Thanks to everyone who came to our meeting on 19th January to discuss the issues leaseholders face. The minutes are below
Present: 18 residents
There are three major issues that affects the vast majority of people present:
- Transparency of service charges. We’re only given a vague statement of account at the end of the year. We should be given a precise breakdown of charges.
- Planned Maintenance – Metropolitan doesn’t do a good job keeping the buildings in good condition on a day to day basis. This means when there is major work it costs more
- Major Works – Residents complained about being billed for work that either wasn’t done, or wasn’t specified in the original section 20 notice
The follow issues were also mentioned, but only concerned a minority of those present:
- If you pay your service charge by standing order Metropolitan don’t seem to recognise this and send you a bill for the entire service charge at the end of the year. This affected four of those present. [Secretary’s note: Can these four people please get together to ensure they don’t pay twice. I can give you each other’s contact details]
- It can be very difficult to contact Metropolitan to report a repair. They’re very slow at answering when you call 020 3535 3535. They’re also very slow at doing repairs after they’re reported.
- The service charges are high and have increased rapidly. Metropolitan seem to do a poor job estimating at the start of the year which means residents are faced with high bills at the end of the year when their estimates prove wrong
- The TRA should provide some advice for new leaseholders so they know what major works are in progress and what have already been paid for
We should invite a representative from Metropolitan to get more details about our service charges and why Metropolitan thinks they represent value for money. T suggested some good people. C will invite them to a meeting in March. If we don’t get the people we want we’ll escalate the issue via Chuka Umunna MP, who’s visiting the estate in February.
C will email everyone who came to this meeting after the March meeting to we can discuss next steps. C suggested going via the Leasehold Advisory Service. L suggested a local property lawyer may provide free advice in exchange for publicity. There may be other options too. We can discuss them then.