Welcome to the latest news update from Camden Leaseholders’ Forum
The Pre-Trial Review (PTR) took place on 16th April attended by representatives from Camden Council, the Leaseholders’ Valuation Tribunal (LVT) and about 125 other people.
Here is a note about the day – it is not a cast iron exact blow-by-blow account.
The layout was that the LVT was on a raised stage at the front of the hall on the right hand side, with Camden Leaseholders’ Forum on the left hand side of the raised stage. Camden Council were also on the left hand side of the raised stage.
Very approximate timetable was as follows:
11am PTR began – introductions & explanations of procedure
11.15am Camden Council explained its application and then answered questions from the audience
11.45am Leaseholders’ Forum (represented by our chair, Peter Wright) explained our position and more questions and points were made by the audience
12.15pm Discussion of direction and a draft timetable was discussed based on the typical template for LVT hearings
1pm Session ended
The timetable was fixed, so there were a number of people who did not have a chance to make a contribution during the course of the PTR itself. All observations that were sent in advance for the PTR were read in advance by Mr Powell, who led the LVT.
From the meeting there were various outcomes of which these were some (in no particular order):
- – the case was not thrown out (at this stage)
- – the full case is likely to be heard in February or March 2014. The exact timetable will also be released in a about a week’s time by LVT; this will include many steps such as when Camden Council will release evidence and what the viewing windows will be for this will be (provisional answer: a 5 week period during August and September later this year).
- – the format for the case hearing will be very similar to the PTR
- – it was clarified that even if Camden Council win the LVT then unreasonable future charges can still be taken to the LVT
- – Camden Council is likely to incur a cost of £30k for the LVT case; they will seek to reclaim a proportionate amount Type B leaseholders (the other proportion falling on Type A leaseholders, but that charge would not be reclaimable in practice due to the existing 10% limit management charge limit in their leases); this will be about £3 per leaseholder
- – the LVT highlighted that respondents (Leaseholders) and the applicant (Camden Council) are expected to talk to each other and only involve the LVT if there is an impasse (e.g. information not being provided). The LVT do not seek and do not wish to be copied in to all correspondence
- – the LVT Chair, Mr Powell, recommended that leaseholders form themselves into groups, in order to limit costs and duplication of documentation. The groups could be of any size and number initially and no one group – or individual – would be given preference over any other in the eyes of the LVT
This is what Camden Leaseholders’ Forum will be doing
- – this Tuesday, 23rd February, we will be meeting and organising our action place
- – we will research as much as possible in order to challenge Camden Council’s case that the proposed increase in management charges are reasonable
- – we will seek further pro-bono legal advice
- – we will be asking, in due course (but not at this stage), for the names and addresses of those that want to be represented by Camden Leaseholders’ Forum
- – when the LVT release the directions for the main LVT hearing (expected later this week) we will send out an email to all those on our LVT mailing list to let you the confirmed details
That’s it for now!
If you know of anyone who would like to receive updates from Camden Leaseholders’ Forum please direct them to https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/mailing-list where they can sign up. You can also adjust your own preferences by clicking on the link at the bottom of this email.
on behalf of Camden Leaseholders’ Forum
The Leaseholders’ Forum is a volunteer group representing all the leaseholders in Camden Council properties and freeholders paying service charges to Camden Council. We scrutinise Camden Council proposals, examine working practices and lobby on behalf of leaseholders to Camden Council. We regard ourselves as an “honest friend” of Camden Council and aim to achieve better outcomes for all.