Leaseholders in Haringey – are they being stung?

I was interested to see a documentary recently which looked into the charges that leaseholders pay. The program seemed spot on in terms of the sort of issues that leaseholders have raised with me in the past.

Leaseholders have to pay for work in advance – edict of Labour run Haringey Council – even though Haringey Council itself doesn’t pay for the work it funds until after the work is done. Clearly sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander.

Moreover – the bills come in very very high – and leaseholders feel that they somehow end up paying over the odds without real recourse. There are ‘rules’ covering how leaseholders are meant to be treated in terms of repairs and rennovations – but how confident can leaseholders be that their best interests are being looked after by Haringey – who as we know are facing a £10million financial black hole of their own making?

I once was shown a print-out of works list at a council block of flats. Many of the ‘jobs’ were done and charged more than once – but the person showing me would not give me the evidence.

So – if anyone has actual evidence that would stand up to an auditor’s investigation in Haringey – please let me know.

0 thoughts on “Leaseholders in Haringey – are they being stung?

  1. Not to detract from your general point, it is generally accepted practice in both the private and social sectors for freeholders to charge leaseholders for works upfront. Given the difficulty in getting every leaseholder (and in a large block there can easily be in excess of fifty) to contribute, it would not be fair to expect a freeholder to fund the work from their own capital whilst delinquent leaseholders (and any professional property manager will confirm they are legion) refuse to pay. Of course, you can recover the cost through due legal process, but this can take months. That’s not to say I am an apologist for Haringey Council: my own experiences lead me to conclude they are wasteful, inept, and I’d encourage anyone with Haringey as their superior landlord to exercise their rights under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002: this provides the right to manage, the right to challenge unreasonable service charges, and places an obligation on freeholders to consult leasehold tenants on any work over £250.00

  2. This is rich coming from a member of a government that has no intention of increasing or improving social housing. Which is already trailing changes to the system causing at least your famous “low level stress” to current occupants, that will ensure “British” people get preference according to the Sunday papers- that should make another interesting judicial review if true.

    Someone who advocates for a policy that is going to cause long term unemployment in the “north” thereby ensuring people cannot afford private housing. But who is at the same time cutting housing benefit. Has never been there so plainly doesn’t care.

    Not for the first time you need to be reminded that you have not been elected to spend your time whining constantly and hysterically about Haringey council but to represent your constituents at Westminster. If your local councillors have something to say let them say it. Otherwise if you want to waste taxpayers’ money villifying the council instead of doing your job at Westminster feel free to stand down and stand for the council again heaven help us all.

    Of course I recognise that you are currently partaking of the most generous annual leave provision in the UK so are not actually in Westminster as we speak as well as being the beneficiary of the most beneficial pension
    entitlement that could possibly be devised. Now there are two issues we, the general public, should look at.

  3. @Adam: yes, Councillors should be on the job of ensuring fair play for leaseholders, and it would probably be a good thing if Lynne had asked for problems to be reported to Cllrs instead of to her, but MPs are often, and quite rightly, concerned about local problems in their constituencies and looking for local solutions to those problems.

  4. @dreamingspire

    I don’t disagree with you but it is normal practice for MP’s to pick up on complaints actually made by local constituents.

    What our MP does is make a habit of whinging incessantly about the council and on this occasion is even trying to drum up a campaign against it. It’s about politics and is not at all about concern for local residents.

    I, on the other hand, am a local constituent and have repeatedly asked Lynne to tell us what the council should cut since she keeps telling us that it is all their fault. She has said nothing.

    So there you have it. She will wax lyrical about stuff that has not been raised with her and will not answer questions that have.

  5. I’m a Haringey leaseholder, and I have leasehold other property in other areas (with council and private freeholders). On average Haringey is much more expensive for pretty much everything.

    – Haringey add a flat £270 per year “management” fee onto every annual bill. That’s an extraordinarily large amount of money in relation to the service offered, and it does not compare favourably with other freeholders.

    – Services are often billed for, but not delivered. e.g. I pay for “Cleaning” and yet on inspection this month the communal stairwell and windows in one block are so dirty they’ve clearly not been cleaned for many months.

    – The service charge I pay on one small block in Haringey (with no lift) is higher than that I pay for a privately managed block that has a lift. The difference in quality of management between the two is also striking.

    – Despite these high charges, it’s clear that inspections by the freeholder are very rare, which means issues like damage, broken windows, dirt, broken intercoms, broken door locks, etc just get left, which leaves the block insecure, and encourages both anti-social behaviour and crime, and lowers the quality of the block to everyone’s detriment, particularly the occupants.

    Perhaps in situations where the majority of units have been sold on long leases, the council should sell off the freeholds to private companies who can manage them properly, which would be better for leaseholders and occupants and raise some capital. The “home ownership team” at Haringey Council is cesspit of incompetence.

  6. I think Lynne hopes that finding fault with Labour-led Haringey Council she somehow makes her actions post May 6 OK. It doesn’t.

    However, her obsession with the council is proving very handy for the powers-that-be (anyone who isn’t Lib-Dem) at the Home Office which this week refused to endorse an EU directive aimed at co-ordinating European efforts to stop the sex slave trade.

    Were you looking at the Haringay Council website when this happened Lynne? Or just looking the other way?

  7. Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.