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Agenda item

Leasehold Service Charges

(Report of the Assistant Director, Assets)



Report of the Assistant Director, Assets on Leasehold Service Charges to provide an update on the current status of Leasehold Service charges following previous discussions at Committee.


AD Assets provided an update on the following:

·         Work is planned through Wates and no invoices have been issues

·         Confirmed legal process as been followed and stage 3 notices have been issued (to see if works are required)

·         Noted that not all properties are sold by Tamworth Borough Council, some are onward sales and the lease information would be picked up in conveyancing process. 



Chair detailed the following recommendations that were taken to Cabinet on 23/02/2023



That Cabinet



Agreed to a one-off look for this piece of work, with an independent assessor to assess if the costs are correct



(Moved by Councillor A Farrell and seconded by Councillor S Doyle)



Agreed that the Portfolio Holder would consider the implications of assessing all repairs in advance of leaseholders being asked to contribute and bring the report back to the next available Cabinet meeting.



(Moved by Councillor A Farrell and seconded by Councillor S Doyle)



Review the council’s communications when residents buy a council house, including what responsibilities and obligations are on the owner occupier. 


(Moved by Councillor A Farrell and seconded by Councillor J Oates)



Review communications and include the information from the whole capital programme in the communications. 



(Moved by Councillor A Farrell and seconded by Councillor J Oates)



Referred back to Corporate Scrutiny that the Committee look at the process for requesting at least two face to face drop ins with residents before any work commences and Scrutiny should consider whether this is for all works or works over a certain monetary threshold. 


This recommendation was not moved or seconded



Agreed that if any of the 44 Leaseholders roofs haven’t been assessed they will be assessed immediately. 



(Moved by S Doyle and seconded by Councillor J Oates)



Agreed that the affected 44 leaseholders would not be faced with increased costs as a result of the delay in works being commenced.



(Moved by Councillor A Farrell and seconded by Councillor J Oates)



The following motion was moved:



That this entire issue is referred to full council for a debate and make a decision how we are going to treat these vulnerable residents. 



(Moved by Councillor D Cook and seconded by Councillor R Claymore)



The Executive Director – Communities clarified that the recommendations above had been looked at and information was provided to the PH at the time. 


The Portfolio Holder Councillor Smith updated it is important that the leaseholders are all heard

The effect its going to have on the HRA account, the potential preventing the sale of properties for those that want to sell their properties are being held back by the delay and the delay could be increasing the costs for leaseholders and or tenants.  It is important that this is heavily scrutinised, its important it is debated.    


Members sought clarity on the following


·         No figures included in the report the report to full council needs to have full list of costs. 

·         Are there any residents who potentially do want to sell at the moment.  Officers are aware of one leaseholder who is looking to sell. 

·         Causing stress to residents, could the company who we are using attend the Leaseholders meetings to explain the difference between local quotes and the difference of the quote of £36,000.  Chair will request information but there may be some commercial issues in providing this.   

·         Would this have an impact on the Housing Revenue Account. The Executive Director – Communities - no information in the report it would depend on if we were making an exemption for this work or a complete policy change.

·         Members reiterated that communication is at the heart of it and the committee had still not seen copies of the letters that were sent to leaseholders, the letters need plain English documents so they see what they are taking on.  The humanity can get lost in the legal process. 


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