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HLCG Newsletter - 21 March 2012

Hello, it's been a while since we last got in touch. There have been a few changes recently and a few things we think you should keep your eye on. Here goes:

1) Our Estimated Service Charges 2012/2013 - we all received our estimated service charges for 2012/13 this month. We encourage you to check this and compare them to the last actual service charge we received which would be for 2010/11 and last year's 2011/12 estimated. Check that there aren't disproportionately high figures. Challenge these with Homes For Haringey in writing and ask them to explain why. Ask for your statement of account, for say the last 2 years, to check that the billing and your payments and credits are correct before you pay. If you have had capital works in recent memory, ask for your flat’s capital works account.

2) The Sublet fee - for those of us who sublet, HLCG have unwaveringly opposed the sublet fee at all levels in HfH. We have legally checked the lease and an annual payment is simply not part of our lease, nor is there such a thing as a sublet fee.

It may have come to your attention that HfH’s March issue of The Leasehold Newsletter regrettably carried a story of an Edgecot Grove leaseholder having their flat repossessed as a result of continuously failing to register their sublet; the case was heard at The Edmonton County Court. We feel that the article in the leasehold newsletter is too ambitious and rather silent on the exact legal points of the case in the County Court. The actual choice of it being heard in the County Court indicates that there was no determination sought on whether a sub letting fee would be allowed under our leases. The County Court has no jurisdiction to determine it. Until the exact issues of the case are made available, any statement about sub letting fees is to be treated with caution. We are very much against strong statements being issued by HfH especially in respect of lease forfeiture because they might potentially frighten vulnerable leaseholders. Discussions are ongoing.

3) The Leasehold Consultation by The London Assembly - Complaints from leaseholders from both the private and the social sectors prompted a review by The London Assembly, long overdue in our opinion. HLCG and individual leaseholders in Haringey contributed amongst many others and the result is A Service Charges Review Final Report and recommendations published (see attached). Well done to those who took part, and it’s a good start to the year.

What's happening to HLCG? We are here and functioning! We are aware of correspondence about HLCG being circulated anonymously. The only statement we want to issue is this:

We do not support intolerance or hatred or attacks on individuals. We are volunteers, like everybody else we have to work, have partners and dependents to look after, and we spend what spare time we have serving the interest of leaseholders. Let us get on with it.

Volunteers- if you are likeminded, step forward, your positive contributions would be most welcome, please do!