23rd April 2018 at 12:15 #4447
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!23rd October 2018 at 16:23 #4835
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 things25th October 2018 at 12:20 #4836
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?14th January 2019 at 11:41 #5057
Your report of events is appalling but sadly not surprising.
I have actually moved out of my flat in camden due to the escalating costs and also due to attitudes I encountered increasingly over the years.
I did encounter one quite specific thing of bullying although it was some time ago.
It was a project officer from Camden coming into my home after me complaining about the standard of work carried out by Lakehouse.
He came in with the project manager of the firm and said that the problem was- if people complained about work it made the council
start to look at them. He went onto itemise issues in the flat which could lose me the right to the property ( tiles not fixed, linoleum
flooring ). It was very intimidating.
The system of charging first and challenging later means that Camden always have the upper hand in terms of the threat to the security of your lease/home. Added to which LEASE the advisory firm have just been identified as an organisation who is doing more to arm the landlords than support the leaseholders.
Before I left I called for a Leaeseholder representative to be on every budgeting/ building/ billing decision made as the only way to have
a voice. The process of consultation is laughable and I would have thought issues of procurement would have been more carefully shared post Grenfell. But then again the whole system is about a large fragmented organisation bulldozing its way through the lives of many many individuals.
Good luck with getting Keir Starmer to look into it.
I would be happy to help if I can.14th January 2019 at 11:48 #5058
I have had so many issues and I’ve only lived in my property just over a year. They really need to train staff better and people should be providing leaseholders with the correct information. Really think something need to be done!14th January 2019 at 11:53 #5059
I have experienced many cases of bullying, too many to name. I believe it is time for a legal action.14th January 2019 at 12:21 #5060
I had so many bad bad bad experiences too, everytime I had to call the Council is been a very stressful experience. From Leaseholder services to House repairing it is been a nightmare. I filled up all the “placebo” surveys form sent me, but nothing seams to change. Plus They often fail to log the datas in their system, and as a result I had to re-explain my cases everytime I talked to a new operator ( often after a 20 min wait ), as an example that ended up taking 4 month ( FOUR MONTHS !!! ) to fix a leak to my ceiling. I would be very happy to support any action.14th January 2019 at 12:27 #5061
I hear you GRivolta, I’ve had this too! Had a pipe leak and called leaseholder and they said I’m in charge of pipes so got plumber who asked me to call council ask we have communal boiler and then she said I should not be touching the pipes as they are communal but waited on hold for 30 mins and then didn’t get a call back so paid £200 for the plumber for nothing when I asked Camden for money back they said they couldn’t find all the call logs and gave me £50 after I escalated it to complaints team which was time consuming and took ages! If I was given the correct information to start with I would not have been out of pocket!
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