Query regarding discretionary assistance with service charges
Interesting reading this, especially if you’re a leaseholder you may remember that there used to be assistance for service charges that exceeded £10k in a five year period. Well, have a read of the below and does anyone else find the timing of the amendment to this assistance a bit annoying given the major works spends going on at the moment on the Alton Estate?
“Request for Information – 2016/13736 – Discretionary Assistance – Service Charges
I refer to your request for information received on 06/10/2016. Please see the information below in response to your request: –
Reviewing the “Leaseholder Guide: A handbook on leasehold ownership” the latest version which is on the Council website (version H. 1487 (7.16)) it omits the following text (page 22, from version H.1487 (11.12)) ;
“A reduction in your service charges: In certain circumstances, the council may be able to reduce the amount you have to pay for major works, but only if your total service charges for works in the past five years comes to more than £10,000. If this is the case, the council will automatically, send you an application form to apply for a reduction. You should note that service charge reductions are discretionary, and apply to repairs, maintenance and improvements works. Garden maintenance and certain other works are excluded.”
With respect to the above, can the following questions please be answered.
- When was the last time this £10,000 discretionary option was utilised?
Answer: Under these directions the last reduction was made in December 2015.
- How many times in the past 10 years has this £10,000 option been utilised?
Answer: Three reductions have been made in the last 10 years under these directions.
- Of these uses in the past 10 years, please detail which council estates have benefited from this and how often.
Answer: There have been three deductions in the last ten years, one at the Doddington East Estate, one at a Tooting infill block and one at the Wayford Street Estate.
- Given that the text referring to the £10,000 is no longer in the Leaseholders Guide, does this mean that the discretionary use of this option is no longer applicable?
Answer: The text has changed in the Leaseholders Guide because new directions came into force allowing for a reduction by an amount the landlord considers to be reasonable rather than a maximum of £10,000 in a 5 year period.
- If no longer applicable, can the information as to the reasons for its removal please be provided.
Answer: See response to question 4 above.
- If more versions of this document have been published in between the versions referred to, can these please be shared.
Answer: There are no other versions of this document published between 11.12 and 07.16”.
We are thinking to follow up with more queries regarding this. If you would like a question asked, please let us know by this Friday 28th October.
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