Here are the answers to frequently asked questions that the Leaseholders’ Forum is currently receiving (regarding the current LVT management charge issue).
Why was there such a shortfall last year – are wages increased at a special rate for Camden employees? Were the staff numbers increased greatly?
No, the shortfall has existed for some time though we have not seen a convincing breakdown of the figures, or totals for more than the last three years.
Will you be asking for a breakdown of costs for the last 5 years so that leaseholders can see what is going on in these departments.
There are some figures which are hard to interpret over a longer timescale which are in the papers for the Scrutiny Panel on Leaseholder Service Charges on the Camden website. Delving into the past is not a current priority.
I know Councils have to cut back their costs – are the leaseholders being used as a ‘milch cow’ for extra money?
Current financial pressures have undoubtledly influenced this move.
Why the distinction between Type A and Type B leaseholders? are Type A people mainly in receipt of benefits and thereby unable to pay more?
No, Camden progressively tightened its leases over the years, so A ones were issued before 1996 and B ones since then.
What can I do?
At this stage, the first step is the pre-trial hearing on 20th February. We recommend that you are represented. If you would like the Leaseholders’ Forum to represent you please click go to this page: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/2013-02-10/urgent-action-required-for-leaseholders-before-wednesday-13th-february/
Why should the Leaseholders’ Forum represent me?
We do feel that it is important for you to be represented at the LVT – either by yourself or someone else you have confidence in.
We do not know who Camden will send; it could be someone from Leaseholder Services, but it could well be a barrister given the importance of this case to them. We will continuously review the case and seek legal advice. We will update this website as the case unfolds. But, we are a voluntary organisation with limited resources and no funds. Within those constraints, it would help us to engage with the LVT, and could help you, if you choose to let us represent you for as long as you feel comfortable with us doing so. Our aim is to see that any charges Camden levies are reasonable given all the circumstances, and we are currently far from being able to say that about Camden’s proposals. Your support will help us to press for the evidence to satisfy all leaseholders about what is proposed.
What is the current state of play?