LVT Decision Now Published!
The LVT has now published their decision in the Camden Leaseholder “B” and “C” leases management charge case, typically affecting leases issued in 1996 and afterwards.
Their decision is available here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hxzpr6lyzjatggu/140707%20lvt%20decision.pdf?dl=0
We hope to publish a “layman’s analysis” of the determination in due course, as well as the Leaseholders’ Forum’s next steps, but at this stage it does not appear to make good reading from the leaseholders’ perspective.
If you would like to discuss this determination, why not try our Discussion Boards at https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/discussion-board/ (you may need to log in and register on the wearecamden website first) [editor’s note: old Discussion Board posts were not migrated when we changed sites in 2015]
SUMMARY OF THE TRIBUNAL’S DETERMINATIONS (page 9 of the LVT decision)
(1) The tribunal determines that in respect of the Type B and Type C leases, for the service charge year 2013/2014 and for future years, there is nothing to prevent Camden council from abandoning its former practice of charging 10% of other service charges as its management fee, but instead relying upon the respective terms of the Type B and Type C leases as an alternative method of calculating its management fee;
(2) The tribunal did not consider that the cost of managing major works projects should be included within the day-to-day management charges subject to this application; and considered that it could reach a determination on Camden’s “actual costs” of “managing and administering the totality of its leasehold portfolio” without having further information about the management charges in respect of major works;
(3) Despite the numerous criticisms of the methodology used by the council to apportion time, in particular between tenanted and leasehold properties, the tribunal is happy to accept the time and cost calculations for the purpose of the estimated management charge;
(4) While acknowledging Mr Wickenden’s criticisms, the tribunal is happy to accept the methodology used by Camden in allocating its CSS costs to the HRA account and, from there, on to individual costs centres that go to make up the leasehold management charge;
(5) The tribunal determines that for the purpose of the estimated management charge the sums claimed by Camden for administration and management time (within HMS) should be disallowed as separate items, but they should be reallocated to all housing management activities, including those not recharged to leaseholders;
(6) The tribunal determines that the sum of £235 per Type B leaseholder is the reasonable amount to be charged for the estimated advance management charge for 2013/14 (see the individual sections of the decision and the Summary of Sums Allowed and Disallowed annexed to for the costs elements that make up this figure);
(7) For Type C leases, no advance management charge is payable, now or in the future;
(8) The tribunal makes an order under section 20C of the 1985 Act in respect of the Type C leases, but declines to do so for the Type B leases.
That’s it for now!
on behalf of Camden Leaseholders’ Forum
More information available at: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk
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The Leaseholders’ Forum is a volunteer group representing all 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.