Service Charge new calculation?

Camden Leaseholders’ Forum homepage Discussion Board Service Charges Service Charge new calculation?

This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Bill Richbell 2 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #3919

    GRivolta
    Participant

    Hi

    As many of you, my service charges are really too high, and I won’t be able to afford my own little flat soon, if it keeps this way.

    I was wandering if there is a way to apply a reduction, or re-calculation?

    The total cost its now 2000£
    Ex. I pay 250£ for the cold water system, over 600£ for the hot water and heating, and 400£ to the Thames Wather … and I m living on my own in a 40 m flat! I m sure I would pay the same if I had a swimming pool!
    I think it’s really too much!

    I hope you can help me,
    Thanks
    Giulia

    #3920

    Jez
    Participant

    I’ve posted about excessive service charges about Camden before. I have a flat with NO LIFT, NO COMMUNAL WATER FACILITIES, NO HEATING INC – just a standard hall way and I pay £1,500 a year. I think Camden Council is badly run by people who do not value the contribution that leasehold residents make in the area.

    In a 5 year period the charge they make for managing ‘Management Charge’ has increased from £71 to £228.72 per flat. THATS A MSSIVE 318% INCREASE!! This is totally ripping off residents, how can it cost £228.72 to collect and send my invoice for the service charge!!

    There is something seriously wrong here and I THINK IT NEEDS PROPER MEDIA ATTENTION

    #3921

    GRivolta
    Participant

    Oh Jez, I REALLY feel the same, if I knew it would be THIS expensive I wouldn’t ever buy in the first place!

    It’s so stressful to deal with the council to as there is NO office to have an appointment to talk face to face.
    it’s just NOT the same to write everything on an email!

    #3922

    Jez
    Participant

    Have you spoken to your local councillor? If you are having trouble getting hold of someone who will listen and help then its their job at the end of the day to support residents.

    #3923

    Hi GRivolta,

    After our (Leaseholders’ Forum) lobbying, you can now have a face to face chat with Leaseholders Service. This is only an infrequent service – the next slots are available on the evening of Tuesday, 6th September at Camden Town Hall. Email leaseholderservices@camden.gov.uk to reserve your slot. Therea are more details about the background of the face-to-face scheme here: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/2016-06-14/drop-sessions-announced-also-improvements-works-repayment-options/

    p.s. I can’t guarantee you any better news as, unless the bill is calculated incorrectly, I know of no reduction schemes for service charges (only extended payment periods for major works, or a charge against the property with interest applied).

    p.p.s. And in response to Jez’ observation about the management charge: this was due to Camden Council winning a legal case, which we (the Leaseholders’ Forum and many other individuals in Camden) fought and lost. The calculation method was (largely) upheld as valid by the First Tier Tribunal sadly.

    Kind regards,
    Paul Ginsberg (Leaseholders’ Forum member)

    #3924

    GRivolta
    Participant

    Hey paul,

    thank you for your answer, and all the infos.

    But, I also think that 1h sometimes it’s not enought in order to discuss specific problems about our properties, the leaseholder service should have an office where it would be possible to book an appointment and discuss face to face.
    Especially with all the expenses we are paying, i think that should be a vital support.
    They are acting like it’s phones company , but here we are talking about people’s life savings and homes. these are serious matters that needs a proper meeting.

    #3925

    Hi Grivolta. That’s exactly what they’ve done. You can’t just “pop in” any time, but you can now have a face to face meeting, you just need to email them to book it in in advance. Have a read of that first link – it hopefully explains everything about the new meeting scheme.

    #3926

    GRivolta
    Participant

    But can I book a meeting outside the 1h slot the 6th of september? Cause in the link it’s not really clear.
    Thanks,
    Giulia

    #3927

    I can’t guarantee that, but you can email them and ask! The next guaranteed sessions, after that, are on 18th October.

    #3928

    GRivolta
    Participant

    you see, I would love to have a proper support service, face to face and phone, with a person that knows all about my case and can quickly answer my questions about it.
    NOW I am spending half of my time waiting in at the phone (paying) and then trying to explain the case to the operators, that don’t have a clue of what’s been said until then. It’s very frustrating and not efficient for both the council and the leaseholders.
    Even if I will book an appointment for the 6th of september it’s not going to be effective on my needs ( specially if it’s a urgent situation).

    #3929

    Bill Richbell
    Participant

    May I ask people research before striking out. Negative moans won’t improve matters. Firstly the service charges can be examined by individuals even if this is a slow process, try to compare them to mansion blocks or say the Barbican Centre and you’ll get a shock, and for the sake of drama don’t confuse water rates with the service charge. Thames Water has nothing to do with the council, and any lone individual can apply for a water meter, and if not possible, can then apply for a single person discount. I also pay in my service charge for hot water and heating and after running my own private flat before think its a bargain. Home ownership is a huge responsibility, and giving people responsibility was meant to be a benefit of the Right to Buy scheme, to help shed the need to be looked after. So I say take control.

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