Urgent Action Required for Leaseholders (update!) regarding Service Charges and the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal

[updated 7th March 2013 with the confirmed Pre Trial Hearing date]

Dear Leaseholder,

ACTION REQUIRED FOR CAMDEN LEASEHOLDERS

You may have recently received a letter from Camden Council entitled “Leasehold Valuation Tribunal”.  This has been sent to all Camden Council leaseholders (and freeholders) who have leases issued from (approximately) 1996. Camden Council believes that leases prior to 1996 are unaffected. A sample copy of the letter is available at https://www.dropbox.com/s/sl4fubjfdosbga4/130124%20Service%20Charge%20Notification.pdf?dl=0 (n.b. this is an 11mb download, so may take a minute or so to open).

The letter informs you that Camden Council has started legal proceeding which will ultimately remove the cap on the management element of your service charge. The effect of all this is that Camden Council would raise your service charge by around £200 (these figures will vary slightly, depending on where you live) in 2013/14 and possibly further amounts thereafter.

Camden Leaseholders Forum is the only body that currently represents all Camden Leaseholders. We will be attending the hearing on 16th< April [editor’s note: previously scheduled for 4th April] and making representations to allow us to learn more about this proposed increase, discuss the detail with you (affected leaseholders) and oppose it firmly if it proves unfair. We are discussing the issue with LEASE (http://www.lease-advice.org) who are funded by Government and provide free advice on the law affecting residential leasehold property in England and Wales.
 

Are you affected?

Camden Council have sent letters to all leaseholders that have been affected; if you have not received a letter you are unaffected. The Leaseholders’ Forum has not been provided with a list of the leaseholders affected so cannot verify this. If you would like to double check whether you are affected you can contact Camden Council (leaseholderservices@camden.gov.uk / 020 7974 3559, selecting Option 6) and they will be able to let you know.
 

Next steps – for those that have not responded so far

If you wish to represent yourselves at the hearing on 16th April you need to let the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal know before that date (and they would prefer sooner rather than later, in order to help with their logistics).

The postal address is Ms Margaret Egenti, London Rent Assessment Panel, Leasehold Valuation Tribunal, 10 Alfred Place, London, WC1E 7LR and email address is london.rap@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk. They will only accept letters of representation by post or email – all other submissions must come in by letter only and copy in Leaseholder Services, Camden Council, Bidborough House, 38-50 Bidborough Street, London, WC1H 9DB.

If you cannot or do not wish to attend, do consider letting the Leaseholders’ Forum represent you at this stage. To be represented by the Leaseholders’ Forum simply email in this attached letter (https://www.dropbox.com/s/rry252v1q6nzkyy/130225%20LVT%20nomination%20request.doc?dl=0) to london.rap@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk (and CC camden@leaseholdersforum.org.uk and leaseholderservices@camden.gov.uk) before 16th April, making sure to put your name and address where appropriate at the bottom of the letter.
 

Next steps – for those that have already responded

If you have already responded and requested to be represented at the original Pre-Trial hearing date of 20th February, then these requests are still valid for the new date of 16th April – so you don’t have to do anything. The Leaseholders’ Forum has additionally applied for a Section 20C which may help towards deferring Camden Council’s legal costs from being added to leaseholders’ service charge bills for all the parties that we are representing (other parties are advised to apply separately to be included on any Section 20C decision).
 

Staying in the loop!

We will keep all the parties we are represented up to date by email. Should you not wish to be represented by the Leaseholders’ Forum but still wish to be kept up to date with our progress and other issues of interest to leaseholders simply email camden@leaseholdersforum.org.uk with “Subscribe” in the title of the message.

The Leaseholders’ Forum initial submission to the pre-trial LVT hearing can be read here: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/2013-02-26/pre-trial-review-camden-leaseholders-forum-submission-to-the-lvt/
 

About the Leaseholders’ Forum

For more information about the Leaseholder Forum and also how to get involved please see https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk

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About Camden Leaseholders' Forum

This is the official Camden Leaseholders' Forum account. Why not come along to one of our meetings to see us in the flesh? Alternatively email camden@leaseholdersforum.org.uk if you want to get in contact or, best yet, post to the Discussion Board and then you will not only hear from us, but also you fellow residents too, who have their own stories to tell and answers to give...