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Council charges for leaseholders

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Wednesday 18 February 2004 8.38am
hey thanks james516 gives me a few things to look into, am going down monday to look at the specifications and tenders etc. see what happens, ill have to get in touch with lease and find out more about these common hold laws as well i think.
the council are very clever. told me not to worry about it for a month or so. handy when the consultation period will have expired then.
Wednesday 18 February 2004 9.57am
James516 this is invaluable information. I tried to raise issues with Library Street NHO over some tanks works on our block and didn't get very far without full knowledge of the legislation. I may be too late for these works but will be well forearmed when the windows get mentioned.

Mart I'm surprised you were told that a decision had been made to use PVC windows. I spoke to the Energy Efficiency advisory service at Southwark tenants and residents annual conference the year before last, who recommended coated aluminium windows, and told me tenants and leaseholders were allowed a say in what materials were used. Also recently, 1 window in a flat in our block was replaced following a fire. We complained to the council that the block now looked ridiculous, and that window replacement should be brought forward, and also voiced our concerns that as PVC windows had been used, we may not be allowed a choice when it came to the time for replacement. I received assurances from the NHO that at the time windows are replaced, all residents would be allowed to have some choice in what materials were used.
Having said that I've received assurances about several other things that have failed to materialise....
Wednesday 18 February 2004 2.33pm
I just wanted to add my support for a leaseholder forum of some kind, as a new-ish leaseholder all your thoughts and comments are extremely useful.

Maybe James could add a sub-forum to chatter dedicated to all things to do with southwark's wonderfully incompetent leasehold management dept or I am happy to offer my services and look for a free forum that we could set up and use.
Wednesday 18 February 2004 3.12pm
a leaseholder forum definitely gets my vote. I've found one of the most difficult things in dealing with leaseholder issues is lack of information. On the occasions that I've had to deal with such stuff I have tried to get together with neighbours who are also leaseholders but it's often difficult if you all work or have family commitments or whatever, to do anything in the short space of 'consultation' time that you have.
Wednesday 18 February 2004 3.23pm
Another Southwark Council experience to add to the wish list for a leaseholder forum...
I'm currently half of the way through my third year as a leaseholder.
I am currently paying over £100.00 per month for maintenance charges up until April. This is because I never received an invoice from the council for the first year of my leasehold - lesson learnt, they will always find you, so pay up‚Ķ..
When I applied for the right to buy, I was informed of the yearly costs for the first year, this was about £280.00, and they also informed me that thankfully, there were to be no major works going ahead for the foreseeable future. Great - no problems there then.
I finally received an invoice 13months later for the start of my 2nd year, which I started to pay immediately on monthly basis by direct debit.
The invoices are sent out to you on a quarterly basis, so when I received an invoice for the third quarter, was shocked to see the amount had doubled.
I called the payments department & was informed that the charges had risen by 100%!
I tried to explain that I may find it hard meeting the new charges, but was told in a very unsympathetic tone, that if I didn't pay up, they would repossess my property….er, better pay up then.
Unfortunately, one week later, I received the bill for the first year of my lease, & this was at the increased price?? So apart from struggling with the new increase, I now had to pay off another £600.00 & within 5 months! I take full responsible for the 1st years charges, & have no problems with paying them, but I don't believe that I should have been charged the 2003 rates, & because they could not get their act together & send me the invoices on time, I am penalised. I called Southwark council & asked them if there was a way that I could spread the costs, but yet again, unless I pay the full amount by April 2004, they would take me to court. I asked if there was an alternative ideas, & amazingly, they suggested I do the following:
Q1. Ask a relative to bail me out?
A1. My parents live 300miles away, divorced & earn less than I do.
Q2. Rent out a room to help with the payments.
A1. I live in a small one bedroom flat with a dog……
Q3. Move in with friends or relatives & rent my home out….?
A3. I bought my flat because it was probably the only way I would ever be able to invest in property & own my own home. I'm also 36; the last thing I want to be doing is flat sharing.
I did suggest - as a joke - that I own a 24yr old VW Campervan & maybe as long as the council didn't mind, I could park up & live in that….he actually agreed that it could be a solution!?! AAAAaaaggggghhhh!!!
I also asked him what was Southwark councils policy on soliciting, he then realised I had problems, was sympathetic, but still offered no help, thankfully, I haven't solicited myself...Yet!
I am paying of the maximum I can afford, so I am living off a very pathetic budget per week, God help me if they did some upgrades to the estate.
It's so nice to know that Southwark council are here to help.

Wednesday 18 February 2004 3.24pm
Author: Jonathan K

I agree with Rach, while even thought she is off work with a touch of 'flu, still heroically manages to contribute to the SE1 forum. ;-)

I'm a leaseholder too and have suffered under the mismanagement and incompetence of Alfred Salter Neighbourhood Office. Thankfully (or not - I'll have to wait and see) our estate, St Olaves, has just been handed over to a TMO, who at least seem keen.

I'd be willing to help set up an SE1 leaseholders forum if it can't be done here. I've got some spare web space and bandwidth and could set one up in the next couple of days if enough people are interested. Any suggestions for a domain name?
Wednesday 18 February 2004 3.44pm
This new section OK for everyone?
Wednesday 18 February 2004 4.07pm
Thanks James!
Great for future reference for us SE1 Leasies....
Wednesday 18 February 2004 5.26pm
Thanks James!

Kyliedog, I haven't recieved my bill for service charges either, I am going to drop the leasehold management team an email to see what they have to say for themselves.

My friend also had a similar experience she got a bill for 2 years worth and when she called to complain they said that their computers had been down at the time she was supposed to get her first bill and even though they were late in issuing it she was expected to pay the bills promptly.

Nice.
Wednesday 18 February 2004 8.16pm
The address for the Leaseholder Association Of Southwark 2000
(LAS2000)

is

Leaseholder Association Of Southwark 2000

P.O. Box 23394

London

SE16 2WA.

Membership costs £12 per year.
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