The Leaseholders charter – Download

Leaseholders might find the Council’s own statement of its promises to leaseholders useful when in negotiation over service charges or major works !!!

 

 

 

‘£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.

http://www.islingtontribune.com/news/2013/sep/‘£30k-maintenance-charge-drained-my-life-savings’-says-88-year-old-leaseholder

ILA meet Wed 08 May 2013

Islington Leaseholders Association

Meeting

Wednesday 8th May 2013

Islington Town Hall

7pm – 9pm

Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman ILA

Guest Speaker: To be advised

Website www.ila.org.uk

Twitter  @ilaorguk

Face Book http://on.fb.me/mWzios

 

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.

 

ILA monthly meet Wed 12th Decemeber 2012

Islington Leaseholders Association

Meeting  on

Wednesday 12th Decemeber  2012

in

Islington Town Hall

at

7pm – 9pm

Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman ILA

Guest Speakers: Presentation by ‘LEASE’ on HOW to  CHALLENGE YOUR BILLS at the LVT.

Website www.ila.org.uk
Twitter @ilaorguk
Face Book http://on.fb.me/mWzios

Meetings: Second Wednesday of each month

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 contact us here.

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

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

Leaseholders – Avoid being charged twice

Decent Homes works carried out by Mulalley [Area 3 Phase C]

Leaseholders who received a letter from the Council in July, asking them to notify the Council of any defects with the works by the 23rd of August, should be aware that the deadline given in the letter for rectifying any defective work is incorrect. 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.

‘Legalised money laundering’ by Islington Council – Gazette Letter of the week

For those of you unable to obtain last weeks Islington Gazette dated 6 September 2012.

Please click here  IslingtonGazetteLetters06.09.12

The Islington Gazette – Thursday 6 September 2012  , Page 18 – Letters

1)      Letter of the week – ‘Legalised money laundering’ by Council

By Dr Brian Potter, Islington Leaseholders Association/

Federation of Islington Tenants Association

2)      Leaseholders – A silence that is far from golden

By Kay Newsom, Islington Leaseholders Association member

 3)      Democracy – Champions must not be chumps

By Richard Rosser Highbury New Park. N5

Send your letters to islingtongazette.letters@archant.co.uk

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

Tribunal Tells Managing Agent: Be Reasonable, They Can’t Afford To Pay

Thursday, 17th November 2011 from newsontheblock.com

 In a landmark case that will undoubtedly be a gamechanger for the property management industry, the Upper Tribunal has decided that managing agents must consider the financial impact of major works on lessees and whether to phase works so they become more affordable. More

Upper Tribunal Decision

LVT Decision link


ILA monthly meet 11.07.12

Islington Leaseholders Meeting 

on Wednesday  11th  July 2012

in Islington Town Hall Chambers

at   7 – 9pm
Hosting the meeting:- Dr Brian Potter
Guest Speakers:- LEASE solicitors
Please view our Website www.ila.org.uk
twitter @ilaorguk
Please let other leaseholders know of this meeting or fw emails or tweet / RT this event.