New mandatory and discretionary reduction of service charges directions for social landlords came into force on 12 August 2014.
Heres a link to Leases’ article on the recent cap
Social landlords don’t know whether contractors are requesting payment for the right amounts, warns Theresa Mohammed in Inside Housing
Put bad practice behind you
Most social landlords that develop homes have always disapproved of the now outdated practice of failing to pay contractors and subcontractors in a timely manner. They have taken a keen interest in the mechanics of the payment provisions under recent legislation.
Among our clients, we have seen social landlords bending over backwards to engage with contractors’ claims and cost overruns, even when this results in busting the budget for a project.
But this has to some extent gone too far and encouraged contractors to fall back on the old-fashioned claims culture of inflated and unsubstantiated claims for payment, which are difficult to assess with any accuracy. Contractors typically send these payment applications in the form of long spreadsheets of figures, relating to subcontractors. Some social landlords have been paying without checking for mistakes or asking for justification for the amounts requested.
Social landlords increasingly tell us about duplicated invoicing, spurious variations where a contractor claims that the scope of work has changed, the withholding of invoices for long periods of time, failure to follow any of the agreed payment processes, and contractors introducing payment terms or rates that were not agreed.
Lack of management
One of the main reasons for these problems is a distinct lack of senior management in repairs and maintenance contracting, which means costs are incurred and then crudely attributed to various categories of cost, such as preliminaries or planned works, which may or may not be legitimate.
(Theresa Mohammed is a contentious construction senior associate at Trowers & Hamlins)
Join us on the 1st November, 9am – 5:30pm at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for the inaugural People vs PFI conference, bringing together academics, medical professionals, campaigners, researchers, journalists and grassroots organisations to discuss the problem of PFI, and to brainstorm political and practical solutions – with a focus on PFI in the NHS and social housing.
Speakers include: Richard Brooks (Private Eye), Ann Pettifor (Advocacy International), Nick Hildyard (Corner House) Ashley Seagar (Intergenerational Foundation, formerly The Guardian), Cat Hobbs (We Own it), Fran Boait (Positive Money), David McCoy (Medact), David Price (Queen Mary University London) Stuart Hodkinson (University of Leeds) John Lister (Keep Our NHS Public), and Dexter Whitfield (European Services Strategy Unit), with more speakers to be confirmed.
Please read this and see if it affects you.
If the answer is yes, please attend the next ILA meeting (on Wednesday in Townhall at 7pm) and ask questions relating to this process of our guest:
The “Adjudicator” of the “Housing Ombudsmen Service”
Dr. B.S. Potter ( Chairman ILA)
The ILA are looking for photo evidence from Leaseholders of poor workmanship on their home from Islington Council and Partners workers and their contractors for possible publication on our website and social media.
Please email ILA links to your digital photos to this address with name of the contractor.
or send copies of physical photos to: PO BOX 66633, London N1 1AA
Note: Please don’t send more that your 5 best photos – but tell us if you have more, We can’t return copies of physical photos and paper photocopies may not be be good enough to publish
Various presentations , reports and info on Partners Cyclical Works – download by clicking on links
Islington Leaseholders Association Meeting
Annual General Meeting
Wednesday 11th June 2014
Islington Town Hall
7pm – 9pm
Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter Chairman (ILA)
Guest Speakers: Mrs Patricia Napier
Face Book www.facebook.com/IslingtonLeaseholdersAssociation
Please tell /retweet/re-mail/ like / anyone who might be interested about this meeting
The apolitical ILA have invited all Islington political parties to attend a Hustings at our ILA monthly meet, to tell us how they will help Leaseholders.
Leaseholders are invited to come along and ask them how they’ll help you.
Guest Speakers from Islington’s political parties confirmed so far include:
Cllr. James Murray – Executive Member for Housing (Labour),
Cllr. Terry Stacy (Liberal) ,
Charlie Kiss (Green),
Patricia Napier (Conservative),
Pete Muswell (UKIP)
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.
Go to www.oft.gov.uk/subscribe to register for progress updates; and email email@example.com to send them your views and any evidence about poor service; wasted spending; and high charges. For more information: http://www.oft.gov.uk/OFTwork/markets-work/residential-property-management/#.UxcnfPl_sXU
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.
Leaseholder poll Please tick 3 boxes then press vote button below
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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