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020 3012 1300

You may be interested to know that there is a consultation to cap service charges to Council leaseholders where the Council has received a government grant. Leaseholders in the Decent Homes Programme have been known to receive in excess of these.

As its probably the most important consultation since the Right To Buy came about, we urge you all to respond to the consultation. If you would like to post a response, the address is in the consultation document below. The more leaseholders that write to the government, the better.

Please note that local authorities have been invited to make their comments too and we all know their incentive will be to collect as much as possible whereas leaseholders need to respond and let the government know what they think about high service charges, especially relating to large projects like the Decent Home Programme.

On 7 October 2013, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DLCG) published a consultation on proposals to protect local authority leaseholders from unreasonable service charges.

HLCG (Haringey Leaseholders Campaign Group)have long been concerned about the quality and pricing of repairs and the problems we are aware are: repairs carried out for tenants found in breakdowns sent to key leaseholders, many repairs of a poor standard where further remedial work is required, long waiting periods, numerous visits of operatives with no repairs taking place, overpriced repairs, inability to provide leaseholders with invoices for works that have been carried out, which is against statutory rights that leaseholders have and other problems. Leaseholders spend an inordinate amount of time chasing repairs and then check a list of repairs that is sent some months after repairs have been carried out.

The current news that large bonuses have been paid to operatives adds further insult to injury and HLCG wholly supports a thorough investigation into this mess. We are very concerned about how this system of payment of large bonuses came about,and how the bonuses have been calculated. we are certainly concerned as to whether operatives acted honestly or an incentive of a large bonus presented to them could have clouded their judgments. Public money was spent on these large bonuses and nothing but a thorough independent investigation, perhaps also involving police will help a recovery of trust into the Homes for Haringey repair services. HLCG have suggested at the various panels’ meetings with Homes For Haringey that repairs, where applicable, should be photographed before and after the work, but to this date HfH has come up with various excuses as to why they don’t want to implement this simple measure. HLCG has also put forward that key leaseholders should be contacted, before works are done, to date this has fallen on deaf ears.

Crucially, there is an astronomical administrative/management charge to leaseholders of 29 to 33 percent of every repair that is carried out by Homes for Haringey. We have not seen any Section 20 Notice or any market study to confirm that in-house repair service would be a good value for money. Leaseholders can contact HLCG (Haringey Leaseholders Campaign Group) or email hlcg@hlcg.org.uk or phone 0203 012 1300.