Endemic Bullying at Leaseholder Services

Camden Leaseholders’ Forum homepage Discussion Board Service Charges Endemic Bullying at Leaseholder Services

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  WestOneTango 3 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #4447

    Martyn
    Participant

    2 years ago I was compelled, uncompensated, to move out of my leasehold property as a result of Camden’s HS2 Replacement Housing Scheme. After losing my new correspondence address Leaseholder Services ordered me to pay of a Major Works Bill in 14 months, instead of a possible 3-5 years.

    Shortly afterwards I suffered a stroke and knowing this, Leaseholder Services’ response was to phone me up and threaten to ‘escalate action’ against me if I didn’t agree to a new repayment plan there and then. At the time I was already paying £444+ on top of my day-to-day Service Charge towards the extra bill, whilst also (known to them) suffering financially as a result of my self-employed composer status.

    Although this is only a small part of a long list of complaints I have about Leaseholder Services, I’m wondering if anyone else has any stories about the intransigent bullying nature of Leaseholder Services?

    I’m asking because the New Camden Journal, as well as MP Keir Starmer are now looking into my situation and the CNJ in particular are keen to do an expose piece, hopefully before the upcoming elections, as the Council refuse to look into the matter diligently … or, in fact, at all!

    #4835

    Gaz501
    Participant

    I have problems with leaseholder services all the time. I wouldn’t say I’m bullied but they just make a decision and then threaten me to pay it or get legal action against me. I’m still arguing the case. One thing I have noticed is that they havnt got a clue how to do things

    #4836

    WestOneTango
    Participant

    If we are talking about the bullying of leaseholders – well, it’s in the job title darling! Let me explain a recent experience.

    Most leaseholders’ contact with our landlord Camden is likely to be around the subject of service charges. We are then faced with one of its team with the title “Collections Officer”. In other words, a ‘debt collector’.

    We had disputed and withheld part of an actual charge and Camden had put this invoice ‘on hold’ while they resolved the matter. We next received a credit against another invoice (which we had already fully paid). Camden insisted on applying the credited amount to the disputed invoice, they said: “our automated allocations payment system doesn’t recognise invoices that are on hold. Therefore overpayments or credit notes cannot be prevented from crediting invoices on hold.”

    We insisted that the credit should be applied to the latest payment due and so we paid less against that invoice. When we received a ‘final demand’ for payment we did not pay. Camden provided our address and the outstanding debt amount to its solicitors and they sent us their ‘£5 letter’, extracts: “If you do not pay this debt in full … will also seek to recover the cost of this letter which is £5. Further we will be instructed to issue you with a Pre-Action Protocol Letter of Claim … cost of that letter which is £75. In addition … recover interest on the debt owed.” Is this not an example of bullying?

    Camden has admitted the problem we encountered is inherent in its automated payment system. This needs to be fixed. However, as a resident ratepayer we applaud Camden’s renewed efforts to recover unpaid bills which would otherwise be borne by all residents in the borough. Who has met a friendly and understanding debt collector?

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