Private Eye -High-rise, higher costs

From Private EYE –  Cladding safety, Issue 1462

IT WAS always hopeless optimism on the part of communities secretary Sajid Javid to think wealthy speculators in the freeholds of private blocks of flats would pay to remove Grenfell-type cladding. And so it has proved.

As Eye 1457 reported in November, the Tchenguiz Family Trust, based in the British Virgin Islands, is off to court to dump the £2m cost on 97 leaseholders at Citiscape in Croydon – that’s around £20,000 per flat owner, most on low incomes.

At Heysmoor Heights in Toxteth, Liverpool, where the 98 flats sell for less than £100,000, Abacus Land 4 Ltd, a Guernsey company, is demanding £18,000 from each leaseholder. It is administered by the Long Harbour/Homeground fund of David Cameron’s brother-in-law Will Astor, the heir to the viscountcy. This opens up the spectacle of hard-pushed flat owners, who cannot pay, possibly losing their homes through lease forfeiture to an offshore entity where the beneficial ownership is hidden – and where they may have benefited from tax advantages.

Astor’s spokesman, the former Tory MP turned PR smoothie Adrian Flook, assured the Eye the offshore owners of the freehold to Heysmoor were “exclusively UK-based pension and life insurance funds”. As they are all UK tax-exempt, he added, there are therefore no tax advantages, and registration in Guernsey is for “administrative efficiency” only.

‘Saving its skin’
Flook, who works for Sir Lynton Crosby’s lobbying firm Crosby Textor, also said Abacus had “swiftly and voluntarily” injected £750,000 on to the leaseholders’ service charge – as a loan – to cover interim fire wardens as well as building costs. He claimed that without this generosity the residents would have had to move, which would have been even more expensive.

However, Sebastian O’Kelly of the campaign charity the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, said: “Contrarily, one could say that Abacus has imposed a £750,000 loan and then proceeded to spend it as it chose. This wasn’t philanthropy; the freeholder was saving its skin with the fire authorities.

“Flook’s blather would be more weighty if Astor’s Homeground did not also charge old ladies £50 to keep a cat, and demand £108 to consider a freehold purchase – all familiar ploys in the leasehold game, which Astor spent six years learning at Vincent Tchenguiz’s side.”

To date, 17 freeholders are off to court to let a tribunal decide whether the terms of the leases mean hapless leaseholders have to pick up the tab for removing dangerous cladding.

One particular case would be notably unjust. A vast 980-flat development, New Capital Quay in Greenwich, which also has Grenfell-style aluminium composite material (ACM), was completed by Galliard Homes only four years ago. The freeholder remains Galliard’s own company, Roamquest Ltd.

‘Absolutely clobbered’
Huge sums are being racked up to provide fire marshals, and Galliard is showing every sign that it expects the leaseholders to cough up to remove the cladding that it put up itself. If the cladding and safety costs are as extensive as at Citiscape in Croydon, the total could be as much as £19m.

Local Labour MP Matthew Pennycook told the Commons before Christmas that leaseholders “bought their properties in good faith and bear no responsibility whatever for failures in the building regulations regime, but as things stand they are going to be absolutely clobbered”.

So far, the only freeholder to agree to pay to remove Grenfell-style cladding is Legal & General at the Blenheim Centre/Reflexion site in Hounslow, west London, where the bill may exceed £10m. Unlike Astor’s clients, it has not chosen to hide its ownership.

Elsewhere, Javid’s pleas appear to have fallen on deaf ears. Will we have to wait until it’s too late and the courts have decided the leaseholders are liable before the government intervenes?

ILA Meet Wed 14.03.18

Islington Leaseholders Association Meeting

On

Wednesday 14th March 2018

In

Islington Town Hall

At

7pm – 9pm

Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman (ILA)

Guest Speakers: Mr Nicholas Kissen Senior Adviser and Ms Kavita Bharti A Legal Adviser at The Leasehold Advisory Service. A short presentation followed by questions and answers.

Please click on the “Lease” links below.

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.

Please impress upon any other leaseholders that it is in their interest to attend these meetings regularly…..

 

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

Anger as thousands unaware they face a ‘second mortgage’

Calls for the delay of a new loan set to replace a state-backed benefit in just 10 weeks’ time     Shane Hickey  ( The Guardian)   Mon 5 Feb 2018 

Many poorer families could be in danger of having their home repossessed as a state-backed benefit is taken away.

The government has been called on to delay a new “second mortgage” scheme, which replaces a benefit for homeowners on low incomes, after just one in 20 affected households have signed up for it.

From April, the government is axing “support for mortgage interest” (SMI) which helps financially constrained homeowners with their mortgage. It will be replaced with a controversial system where the government offers to loan people the money, which will be repaid later with interest.

However, new figures have shown that just 6,850 households have signed up for the scheme out of the 124,000 currently receiving the SMI benefit, prompting calls for the changeover to be delayed.  more info 

 

ILA Meet Wed 14.02.18

Islington Leaseholders Association Meeting

On

Wednesday 14th  February 2018

In

Islington Town Hall

At

7pm – 9pm

Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman (ILA)

Guest Speaker: To be advised

 

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.

Housing Scrutiny-Information on Partners Resident Scrutiny Arrangements Meeting Tuesday 6th February 2018.

In advance of next week’s Housing Scrutiny meeting which will be considering the performance of Partners, please find attached a note submitted by a Partners tenant on the organisation’s resident scrutiny arrangements. This may inform discussions at the meeting.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday 6th February, 2018, at 7.30pm in Committee Room 4. The pre-meeting will be held from 7-pm in Committee Room 3, at Islington Town Hall.

Please click on this link –PartnersResidentScrutinyNote2018.pdf

ILA Meet Wed 10.01.18

Islington Leaseholders Association Meeting

On

Wednesday 10th  January 2018

In

Islington Town Hall

At

7pm – 9pm

Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman (ILA)

Guest Speaker: To be advised

 

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.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2018

Dr Brian Potter Chairman (ILA) and ILA Directors
Would like to wish you all A Very Merry Christmas
And a Prosperous and Happy New Year 2018

ILA Merry Xmas & Happy New Year 2017

*************
Future dates for your diaries 2018
Islington Leaseholders Association
Wednesday Monthly Meetings which takes place on the Second Wednesday of every Month in Islington Town Hall Chambers, between 7pm-9pm.

Wednesday 10th January 2018 –Islington Town Hall Chambers – 7pm-9pm

Wednesday 14th February 2018 –Islington Town Hall Chambers – 7pm-9pm

Wednesday 14th March 2018 –Islington Town Hall Chambers – 7pm-9pm

Wednesday 11th April 2018 –Islington Town Hall Chambers – 7pm-9pm

Wednesday 09th May 2018 –Islington Town Hall Chambers – 7pm-9pm

Wednesday 13th June 2018 –Islington Town Hall Chambers – 7pm-9pm

Wednesday 11th July 2018 –Islington Town Hall Chambers – 7pm-9pm

Wednesday 08th August 2018 –Islington Town Hall Chambers – 7pm-9pm

Wednesday 12th September 2018 –Islington Town Hall Chambers – 7pm-9pm

Wednesday 10th October 2018 –Islington Town Hall Chambers – 7pm-9pm

Wednesday 14th November 2018 –Islington Town Hall Chambers – 7pm-9pm

Wednesday 12th December 2018 –Islington Town Hall Chambers – 7pm-9pm
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ILA Meet Wed 13.12.17

Islington Leaseholders Association Meeting

On

Wednesday 13th  December 2017

In

Islington Town Hall

At

7pm – 9pm

Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman (ILA)

Guest Speaker: To be advised

 

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.

ILA Meet Wed 08.11.17

Islington Leaseholders Association Meeting

On

Wednesday 8th  November 2017

In

Islington Town Hall

At

7pm – 9pm

Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman (ILA)

Guest Speaker: To be advised

 

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.

ILA Meet Wed 11.10.17

Islington Leaseholders Association Meeting

On

Wednesday 11th  October 2017

In

Islington Town Hall

At

7pm – 9pm

Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman (ILA)

Guest Speaker: To be advised

 

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.

Annual Leaseholders Fair – Wednesday 11.10.17

Annual Leaseholders Fair 

Will take place on Wednesday 11 October 2017

3pm – 7.30pm,

At the Resource for London,

356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA.

Islington Leaseholders Association will be attending

Please come and meet Dr Brian Potter Chairman (ILA) and ILA Directors. 

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