right to buy...selling on..

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Thursday 24 July 2003 12.35pm
A friend of mine is on the verge of selling her flat which she purchased under the right to buy scheme, now on the brink of signing contracts the council have sent her a bill for 10 thousand pounds for new windows (?) despite having been told that there were no proposed works in the future. They have told her that they have also sent two different notices informing her of her share of roof repairs... which she definitely has not received , as naturally she would have acted straight away.
where can she get advice without resorting to a solicitor? are there any right to buy organisation acting for ex-tenants in Southwark?

Friday 25 July 2003 11.58am
Sounds like the council have your friend over a barrel on this one. I understand that in the term of the leasehold they are able to make you pay for a share of any works or proposed works on the property, however this would have been outlined in the original offer paperwork. Get your friend to check her paperwork if these windows were mentioned in the offer then you can't really argue with them, if not, you might have a case. I would go to the Citizen's Advice Bureau for free legal advice as I don't know of any other agency that can offer free advice.

Southwark's Leasehold Management Dept are notorious for being imcompetent, I am going through the same process so I sympathise with your friend.
Friday 25 July 2003 12.05pm
thanks Tizzy :-)

Friday 25 July 2003 3.32pm
Another place that does give free advice is Lease: 020 7490 9580 or http://www.lease-advice.org.uk - as the name suggests, they act on behalf of leaseholders and have loads of information online about service charges (which this would come under.) They also give personal legal advice, so definitely worth getting in touch with them.

(Sorry, just realised I put the wrong web address in.)

Post edited (28 Jul 03 13:48)
Friday 25 July 2003 9.21pm
10 grand?! theyre having a laugh!!

I wouldnt put it pat the council, they have to give you a discount but then screw you for 10 grand for platinium and diamond encrusted windows.

Then again, they are charging us 1000 quid for an entry system that no one knows about. Whats funny about it all is that the council know damned well (and dont give a toss) that there is nothing on the planet that we can do about it, not a single damned thing.

Tizzy, I think "imcompetent" is a hell of an understatement. In any other industry or business, the Southwark department involved wouldve been sacked for theyre inability to do any work.
Monday 28 July 2003 2.11pm

I realised I put the wrong web address in my previous message - I've edited it now, but was worried you wouldn't notice. I think your friend should get in touch with Lease straight away, as this sounds like exactly the sort of issue they were set up to deal with.

Thursday 4 September 2003 11.59am
My friend contacted a solicitor in the end.... the amount supposedly outstanding was surpisingly reduced to 500... when the solictor asked for that in writing the person on the end of the phone went away and then returned to the phone and said they had made a mistake and that the amount owing was.................................................FIFTY POUNDS!

Moral of this story?
Always get a solictor when dealing with the council's right to buy and finance section!

Post edited (04 Sep 03 16:40)

Thursday 4 September 2003 12.32pm
Why am I not surprised about this? Southwarks leasehold Management are in a class of their own. I'm glad your friend didn't end up being ripped off.
Thursday 4 September 2003 4.08pm
Also bought my council flat a couple of years ago.
Recently received a couple of invoices for two quarterly estate charges. Strangely the charges on the 2nd invoice have risen by 100%. The charges per year have doubled.
It may not be a lot of money - but I'm expected to find it from somewhere or else they will reposses!!
I was fully aware of the charges & extra costs that would/could be incurred once I turned into a leaseholder, but find this a bit extreme.
What I also found annoying was the fact that the April invoice was 3 months late, which was directly followed by the July invoice. The payments were expected immediately.
If I had been informed of this a while ago - I could have been prepared for the extra costs.

Thanks Southwark! I love been in debt, & thanks to you I'm getting deeper....

Friday 5 September 2003 9.00am

I'd tell you to complain to the manager of the leasehold management team, but I'm afraid from bitter experience, all you will get is the "you should consider yourself lucky that we let you buy your property and regardless of the mistakes and incompetence of southwark team, you WILL pay every single penny to us or we will take your home from you" mentality.

I don't have any other advice, apart from maybe contact a solicitor, as per Jan's friend.

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