Leighton Grove

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  • in reply to: Applying To A Tribunal? Fire Safety Works #5792
    Leighton Grove
    Participant

    The costs situation with the tribunal make it unappealing. I got this advice from a specialist solicitor recommended by the Leaseholder Knowledge Partnership:

    “Tribunal costs
    This is a really frustrating one. The default position is that the landlord recovers its costs from the service charge fund, even if you succeed at the trial.

    Other than the recoverability of costs from the service charge fund, the general tribunal rule is “no costs”, so each party pays their own costs. There is an exception where either party can apply to recover their costs, but only if you can prove that the other side acted vexatiously or unreasonably. This threshold is really high, and it is unusual to get these costs in a service charge dispute.”

    So if you win, you pay all your own costs plus Camden’s costs… And if they win, you pay all your own costs plus Camden’s costs.

    in reply to: Cost of Camden External Building Work #5588
    Leighton Grove
    Participant

    My advice would be to stay on top Camden, scrutinise everything, don’t assume they’re acting in good faith, or hat they’ve read your lease.

    The whole system feels like it’s wide open to abuse. Google Lakehouse – a preferred contractor, from Essex, that Camden told me they sued in one round of Better Homes, and then awarded multimillion pound contact o in the next round. Lakehouse have a record in Kensington and Hackney hat should have caused the whole leaseholder major works.They went bankrupt leaving workers unpaid…

    Some of my experiences:

    Fire Safety work relatively recently – they did work that they had no right to do under the lease. Pushing back for a year on the lease issue led to an admission. The bill is ‘on hold’. Next step is to take the admission and force them to reduce or reverse the bill.

    Huge major works bill for tens of thousands – they admitted that they ‘estimated’ all the possible work that could be done on he ‘archetype’ of building my flat was in and added a huge profit and 20% contingency. My building (a terraced house) didn’t even have some of he areas (like communal areas) that they planed to do work on.The bill came down to just a few grand in the end but I had to hire my own surveyor and get a report and costing of my own.

    A very old major works bill- they dragged out billing for 6 years then tried to cut a deal at the 6 year mark.

    in reply to: Spring Clean programme (recharge to leaseholders) #5338
    Leighton Grove
    Participant

    Hi, I’ve gone through this 3 times in the last two years with different Major Works.

    I have it in writing that Camden’s policy is now to create an enormous estimate for every job they do, which is far in excess of any possible costs, and that way they can never be caught out by underestimating the final bill.

    Apparently their legal advice is that there is no down side to abusing the consultation process in this way.

    They work out these estimates based on ‘archetypes’ of properties. They don’t visit or look at plans. We received estimated bills for communal areas but there are none.

    That said, get into the nitty gritty of any estimate with a real person at Camden as soon as possible. In my experience they will rip you off wherever they can.

    in reply to: Major Works 2017/18 Bill Extortionate #5175
    Leighton Grove
    Participant

    Crazy!

    Our contractors this time around are also Re-Gen.

    Last time with Lakehouse, they subcontracted everything. It will be interesting to see if Re-Gen do the same

    in reply to: Major Works 2017/18 Bill Extortionate #5173
    Leighton Grove
    Participant

    Lakehouse

    Reporting of their current contract being awarded here

    Camden Council awards £350m London housing framework

    Google the Lakehouse / Hackney scandal

    in reply to: Major Works 2017/18 Bill Extortionate #5162
    Leighton Grove
    Participant

    For me, the end result of the c.£5k bill, years ago, was very poor work that was so bad the property was left in a worse state than before, lots of very heavy handed threats from the council and eventually an extra bill for £500, which after another year of arguing they wrote off.

    This time round the bill is huge and I knew what was coming. I am waiting for the ‘validation’ of the bill which was due to have happened already but scaffolding is now supposed going up 2 months behind schedule and validation will follow shortly after that (or so I am told).

    So after 2 years of wrangling I have the councillor, Mp and head of housing paying attention. A site visit from the council’s project managers has confirmed much of the work cannot be done or is pointless, and I have to wait for the validation to formally get the bill revised.

    If the bill is not revised to a sensible amount I will go to the the LVT with a solicitor and surveyor to get bill reduced by the tribunal.

    To me that will be stage one.

    Stage two will be the process and the quality of the works. The work was so painfully bad last time, it took a year instead of a few weeks and the communal areas of that property were trashed and never put right.

    Stage two will be making sure that the newly formed Essex builders who got the huge contract for all these works do a reasonable job in a reasonable time and do not damage my home.

    I’m two years in to my ‘stage one’, if I can help with anything please let me know.

    in reply to: Major Works 2017/18 Bill Extortionate #5154
    Leighton Grove
    Participant

    Hi JGB, I have a £29k bill for forthcoming major works (after previously being fleeced by Camden 7 years ago for £5k for the worst work imaginable). When I got the first bill two years ago I started work on the matter, since then the bill jumped up from £22k to £29k and very little progress had been made.

    Dealing with regular staff at the Council in my experience is totally pointless.

    The first thing to do is dig into your bill. My £29k bill is mainly unspecified provisional costs (or unspecified work), work which simply cannot be done (for example, fire safety work in communal areas – but there are no communal areas) and the profits on top of that. You should check what your bill is for and if it seems like a reasonable cost for the work, and see for yourself if the work actually needs to be done.

    I have tried many things in the last 2 years. The bits that were helpful were looping in my MP and Councillor and taking it as high up inside council admin as possible. I contacted Leasholder Knowledge Forum who were helpful with a contact for a specialist solicitor.

    In my experience the work happens a lot later than they say it will…. also the consultation is a deliberate time wasting box ticking exercise. Don’t put any store in it.

    The stage I am hoping will work is the ‘validation’, after scaffolding goes up, allegedly an independent surveyor will check that all the work awarded by Camden to a newly formed Essex building company will be verified. Any works that are not needed will be removed from the bill at this stage.

    As I have no experience with validation it’s hard to tell if it will work. If it doesn’t I have a solicitor and surveyor lined up and will apply to the LVT immediately.

    Last time round was a con. The company Camden hired are marred in scandals in hackney and elsewhere. Camden sued them, but no information or benefits from their claim were passed on. They have subsequently awarded more vast contracts to the same firm.

    This time around I’m told that the systems have changed, but I’m braced for the quality of the work being as bad on this £29k job as on the £5k job a few years ago.cSo getting a realistic validation of the cost of works is only the set of it.

    in reply to: Cost of Camden External Building Work #5079
    Leighton Grove
    Participant

    Have you seen the thread about Leighton Grove below?

    in reply to: Leighton Grove major works #5078
    Leighton Grove
    Participant

    I got in touch with the Leaseholder Knowledge Partnership, they introduced me to a solicitor with a good track record, who introduced me to a surveyor with a good track record.

    I just came back from a depressing ‘meet the contractors’ session. They start work in one month at which point the bill becomes due.

    I have a scheduled meeting at my property with two people from Camden tomorrow to see if we can make any progress in person on site. Assuming that goes the same as previous interactions, we’ll be pushing ahead with the survey and then challenging the bill with the help of the solicitor.

    in reply to: Leighton Grove major works #5040
    Leighton Grove
    Participant

    hi JHLondon & bill Murray – I sent you each a message with my details. Thanks T

    in reply to: Leighton Grove major works #5041
    Leighton Grove
    Participant

    hi JHLondon & bill Murray – I sent you each a message with my details. Thanks T

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)