Hello and welcome to a July news update from the Leaseholders’ Forum.
Topics in this newsletter:
- LVT update (action required!)
- “Camden Account” – volunteers wanted
- Briefing Note – Lease Buy Back
- Leaseholders’ Forum minutes
- A thank you!
LVT update – inspecting the management charge figures
There have been a number of delays so Camden has not met deadlines in the LVT Directions. They have therefore conceded that all reasonable requests for information will be met (as far as possible).
If you are a respondent (‘B’ / ‘C’ leaseholder) and you want to inspect the “in depth” figures that Camden Council has prepared in relation to the LVT management charge case, or specify particular figures you want to see, you still should let Camden Council know. Interested leaseholders should apply by 1st August (when Camden Council is due to send out appointment details). Leaseholders’ Forum members will also be inspecting the documents but the more eyes the merrier! – we are always grateful for observations and constructive input.
The appointment dates will be between 13th August and 27th September inclusive; we would expect Camden Council to be flexible in regards to the appointment slots if you cannot meet the date(s) originally issued.
To express your interest we suggest you send an email along the lines of the following:
Subject: Management Charge LVT Case
Message: Please accept this email as my registration of interest to inspect the figures and supporting documents regarding the above case. I may also bring other people who are helping me/representing me in regards to this issue. Yours sincerely, NAME, LEASEHOLD ADDRESS.
Lastly, if you make requests to Camden Council which you feel have been rejected unreasonably, please let us know. We will try to support you whenever possible, and evidence of obstructiveness could be useful for the LVT hearing and any potential appeal.
Camden Account is the online facility to view service charge statements in detail. It was rolled out to all leaseholders earlier this year. Cheree Collins, Camden Account project manager, has emailed the Leaseholders’ Forum asking if anyone on our mailing list would be available to participate in an hour long feedback session on 21st or 22nd August at Camden Town Hall, Kings Cross, so that they can trial further improvements.
Please consider participating as this will help all leaseholders – as a Forum we want the data to be accessible to all, not just ‘techies’. We agree with Cheree that “It is preferable that they receive a wide range of service charges e.g. block and estate repairs, caretaking, mobile security, heating and/or hot water, mechanical ventilation, lifts etc, but testing is not limited to such properties and I’m happy to consider anyone that is interested in helping us out.”
If interested please email Cheree directly before 1st August letting her know whether you are available on 21st or 22nd August (or both), so that she can inform everyone of the selected session in good time. If Cheree gets too many volunteers, she will let you all know that too! Cheree’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the end of last month we comprehensively updated our briefing note regarding Lease Buy Back. The revised document explores the options for leaseholders surrendering their lease to Camden Council, whether as part of a regeneration initiative or on a voluntary basis (e.g. conversion into a secure tenancy, albeit with a significant financial loss). You can find it at: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/guides/lease-buy-back/
We would also point out that we continue to explore improvements to the options currently available.
The draft minutes from the last meeting will be issued shortly (to those that have opted in to receive them). We have recently worked with the new Head of Leaseholder Services to improve the process around agendas, minutes and commissioned reports and improvements should be visible from the next meeting onwards.
A thank you!
There are now 610 people on the Leaseholders’ Forum mailing list. Given that there are almost 9,500 leaseholders in Camden we are very pleased with how quickly this figure has grown since the mailing list was formally established earlier this year. We believe that it shows how much leaseholders want to contribute and also be informed about Camden Council, so that we can all nudge it to improve upon the work it is already doing.
We hope that you find these news updates useful and welcome any suggestions or feedback. Do also have a look at our discussion boards (https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/discussion-board/) where you can start and participate in the debate yourself!
That’s it for now!
on behalf of Camden Leaseholders’ Forum
More information available at: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk
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.
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.