Incorrect billing for costly repair jobs

Camden Leaseholders’ Forum homepage Discussion Board Service Charges Incorrect billing for costly repair jobs

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    nw5 flat

    A repair was made to a balcony of the block I live, costing £10,000. The repair took one day to complete.

    Several items on the breakdown of the invoice are incorrect – scaffolding costs have been duplicated (£2000), an extra week billed for when it was not needed (£500), dust screening (£1000!) was billed but not installed at the time.

    Has anyone else had experience of invoices containing mistakes like this? I’d particularly like to find out if charging for an extra week’s unecessary scaffolding is a common practice.

    I first wrote to leaseholder services in May and am still waiting for a response to my enquiry…

    If your service charge repairs bill is high, I would definitely recommend asking to see a breakdown of costs. If large, costly jobs are the reason for the increased cost, asking to see the invoicing for these jobs. It is your right as a paying leaseholder to view all documentation within a month of request, if you make the request within 6 months of receiving the summary.

    Cindy Zee

    Yes this does happen very often, we just had some major works take place and there was a tower placed where there was no need for it. We made the contractors aware of this and it was removed immudutley. There was Scafolding on the roof where there was no works taking place. We have still recived no answers but was told we should not be on the roof. Contractors are doing as they pleases and the clerk of works look like they are working for the contractors not Camden.
    Geraldine Littlechild in the invoice department is the best person to contact.
    It is a cost which is unreasonable and There is no justification to charge £10,000 for a day’s work.

    nw5 flat

    That’s interesting, thanks Cindy.

    Scaffolding is often the largest component of the cost so it needs to be done and billed correctly.

    I’m still waiting for a reply from Geraldine Littlechild but will try her again and keep the forum informed.

    NW5 leaseholder

    Sorry to hear you’ve had problems with incorrect billing. You would think Camden would have robust auditing processes in place to ensure this doesn’t occur! Clearly, the financial consequences are huge for leaseholders.

    Just a query though, we recently purchased a one bedroom flat as a leaseholder and we have a leak from our neighbour’s balcony upstairs as well. I’m very interested to know why leaseholders are responsible for covering the costs associated with repairs to the ‘external’ structure of the building?? I thought we were only responsible for internal repairs? Why is the freeholder (i.e. Camden Council) not responsible for these repair charges?

    nw5 flat

    Leaseholders are responsible for arranging and paying for internal repairs.

    The freeholder is responsible for arranging the external repairs. The cost are recharged to leaseholders in a proption set out in their lease.

    Camden will be paying the majority of the bill in our case.


    So just to add to NW5-flat’s point, the freeholder doesn’t take on unlimited liabilities because that wouldn’t be sustainable as buildings do age and wear. The lease clearly states that leaseholders will have to pay for these things and that is a fact of life with any leasehold purchase (which should have hopefully been evident from the bundle of paperwork you received as part of the leasehold buying process).

    What the freehold will do is coordinate with other people in the block (both tenants and leaseholders) to produce a “reasonable” outcome. For better or for worse, they are allowed to charge for this service (“management charge”) and this is set out in the lease too.

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