps in redress, with a particular focus on private tenants, buyers of new build homes and leaseholders; and

The case for streamlining and improving services for consumers through the creation of a single housing ombudsman service.

Responses to the consultation should be submitted no later than midnight on 16 April 2018. You are encouraged to respond by completing an online survey.

Alternatively you can email your response to the questions in the consultation to – Housingredress@communities.gsi.gov.uk

Written responses should be sent to:

Social Housing Division, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Third Floor, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF

Landmark leasehold case fails to slash extension costs

Campaigners vow to fight on after appeal court rules in favour of leading London freeholder .  (The Guardian)

Campaigners have failed in a long-running legal battle to slash leasehold costs after the court of appeal ruled in favour of a major London freeholder.

The case, Mundy v the Sloane Stanley Estate, involved a small flat in Chelsea where the lease had fallen to less than 23 years and the freeholder was seeking £420,000 to agree an extension

Campaigners had hoped that a ruling could slice as much as half off the cost of extending a lease or buying a freehold. But the court found in favour of the Sloane Stanley Estate, in a major victory for owners of freehold land, such as the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Estate.

The challenge had been led by surveyor James Wyatt of Parthenia Valuation, who argued that a system of lease valuation commissioned on behalf of the Duke of Westminster more than 20 years ago was invalid.

But lawyers acting on behalf of the Sloane Stanley Estate, which controls land around London’s Sloane Square, King’s Road and Fulham Road, said the Parthenia valuation model proposed by Wyatt was now “consigned to history”. More Info

ILA meet Wed 14.12.16 with guest from LEASE

Islington Leaseholders Association Meeting

On

Wednesday 14th December 2016

In

Islington Town Hall

At

7pm – 9pm

Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman (ILA)

Guest Speaker: Mrs Anna Sanz from LEASE making a presentation on “Lease Extensions”

Come along and ask her your questions.

Website www.ila.org.uk

Twitter @ilaorguk

Face Book www.facebook.com/IslingtonLeaseholdersAssociation

Volunteers wanted

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 website ww.ila.org.uk where you can obtain the appropriate membership forms.

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 Wed 12.02.14

Islington Leaseholders Association Meeting
on
Wednesday 12th February 2014
in
Islington Town Hall
at
7pm – 9pm
 
Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman ILA
Guest SpeakerCllr Watts
New Leader of Islington Council
Twitter @ilaorguk
Volunteers wanted
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 website www.ila.org.uk 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…
 
[1] Dr Potter has asked me to forward this link…. onto you all to view as a point of information.  Whistle-blower Mr Strong v Morrison’s & Mears.

ILA AGM & meet Wed 12 June 2013

Islington Leaseholders Association

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

 and Meeting

Wednesday 12th June 2013

Islington Town Hall

7pm – 9pm

Hosting the Meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman ILA

Guest Speakers: Mr Nicolas Kisson (Chief Litigation Solicitor) and Mr Tom Frith (Solicitor) from ‘LEASE’ organisation, who will be giving a PowerPoint presentation on the NEW form, and procedures of the recently up dated LVT process.
Website www.ila.org.uk

Twitter @ilaorguk

Face Book http://on.fb.me/mWzios

 

ILA – volunteers wanted

The ILA is 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 the smooth running of the organisation. If your interested please log ontohttp://www.ila.org.uk/faqs/contact-form/

Millions could be raised in Islington leasehold sale

Gazette reports more than £20million could be raised for new homes if Islington Council take up Dr Brian Potter ( ILA chair) suggestion and  offers leaseholders a one-off chance to extend their leases by 99 years at a knock-down price. more 

Open Letter to Leader Catherine West and Islington Council

From:  Dr Brian Potter ILA

To: Catherine West (catherine.west@islington.gov.uk),   james.murray@islington.gov.uk,  paul.convery@islingtonlabour.org.uk, richard.greening@islington.gov.uk,  richard.watts@islington.gov.uk

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 = £??????????

Brian.

Lease Extension Presentation to ILA 10 Oct 2012 by LEASE

Lease Extension Presentation ILA 10 Oct 2012 by  Nadeem Hussain of LEASE.

Download here  Lease Extension Presentation ILA 10 Oct 2012

(This is a Power Point file, so  you must have that app on your computer for file to open)

 

Below is a link to LEASE’S  online booklet on lease extensions.

http://www.lease-advice.org/publications/documents/document.asp?item=8

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