Leaseholder charges

“Members of the Pullens Tenants and Residents’ Association have successfully lobbied Southwark Council on behalf of Leaseholders to remove an  erroneous charge from your leasehold bills. Some leaseholders with sharp eyes may have spotted the deliberate mistake when they received their bills late last year. The Leasehold charges made during each year are only an estimate, and a final reconciliation of the previous financial year is sent out in about October. The 2011/12 service charge contained a charge for Estate Grounds Maintenance of £16.95 to which a 10% management charge was also added. This was on top of the usual charges for “Care and Upkeep” etc. 


As Pullens Estate is entirely street based and the roads and pavement are public, there are no actual estates grounds to be maintained. This charge was disputed and anyone who is a leaseholder should have had a letter telling them the amount is about to be refunded if they have already paid it. If you haven’t had a letter then please contact the Home Ownership Unit not the TRA! 


The Pullens TRA are also looking into the charges for Lighting and Electricity that were made against flats on Iliffe and Peacock Streets, but not Amelia Street. We’re not sure about Crampton St and Pullens Buildings. Rather than the usual charge of about £20 for the lighting in the stairwells, leaseholders were charged over £200 last year. The Home Ownership Unit have said this was a charge for testing the electric cables and light fittings, but £1450 per stairwell for a one off testing seems exorbitant and the TRA are looking into this. If anyone else has challenged this perhaps you can let us know?


The Home Ownership Unit also displayed another stunning moment of incompetence when they sent letters threatening court action to a number of leaseholders on the estate for non payment of charges that had already been paid. They were seemingly unable to see that a debit of £78.78 on the service charge bill was cancelled out by a credit of £78.78 on the same bill which was the amount people overpaid during the last refurbishment. Receiving letters threatening court action is frightening for most people, but also irritating in that it takes time writing letters and making phone calls telling the Council why they are incompetent and encouraging them to put matters right. “