Service Charges – new pilot scheme! Better Homes pipeline revealed; plus more!

Our new Forum members are settling in and this newsletter describes some exciting new developments. It covers:

Problems with Service Charge bills? New, trial, “drop in” sessions!
New Service Charge Guide
Do you want to contact your Leaseholder Services officer?
Forthcoming Major Works – are you affected?
Major Works – you can fight and win your corner
Missed our Spring newsletter?
Camden Council Leader election – the result!
Next meeting
Tweet us!
 

Problems with Service Charge bills? New, trial “drop in” sessions!
Together with Leaseholder Services, we’re launching a new pilot scheme whereby you can discuss problems with your service charge bill with members of the Leaseholder Services team at the Town Hall.

Some people dislike the Contact Camden call centre, and others are confused by paperwork in the post, so we hope that this new offer will help explain bills and resolve outstanding issues. Email leaseholderservices@camden.gov.uk to reserve your slot at the first session from 6pm to 7.15pm on Tuesday, 17th May in committee room 3A. The second session is provisionally scheduled for 6pm to 7.15pm on Tuesday, 28th June.

Three additional, but important, points:
– This pilot scheme does not cover Major Works or repair issues as those are looked after by different departments.
– Really observant folk might notice that these sessions are on the same nights as Leaseholders’ Forum meetings; why not pop along to the Council Chamber once you’re done, to see what we are up to? Our meetings start at 6.45pm and observers are welcome.
– The new Service Charge guide, written with our input, is a vast improvement over previous available information and may answer some questions. You can download it here.
 

Do you want to contact your Leaseholder Services officer?
Each area has an officer in Leaseholder Services officer to deal with your Service Charge queries (e.g. repairs charges incorrectly allocated to your property). There are currently plans afoot to get this information published on the Camden Account website, but in the meantime here is the current list (as of February 2016).
 

Forthcoming Major Works – are you affected?
We’ve now got the list of potential schemes for Better Homes and the Council’s Spring Clean programme for April 2016 to March 2017. There are more potential schemes listed than the budget will cover, so have a look through and, if you’ve got strong feelings that you want a scheme included or excluded, now is perhaps the time to ask! Budgets are shrinking so there’s no guarantees for 2017/18. Feedback to your TRA/Leaseholders’ Association or directly to AssetTeam@camden.gov.uk. This does not include all schemes (such those run via Major/Capital Works).
 

Major Works – you can fight and win your corner
Case study: Last year, Mortimer Close and Hillgrove Estate leaseholders learned Camden would install external wall cladding costing £7k-£20k each. They lobbied, petitioned and provided a technical surveyor’s report stating that the cladding was unsuitable: it wouldn’t save on costs and would cause problems such as damp. Camden have backed down, in our opinion proving the success of team-working and independent professional work.
 

Missed our Spring newsletter?
Our newsletter went out with the estimated Service Charge statements to all leaseholders in Camden – if you missed it, whilst wading through the thickets of paperwork, why not read it now?
 

Camden Council Leader Election – the results!
Following this week’s leadership challenge at Labour’s AGM, Sarah Hayward remains Leader of the Council for another year, and we await news of any changes to the Cabinet.
 

Our meetings
We meet about every 6 weeks, the next date being Tuesday, 17th May at 6.45pm at Camden Town Hall in the Council Chamber. Our next “open” meeting will be later this year (date being finalised currently).

Our agendas are typically published a week before the meetings; to sign up for notifications about this and also to receive the minutes, sign up to our mailing list.
 

Tweet us!
And finally: we’re now on Twitter. Follow us @CLForum. We’re also happy to take suggestions on who to follow.
 

That’s all 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.

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.

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About Camden Leaseholders' Forum

This is the official Camden Leaseholders' Forum account. Why not come along to one of our meetings to see us in the flesh? Alternatively email camden@leaseholdersforum.org.uk if you want to get in contact or, best yet, post to the Discussion Board and then you will not only hear from us, but also you fellow residents too, who have their own stories to tell and answers to give...