Imagine this through your letterbox

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    Imagine this through your letterbox

    https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/h...orks-bill-ever

    #2
    Actually my brother has had similar but not quite as high a charge on his owned flat in SW London.

    The works there involved treatment for 'concrete sickness' in an L shaped riverside block built in the late 1950s. Similarly, he has no say on anything regarding estimates. The works have dragged on for 3 years. Great location and nice big flat is he one of 5 owners on a development of 54 let out as social housing. The debt no doubt gets transferred to the next owner.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

    Comment


      #3
      It is nice of them to recognise that the cost is very high,

      Comment


        #4
        Maybe they should go to court to appeal...no wait...They may end up paying the council's heavy legal fees as well..
        That's why we have the petition going- we know that one size won't fit all, but campaigning as we are (over 161 MPs in appg) to lift the lid and expose all the issues lying underneath.
        The National Leasehold Campaign was started by three women who were lied to about the purchasing of their freehold. Then it grew as people found they could not sell their homes due to the onerous lease terms and it has snowballed from there leading to issues around uncapped and unregulated service charges.

        Comment


          #5
          Michelle, this looks like a counter example to public sector not maintaining. The QLTA is unlikely to make more than a 10% difference, so this set of work is likely to generate a huge bill even with competitive tendering for the specific work. At this sort of level there are expensive reference books giving piece rates for all sorts of building work, and the rates from the QLTA are unlikely to diverge much from them.

          The Integrated Reception System is a typical area of contention, but only a small part of the cost. Public sector leases generally allow for improvements, but private sector ones don't although share of the freehold companies often behave as though they did.

          A bigger factor is likely to be that public sector leases generally don't have reserve funds, and the timing of work tends to be determined by what the landlord wants to do with their non-right to buy properties. In the private sector it is more likely that work will be spread so that, overall it costs more, but there is no very high spend in one year.

          One might ask why so many things needed doing, but that may be the nature of the building. In particular, people exercising right to buy many not have properly thought out the long term maintenance cost.

          Although some public sector landlords may cut corners on maintenance, many seem to maintain to a much higher standard than private sector freeholders. Taking the wall ties. I'd expect a share of the freehold company not even to realise this is an issue until the walls start failing.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by michelle230 View Post
            That's why we have the petition going- we know that one size won't fit all, but campaigning as we are (over 161 MPs in appg) to lift the lid and expose all the issues lying underneath.
            One size will never fit all, but the considerations should be:
            1. "Will the proposed changes address the problems frequently experienced by leaseholders?"
            2. "Will the proposals potentially leave leaseholders exposed to other real problems?"

            Unless the answers are 1. "Yes", and 2. "No" serious consideration should be given to whether the proposals are an appropriate course of action.


            Originally posted by michelle230 View Post
            The National Leasehold Campaign was started by three women who were lied to about the purchasing of their freehold. Then it grew as people found they could not sell their homes due to the onerous lease terms and it has snowballed from there leading to issues around uncapped and unregulated service charges.
            The example case in this thread would seem to be an example of "uncapped and unregulated" service charges, and it does seem likely that the charges may be higher than they should be due to the QLTA involved.
            However, we do not know how much of the work detailed is essential maintenance, how much cheaper it might be if the QLTA was not in place, or whether the total costs would work out significantly higher if the works were split up and done over a longer period of time.

            We also don't know whether the works, or some of them, should have been carried out much earlier and, if so, whether costs have increased significantly as a result of the work being delayed.
            If costs are high as a result of a freeholder delaying maintenance that is their responsibility, the leaseholders might have a chance of getting a reduction by claiming negligence. If work has been delayed because commonhold owners, potentially including previous owners, have chosen to minimise their maintenance payments and haven't properly maintained a property, commonhold owners can still potentially be left with 'sudden' high bills or left unable to sell because a potential buyers surveyor identifies the necessity for major works.

            If you want people to get behind the petition that you are trying to promote, you need to demonstrate that the proposals genuinely will be beneficial to the vast majority of leaseholders (perhaps 95 - 99%). Highlighting a few extreme cases doesn't help if you can't show that there won't be similar extreme cases with commonhold.

            Comment


              #7
              There is merit in your post above. However there has to be a starting point and the easier, less "tangled" issues to be dealt with before studying the more complex, entwined ones.
              All the changes for tenants / landlords will benefit many and be detrimental for others. The same applies to all shake ups that affects thousands of people all with varying circumstances.
              The bottom line is that the freehold/leasehold system needs serious change. The current system is unregulated, unbalanced and is systematically abused. The abuse is now reaching epidemic proportions.

              Comment


                #8
                Mis-selling is an offence.
                The Government loves to boast about their Help to Buy scheme. It is anything but. It is help to Lease/rent and should be called what it is.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by michelle230 View Post
                  The bottom line is that the freehold/leasehold system needs serious change. The current system is unregulated, unbalanced and is systematically abused. The abuse is now reaching epidemic proportions.
                  I disagree.

                  I agree that there are changes needed, but I think that the appropriate way forward is to address specific issues affecting leaseholders rather than pushing for a major change such as abolishing leasehold and replacing it with commonhold. There are already ways that many leaseholders can take control of the management of their blocks if they wish to do so (compulsory purchase of the freehold, RTM, etc.). I would suggest that making this easier, and an available option for all leaseholders, would be more appropriate changes to push for.

                  Don't get me wrong, I think that the fact that there are people who are pushing for improvements is a good thing - but the best course of action needs to be found, and not everyone will be in agreement about that.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The subject matter is large service charges being issued and whilst I am not against commonhold, it does not solve the problem, You could have exactly the same bill being issued by a property manager at a commonhold property. Lets campaign for the priorities.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      My main reply disappeared in moderation, because I edited it, but one of the points is that the QLTA is unlikely to make more than a 10% difference (either way) compared with other quality contractors. Probably the biggest issue here is that public sector freeholders with right to buy leaseholders have no incentive to spread costs, it its suits their funding for the remaining social housing to do a lot of work at once (the public sector tends to be in a spend it or lose it position).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        But with Commonhold- in this example - you would be able to have more input as to what works should be done and tendering? It seems in this case the leaseholders were just told!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Although I think the actual development was redacted, I assume this was the typical victim of Thatcherite policy, in which social housing, in blocks of flats, was sold off to tenants as leasehold. A significant portion is still probably council housing on normal council type rentals. The maintenance levels and timing will be chosen based on the retained rental accommodation.

                          Although this is not structured the same as if a BtL investor had bought out a majority of the right to buy properties, because there is no intermediate landlord, in terms of a commonhold equivalent, the council probably is the majority owner and would be able to dominate a commonhold arrangement.

                          However there are many examples of share of freehold, which gives similar power to the leaseholders, being run by cliques, and also many examples of them letting the building rot because of failing to take a long view on maintenance, in order to keep charges down in the short term.

                          I suspect a council freeholder, left with 100% right to buy tenure would much prefer that the leaseholders bought out the freehold.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I am sorry but how much say is a commonholder going to have when contractors are appointed and when insurance claims are made? The same rogue managers are still going to overcharge and the petition does nothing to stop it. Please address the real issues and please do not consider for a minute this is something new or something which has become worse in recent years.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Eagle2 I have to disagree with you. The situation has been exacerbated by the doubling ground rents clauses, lack of proper legal advice to purchasers at the point of purchase, and the rise of companies for whom making a massive profit takes precedence over their duty to keep charges to a reasonable level. We all know the names of the management companies who barely keep to the correct side of the law. The system of FTT is not effective. The original point of FTT was to have a court to adjudicate on issues affecting l/h and for these to be LIP friendly. People are scared to use them as they are worried and frightened they will be subject to a costs order, whether that is a reasonable fear is a different matter. There needs to be a good look at the legislation in this area, and implementation of some of the recommendations. I have a property where there are major management issues but our hands are tied. I have another which is fabulous and beautifully managed. This area does need looking at and a modern system fit for purpose put in place.

                              Comment

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                              • Lord Best report
                                michelle230
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                                Chapter 6 focus on Leasehold..

                                https://www.gov.uk/government/public...g-group-report
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                              • Reply to Lord Best report
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                              • Reply to Lord Best report
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                                leaseholder64
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                              • Reply to does solicitor no longer work for you after completion?
                                eagle2
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