16th July 2015 at 12:40 #1067mumtazParticipant
Does anybody know why we are being charged so much for a new digital tv aerial? Industry standard costs are under £50, and in any case there is no need to replace an existing aerial, so why is Camden charging £249.29?19th July 2015 at 20:58 #1365
Hi Mumtaz. This doesn’t directly answer you question, but just to confirm that this is a bill for work already done (so it’s for the aerial you are already using). Whether £250 represents value for money or not is a different matter!27th July 2015 at 06:59 #1440
My Invoice for this is £187.69 and when you consider there are 180 flats in my block this would represent a total cost in the region of £34,000. Camden council and their contractors seem to view leaseholders as a revenue stream.27th July 2015 at 16:08 #1451gossjamParticipant
Our estate (Chamberlain House) has only just received our invoice. It was for an eye-watering £280. There’s no cost breakdown provided to explain why it’s this much, or how the figure was reached.
The invoices for our estate were printed on the 7th July and reached our estate on the 27th. I’ve raised this is a problem with Camden – I’m lucky. I’ve got a spare £300 in my bank account. Not everyone’s going to be that lucky to have the money to raise in over a week for a surprise.
Also, what is our TV aerial made out of? How can it possibly have cost that much? Earlier breakdowns didn’t lead us to expect that much of a whopping bill.
How can I pursue this further?27th July 2015 at 16:32 #1452
The details of the complaints process are here: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/guides/complaining-effectively/
At Kiln Place estate, I’ve found that the final charges are broadly similar to the recent estimates (somewhere around the £150 mark), so I don’t know what happened in your case.
Ultimately, if you don’t think that the bill represents fair value then that is for the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide (they used to be known as the LVT). That said, you can certainly ask Leaseholder Services for a breakdown of the charges and it doesn’t hurt to ask.
For what it’s worth, the Major Works department is currently in the process of tendering for more suppliers (which the Leaseholders’ Forum has lobbied them for for many years; and worked with Camden Council to get them to this stage), rather than relying on their current two; hopefully this will bring down prices for new works, but sadly doesn’t affect work already underway or completed.
(Leaseholders’ Forum member)27th July 2015 at 16:48 #1454gossjamParticipant
Thanks for your brilliant reply. The FAQ about complaining is really straightforward – especially the bit about not complaining about everything!
I’ve managed to find all the right paperwork. It appears to have cost about £18k to put in a digital aerial for our block, which, given the £280 fee means that our block has about 60 leaseholders (which would seem to be most of us).
What upsets me the second-most about this is the lack of opacity in the process. A final figure in February, then an invoice in July that took 20 days to post out (by which time I think we’d all have forgotten it). The invoice should arrive in a timely manner with a costs breakdown and an easy-to-understand explanation of how wiring up the block could get to that figure.
What upsets me the most is the following simple fact: I’m being charged £280 for a TV aerial.
When you get to that point you do go “oh, that can’t be right, can it?”
James27th July 2015 at 17:03 #1458
Yep, have to agree there James 🙂 Especially as my TV aerial was working with Freeview absolutely fine; onwards to the next battle though!27th July 2015 at 19:20 #1462
Paul, will you be paying the ariel invoice?27th July 2015 at 21:27 #1464
This isn’t an entirely fair question 🙂 I’m just one leaseholder; with my own particular circumstances. When I bought my property I knew the works were in full swing; on this occasion, yes I’ll be paying up.27th July 2015 at 21:37 #1465
Sorry Mr. Didn’t mean to put you on the spot, just seeing what people’s stance is on it.18th August 2015 at 17:14 #1621
I am just being Charged for my digital Tv ariel that was done in Oct 2009 at a cost of around £320. Would I be right in saying that Camden only have 5 Years to bill you ?
Can I refuse to pay on these grounds ?
Any Information on how long Camden has to bill you would be gratefully appreciated.
Caz18th August 2015 at 22:22 #1623
Unfortunately that’s not right… this link might help you: http://www.lease-advice.org/lvtissues/print_issues.asp?section=1
In particular: “When are service charge costs “incurred”?” (it says service charges but I believe it is also applicable to Major Works): “Section 20B Landlord and Tenant Act 1985: service charges must be demanded within 18 months from when the costs were incurred unless the landlord notifies you they will be demanded at a later date.”
If you haven’t received the Section 20B notice then you may not have to pay (I’m no lawyer!), but if you have been regularly receiving Section 20B notices – at least once every 18 months – about the bill for the major works on your TV aerial not having been finalised, then it looks like you will have to pay… unless anyone knows better of course! 🙂
More details about Section 20B notices here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/20B
Paul24th August 2015 at 12:36 #1655
Thanks Paul. I have only every received 2 letters regarding the ariel one in 2008 and the the letter about when It was getting fitted in 2009.I have been looking at all my service charge letters and bills there is nothing about the on going work or when we would be billed.
Do you think this is grounds to refuse to pay ?
Thanks in advance
Caz24th August 2015 at 22:35 #1657
I’m not going to recommend either way – you’ll have to make up your own mind 🙂
On a technical point, your service charge letters won’t have mentioned this, this counts as “major works” and would have been sent separately from any other paperwork.
You may well have a case, but I can’t guarantee it; in one instance I thought I hadn’t had a notice and didn’t realise that I had – I only discovered when looking through my paperwork files more closely. I’ve mentioned to Mike Edmunds who runs Leaseholder Services that the some letters are often a bit torturous to read but he says he is legally bound in most instances; the Leaseholders’ Forum are nudging him to find workarounds!
More specifically, you won’t have received things about “on going work” or a date for when you would be billed, just some form of very official notice saying that the work and/or finances for the work had not been completed yet, at least once every 18 months since the work started.
Perhaps phone up Leaseholder Services and discuss the situation with them, referencing Section 20B? There is also the complaints process should you encounter any difficulties. We’ve produced a guide about the complaints process here https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/guides/ and there is plenty of stuff about Section 20B on the internet.26th August 2015 at 17:34 #1667
I have emailed them to ask of copies as I am 90% sure I have not had any more section 20b’s about it from them. I will keep you all informed :0)
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