- ALTERATION: Please note that the Drop In session on Tuesday, 28th June, has now moved from Committee Room 4 to Committee Room 2. The Leaseholders’ Forum Meeting itself has not changed and will be taking place in the Council Chamber at 6.45pm.
More Drop-In Sessions announced!
Following the successful pilot drop-in last month (as confirmed by the leaseholders attending), Leaseholder Services have extended their pilot: this is a new scheme whereby you can discuss problems with your service charge bill, in person, 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 offering will help explain bills and resolve outstanding issues. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your slot. The session is from 5.30pm to 6.30pm, Tuesday, 28th June in Committee Room*2*. There is also a session from 6pm to 7pm on Tuesday, 6th September if those timings work better for you.
Points to remember:
– 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 of your questions.
Major/Capital Works repayments (much more flexibility including 5% discount now available!)
At the last Leaseholders’ Forum meeting there was an update on repayment options for Major and Capital Works schemes for those living in their property; these repayment options are only available for new Works schemes (not existing ones, sorry!).
– The maximum interest free credit period has been extended from three to five years and there are now more flexible arrangements for those who were struggling to make payments.
– There are now longer repayment options and leaseholders can opt to pay over 25 years, but interest is payable in these cases and it may be that leaseholders can get a better deal through their mortgage lender.
– There is also a hardship scheme where leaseholders can defer payment and the debt will sit as a charge on the property, with interest charged at 3.13%.
– A discount for prompt payment has also been introduced: those that pay in full once the works are "on site" will receive a 5% discount.
– These new options are being bought in as court and administrative costs could mount up. Explaining the thinking behind the new options, Camden’s Head of Leaseholder Services said "[it is] often better to make sensible arrangements like interest free credit. The courts also expected councils to make such arrangements."
– Commercial landlords (those renting properties out) are expected to pay in full as the intention is to help those that are resident in their properties (and this policy has been agreed by Camden Council’s Cabinet).
– The repayment guide is now being revamped in line with the above (and the Leaseholders’ Forum will have input to try to ensure that it is as easily digestible as possible!).
– Full details (well, as much as are currently available) are available here.
Our next meeting will be at 6.45pm on Tuesday, 28th June at Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, Kings Cross, WC1H 9JE; observers are always welcome. The next open meeting will be later in 2016.
p.s. For all the news as it happens (and other stories from other stories that we think might be of interest), follow us on Twitter! @CLForum
That’s it for now!
on behalf of Camden Leaseholders’ Forum
More information available at: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk
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Camden 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.