LKP chair Martin Boyd and Sir Peter Bottomley attended a meeting at Number 10 yesterday to urge government to overturn its flawed statutory instrument to reform recognised tenants’ associations.
The MHCLG announced changes in October and made the existing arrangements even worse for leaseholders.
The key hurdle faced by leaseholders is to contact their leasehold-owning neighbours, who may not live at the site, and freeholders are obliged to hand over the contact details BUT only when each individual leaseholder has given consent and freeholders are given four months to provide the information.
LKP has urged that all leaseholders are automatically enrolled in a recognised tenants’ association – which has the means to ask the tribunal to see a site’s accounts – and leaseholders who do not want to be part of an RTA have to contract out of the association.
RTAs are often the leaseholders’ first step to empowerment, and are fiercely resisted by landlords determined to maintain their control over a building’s management.
John Christodoulou, the Monaco-based freeholder at West India Quay – a prime site at Canary Wharf in London’s docklands – thought it worthwhile to spend £75,000 on a QC to attempt unsuccessfully to thwart a recognised tenants’ association.
At another of Mr Christodoulou’s Docklands sites, Canary Riverside – which was back in court on Monday (report to follow) – the entire membership of the RTA was threatened with defamation proceedings in a separate dispute.