Whose your Landlord? 20.6.10

Dr B.Potter letter to Islington Tribune


Published on June 14, 2010 in Uncategorized. Closed

FAO Peter Gruner,  Islington Tribune

Many of Islington’s residents, will I am sure, be somewhat confused by the continual reference within HFI latest newsletter to “HFI’s tenants” ”Our tenants” “HFI’s estates” “Our customers” etc, therefore as the chairman of the Federation of Islington Tenants Associations (FITA) I feel the need to clarify HFI’s official position with regard to Islington’s housing stock.

Although HFI would, I am sure, wish otherwise, they currently exist within this borough as a company wholly owned by LBI, and as such they do not at this present moment in time, to my knowledge, actually own any property under their own name, including their main offices at Highbury House, or any other premises associated with this borough’s council housing stock.

HFI were originally imposed upon Islington as a management vehicle to facilitate the council’s implementation of the governments Decent Homes Initiative, and as such were, and remain, employed by Islington council simply as a management agent, at an annual cost to the borough to the order of approximately £54 million pounds.

It should be noted, that whilst our homes remain the property of Islington council the tenancy agreements are securely protected under statutory provision, However, should this situation alter as a result of any form of stock transfer our legal position would be changed to that of a lesser, assured tenancy, which provides merely a contractual degree of protection.

Therefore, since Islington council are still the freeholders of our homes, those of us who reside in council owned property legally remain tenants of Islington council, and any and all attempts by HFI to alter our perception of this fact by continual corporate re-branding of council properties must be resisted at all cost.

So—please refrain from referring to HFI as your landlord, in any shape or form, and insist that HFI always refer to you as tenants of Islington council.

Dr B.Potter
Chairman, Federation of Islington Tenants Associations.
Chairman, Islington Leaseholders Associations

2 replies on “Whose your Landlord? 20.6.10”

I am a leaseholder and according to my Lease any notice or complaint must be passed on to the Borough Solicitor on behalf of the maire. On many occasions I complained to the the Borough Solicitor as instructed in my lease only for my letters, to be dealt with most unprofessionally by HFI legal department. The reply from the Borough Solicitor is that his office had not been instructed to deal with the matter (i.e. complaint about disallowed major works charges). Therefore who exactly is the landlord? HFI or Islington Council???? My view is that the opinion of HFI is but one sided and when left to their own devices, tenants are very much unprotected.

Michele – the position is that Islington own the block of flats or house that you live in. As a leaseholder, unlike a short-hold tenant, you are required to maintain the fabric of the building, and this is done collectively by leaseholders through a management company.

In this case, the management company is HfI. The company can be changed, if leaseholders collective choose to do so (I think this is more complicated to do in a council-owned block as there are the interests of tenants to take into account – and Islington council should be paying a share of the maintenance costs on behalf of their tenants, although it’s clear as mud whether they do this. What Islington then chooses to pass on to their tenants in costs is between those tenants and the Council).

The last thing that you are, is a tenant of HfI. What HfI are, effectively, the company you contract to have repairs carried out to maintain the building as per your lease obligations. If they are rubbish, they can be sacked.

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