Unusually, this time they are fighting back, getting organised (at least 18 of them) and deploying solicitors Hodge Jones & Allen.
LKP gets about three inquiries a week about major works demands from social landlords.
Leaseholders should not simply accept these bills.
Section 20 major works bills can be challenged owing to legal process and reasonableness of cost.
LKP urges leaseholders affected to pool resources and challenge the housing association or local council.
No one should pay a massive bill of this nature without getting professionals to scrutinise it.
The assumption by social landlords is that leaseholders will not do this – many have never engaged solicitors for anything other than conveyancing – and take advantage of this.
It may be that this bill is entirely justified, that Clarion has managed the site very competently, that its executives are not ludicrously over-remunerated as so many are (not that this is relevant to the case); that it has not padded the bill; that it is not seeking to enhance the building for its benefit and getting leaseholders to pay for it etc etc …
Nonetheless, a bill of this sort needs forensic scrutiny.
If LKP can assist, please feel free to get in touch.
A group of homeowners in east London is taking legal action against Europe’s largest housing association after receiving a £2 million bill for repairs. Residents of Bow’s Ranwell West estate were stunned when Clarion Housing Group presented them with bills of up to £32,000 each, after they had already paid more than £3,000 a year for service and maintenance.
A group of homeowners in east London is taking legal action against Europe’s largest housing association after receiving a £2 million bill for repairs.
Residents of Bow’s Ranwell West estate were stunned when Clarion Housing Group presented them with bills of up to £32,000 each, after they had already paid more than £3,000 a year for service and maintenance.
Clarion has also told them it will take a percentage of their property if they fail to pay. Several homeowners have had to sell their flats to pay the charges.
Residents claim the firm allowed the estate to fall into disrepair before any work was done, with councillors raising the issue of maintenance more than a decade ago.
However, homeowners were handed a legal notice by Clarion, ordering them to pay for the repairs which include mechanical and electrical work, fixing the roof and floors, and redecoration of communal areas and pipes.
The first bill came in 2016 and work started in 2017. The second bill was delivered in 2017.
Residents argue that the work would not have been so expensive had appropriate maintenance been done earlier. They are concerned they may face more bills in the future, and 18 residents have engaged legal firm Hodge Jones & Allen to fight the charges