In this early October update from Camden Leaseholders’ Forum…
- Annual Report
- LVT updates
- New Step-By-Step Guide: Finding Fellow Leaseholders
- Camden Council Housing Open Event
We have now released our 2012/13 annual report with a summary of our activities over the last year. Please click here to download the full edition (links work best in Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari).
REPRESENTATION: we have been advised that any judgements made by the LVT will be applied equally to all the respondents to the case (i.e. everyone who’s received communications about the LVT from Camden Council, addressed to them personally). To save administrative burden we will not, therefore, be seeking any further requests for representation as there will be no value in it. We’re very grateful for all the requests that we did receive at the pre-trial LVT, as this has ensured that the Forum has been able to communicate very quickly with the LVT and Camden Council on various matters to date.
LVT OPEN MEETING: Just as a reminder, there will be an open meeting to discuss the current LVT issue on Tuesday, 8th October at 6.45pm at Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, Kings Cross, WC1H 9JE. All leaseholders are very welcome to attend.
INDEPENDENT STEERING COMMITTEE: An independent steering committee composed entirely of respondent leaseholders has been set up. We are working with them and they have asked us to send you a letter. The full text follows at the bottom of this email. Whilst any respondent leaseholder may submit arguments to the Tribunal, in practice it is likely to allocate more time to arguments advanced by groups rather than individuals.
New Step-By-Step Guide: Finding Fellow Leaseholders
There are a number of situations where you may mind it beneficial to find out who your fellow leaseholders regardless of who owns your freehold. This document explores some of the free resources that are available online and can help you. To download the document please go to: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/guides/finding-fellow-leaseholders/ (link works best in Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari)
Camden Council Housing Open Event
Camden Camden are running an open event for all Council Tenants and Leaseholders between 10am and 1pm on Saturday 19th October at Arlington Conference Centre, 220 Arlington Road, London, NW1 7HE. There will be opportunities to question key Camden Housing people, workshops, a variety of information stalls and free lunch. Email email@example.com with your full name to register with any details of dietary requirements or other special needs. More information available at: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/discussion-board/ [editor’s note: old Discussion Board posts were not migrated when we changed sites in 2015]
That’s it for now!
Paul Ginsberg 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.
FULL TEXT OF THE EMAIL FROM KATE SPILLANE OF THE “INDEPENDENT STEERING GROUP”
Calling Camden Council Leaseholders to Challenge Increased
Management Charges Collectively – Time to Get Involved
Camden Council is taking 4767 of its leaseholders to a leaseholder valuation tribunal in March 2014 seeking authorisation to change the basis on which Camden’s management charge is calculated (LVT Case Ref: LON/00AG/LSC/201/0791). This will have serious repercussions for those leaseholders who are respondents to the case and increase their charges significantly.
Currently charges are calculated based on 10% of the service charge. The proposals would mean that leaseholders with leases written before 1996 (Type A leases) would remain with a 10% capped fee, but all other leaseholders from 1996 (Types B and C – respondents) would be subject to variations and changes in the way that management fees are calculated.
The Tribunal has encouraged Camden Council leaseholders to pool our resources and make joint submissions (where possible) to minimise duplication, reduce costs, and streamline the hearing.
A small group of respondents have formed an Independent Steering Group to assist in the preparation of a case to challenge Camden’s intention to increase management charges. We have a trainee barrister who is representing us on a pro bono basis i.e. for free, and we are collecting evidence about Camden’s methodology in calculating the flat rate charge on which they are seeking approval from the LVT.
We are independent of any other organisation and recognise that all leaseholders have a common interest. We are happy to liaise with other individuals or groups in order to improve our response. If any leaseholder has information which could improve our case we should be very pleased to share relevant information.
The Independent Steering Group has 3 main functions: to assist the barrister to prepare a case by sharing and collating information, to identify respondents who would like to be represented by the Independent Steering Group, and to coordinate all respondents and statements wherever possible. By 6 December respondents will serve a statement of case, evidence and documents to Camden Council.
Please be aware that the LVT case is ONLY about the management charge which has no connection to the amount of the service charge or the quality of the service provided. We are looking for evidence of instances where Camden have incorrectly recharged leaseholders and have had to correct their errors and give refunds.
If you wish to be part of the action and feel you can assist in putting the respondent leaseholder case together, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Spillane – Chair of the Independent Steering Group
Camden Council Leaseholder – Type B