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Lewisham Homes and Service Charges
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crossfields


Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2009
Post: #41
17-04-2009 08:48 PM

What complaints procedure? Did you contact the Customer Relations Team first, as suggested on the LH website?

What we should all do is ask for a breakdown of the charges on Sept 2008's Actual Charges - request a full itemisation - see Point 9 on the "Summary of tenants' rights and obligations" that accompanied your estimate. They have to reply before the end of April (I think).

In one case on my estate, this enquiry was made and a resident discovered part of her Repairs Charge was for ?429 towards a New Bin Chamber Door on her block of 15 flats. The total cost of the new door (they didn't replace the frame, just the door, and that wasn't really needed) was ?3630.33. Every block was given a new door at that price, but a resident in a similar block also with only 15 flats was only charged ?179.

Her block was also charged for a new roof access door ?2244.66 which also wasn't needed and actually doesn't appear to have been changed at all.

In a report to the Housing Select Committee (8 Oct 08), LH's Chief Executive, Andrew Potter, notes in a list of supposed improvements:
"Increased income by ?1million from appropriate leaseholder charges"...
(This can be found by searching LH's own website - go to the sitemap to dig out otherwise deeply buried documents)...
Of course ?1m is a p*** in the ocean compared to the ?78m they get from rents alone, but it might explain why figures seem to be being plucked from the air when accounts are being done.

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Just


Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #42
17-04-2009 09:30 PM

Gep is doing the 3 stage procedure complaint with Lewisham Council. The 3rd is the independent stage( some guy next door pretends his impartial to the other employees in his block). Only active and proactive participation can deal with this nightmare. Remember!! there will be this year then the next and the year after for this problem to grow worse.

Crossfield 429 x 15 flats = 6435 quid. Each flat pays a proportion of this amount.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #43
18-04-2009 09:25 AM

Yes you have to be vigilant.
Guess new charges at this time is because need to increase council coffers and very difficult for freeholders to prove charges are not justified.
Also could partly be reaction to leaseholders who purchased property very cheaply from the council in the first place. I appreciate the current leaseholders are not allways the ones that purchased well below market rate but guess the council cannot get to the original buyers if they have sold up.

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Just


Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #44
18-04-2009 10:31 AM

Poor aguement Brian.

People very seldom get something cheaply in this country. Ususally parents then their children pay for something to be built up with taxes then it is sold off for to a company for nothing to rip us off by charging us to use it. Council houses were built POORLY AND ALTHOUGH in appearance may look like homes it has been conceeded most of these homes have a 30 year lifespan. This is why we were given these homes. Also Lewisham Council retained vast amount of collected rent just to create this situation. and declared an empty piggy bank to start this situation. I can go all day. The total rent paid to the Council from most Leaseholders as tenants far exceeds the value of their homes - Brain you need to graps the situation and wden your understanding historically financially and most definetely conciously.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #45
18-04-2009 05:08 PM

Yes Just I accept you have greater knowledge than me.

Also most of the tennants who purchased at knock down prices seem to have got out and sold.

It is incredible they build flats or houses with 30 year life span , where in many cases they have knocked perfectly good Victorian properties with many years left in them.

Unfortuantely I assume the people who made these decisions are probably retired or dead and out of the firing line.

I do wish all the leaseholders all the best. I would think the best thing is for them to get all ( I believe they said 6000 leaseholders ) together in one organisation. No good fighting block by block.

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crossfields


Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2009
Post: #46
18-04-2009 06:39 PM

The old lady in question re Bin Chambers Doors of earlier post is facing charges this year of over ?1000, whilst other blocks are around ?700-?800 (all varying). She told me charges are worked out by software (that is obviously flawed) which is why no one can answer our questions.

I read in some LH Board minutes (on their website) that they haven't been very happy with their IT supplier (Sunguard)...

Meanwhile, me and another leaseholder went to see Joan Ruddock in her surgery yesterday. She said it wasn't really a parliamentary question and she couldn't do anything. We should go to our local councillors. But said she would write a letter to Lewisham Homes raising the points we had written on the form we were given to fill in before we saw her, and copy us in. A bit disappointing really, since the mess that is Social Housing Leaseholds is a parliamentary matter, the problems associated with it stemming from poor government policy. But hey ho, we didn't go in approaching it from that angle...(I'd love to like her but I still haven't forgiven her for supporting the Iraq war!)

We said we were paying for Resident Involvement which included forums, one of which is about How Actual Charges Are Calculated, to be staged in July - a bit bloody late, we said, since we have to pay up by end of April...She told her secretary to write: "Whilst the leaseholders are aware of their legal responsibilities, I understand some are not minded to pay the new charges until a dialogue is achieved between them and yourselves."

I have organised a meeting for Crossfields leaseholders on this Monday 20th. I did this via email, a list I compiled from those I already know and from (the rather poor) attendance records of our TRA...So I'm having to supplement this with a notice to go at the foot of the stairs of each block. Those who come will be coming to vent anger and frustration - but I fear it will be difficult to get them to follow through with any positive action that will inevitably involve rather a lot of letter writing...and I doubt if they'll be prepared to contribute financially to a group LVT application...

Any ideas, Just?

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #47
18-04-2009 06:59 PM

I thought Jim Dowd was local MP for SE23.
Am I missing something ? , probably

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crossfields


Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2009
Post: #48
18-04-2009 07:02 PM

Yep, Brian, I am an interloper from SE8. Hope you don't mind!

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,366
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #49
18-04-2009 11:17 PM

Crossfields,

Which block was charged for a new roof access door that was not provided?

I may be able to get someone to investigate this.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #50
19-04-2009 08:28 AM

Crossfields
No of course I do not mind you contributing when in Deptford. I just answered a lady in South Australia.
Just assumed we were talking about SE8.
I realsie that this is a cross borough problem and that all leaseholders should get together from Deptford to Downham.

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crossfields


Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2009
Post: #51
19-04-2009 09:14 PM

Sherwood,
Re: new roof access door ?2244.66 Job No: 3572806
Browne House, Crossfields Estate...charge relating to Actual Charges 2007/2008.
Cheers

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Just


Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #52
21-04-2009 04:05 PM

Crossfields you are doing an excellent job. Get as much proof as possible from each of the leaseholders and do photostats. Find out who carried out the work and even if possible get the actual wholesale cost of the doors themselves by tracing the manufacturers details. ( they buy in bulk and get hugh discount), how many hours did it take to fit these doors? take pictures of the work done. We can work out their profits and where and how the money is distributed. When we have enough rope we will get together as some kind of movement demand all our money back and demand a framework with which they need to work within so they cannot take and make any money from the people who struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Dont worry about how many people attend your gatherrings I'm sure this will come later as many will ultimately have something to say and want to take immediate action.


Good luck

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Lewisham Homes Victim


Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2009
Post: #53
21-04-2009 08:14 PM

Is there anyone else out there who is a leaseholder in Catford SE6 1AD and hd their bill in for major works (?10000) trying to fight this but it is not easy on my own as other tenants in my block are not interested - would like to hear from anyone in a similar position.

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Just


Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #54
21-04-2009 09:10 PM

What work have they billed you for Victim.?

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,366
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #55
21-04-2009 10:20 PM

Did they serve a section 20 notice?

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Just


Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #56
22-04-2009 02:15 PM

LEWISHAM HOMES VICTIM


YOUR BUILDING LOOKS NEW IS THIS RUN BY LEWISHAM HOMES AS MANAGING AGENTS?

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #57
22-04-2009 04:00 PM

I wish you luck but am not optimistic.
All councils are stretched to the limit. Until they tackle feather bedded pensions they will struggle.
Need to get money from somewhere and I would imagine Leaseholders in Council property seem a good bet. Doubt if anyone considered this when they were purchased cheap in the 80's.
As privale leaseholders have found out very difficult to do anything about rogue freeholders. However if a majority protest they can buy share of freehold.
As most units , I would imagine , are still tennants I doubt if this option still arises.

Best of Luck anyway

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Lewisham Homes Victim


Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2009
Post: #58
22-04-2009 08:23 PM

Only third hand - the original was apparently sent but it went to wrong address and I have only recently had the courtesy of a copy after many requests

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Lewisham Homes Victim


Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2009
Post: #59
22-04-2009 08:25 PM

4 windows, 1 door, portion of roof (over a small 2 bed flat), soffits
Management charge, Prelims - still trying to get clarification of exactly what the last 2 charges were for exactly but am only being fobbed off at present

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Just


Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #60
22-04-2009 11:33 PM

Sorry should have asked you this before LHV. How many flats do you have in your block?

Regards

Just

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