Leaseholders living in Broomhill Court in Woodford Green angry at high estimates for repairs by Redbridge Council which they say are only needed because of a failure by Redbridge Homes to maintain estate

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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

Leaseholders facing bills of up to £2,000 for repairs to their homes say they are being made to pay for the failure of council management.

The council took back responsibility for its housing stock from the arms length management company, Redbridge Homes, last year.

It is currently carrying out repairs on the Broomhill Court estate in Broomhill Road, Woodford Green.

But leaseholders on the estate say Redbridge Homes failed to properly maintain the blocks, allowing problems with a leaking roof, rotting balustrades, cracked pointing and overflowing gutters to escalate despite residents' concerns.

Eric Jansen, 48, went through a lengthy complaints procedure with Redbridge Homes during 2011.

He said: “Their decent homes programme seemed to completely bypass this estate.

“I pay service charges of between £800-£1000 a year, but we have had leaking roofs, blocked guttering and rotting balustrades.

“A cherry picker was used to clear out the guttering in 2012, but it was not replaced or maintained properly.

“They never addressed the root of the problems here and now that they have gone, we are being asked to pick up the bill.”

Mr Jansen’s neighbour Maureen Kelly, 67, has lived in Broomhill Court for 41 years and been a leaseholder since 1985.

She said: “I only ever saw them clear the gutter out once in ten years and it overflowed and caused water damage on several occasions.

“They replaced the roof about 15 years ago and it started leaking badly soon after. There was water pouring down the stairs.

“I’m delighted the council have taken back responsibility, but we should not be paying for the failures of Redbridge Homes.”

Mr Jansen says he has spoken to workmen and painters on the estate and is worried by what they have told him.

He said: “According to the guys working here, when they stripped the paint off on some of the balconies they discovered rusted metal and concrete rot.

“That is just one of the problems - you can still see water damage on the walls and beams in the corridors for example.

"All of this should have been picked up by regular and proper maintenance which we never received under Redbridge Homes, despite our complaints.

“My wife and I have two children and plenty of bills, it is going to be a real struggle to pay for this work.”

A spokeswoman for Redbridge Council said: "As always when repair requests are received they are fully investigated and where possible reactive repairs are carried out to remedy the problem.

"There are instances where it is better value for money for the residents if work, such as communal painting etc. is carried out in conjunction with planned maintenance works.

"This allows for more effective use of scaffolding and other associated machinery and reduces the cost to residents.

"Our practice is to deal with communal repairs on a programmed basis where appropriate.

"As part of the consultation, leaseholders are always given estimated costs for the work to be undertaken, as was done in this case, however, no queries about the costs were received.

"If the work had been undertaken on a reactive basis, leaseholders would have been recharged in accordance with the terms of their leases which may have meant higher charges.

"If any specific queries are received from residents about particular repairs, we will of course look into these further."

Comments (9)

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12:37pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

This is the problem when you are not a Freeholder and as such why do Leaseholders expect the Freeholder to pay for everything including maintenance?

If you cannot accept the terms of your Lease do not buy the property in the first place and buy a Freehold.
This is the problem when you are not a Freeholder and as such why do Leaseholders expect the Freeholder to pay for everything including maintenance? If you cannot accept the terms of your Lease do not buy the property in the first place and buy a Freehold. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Alan_1976 says...

Cornbeefur wrote:
This is the problem when you are not a Freeholder and as such why do Leaseholders expect the Freeholder to pay for everything including maintenance?

If you cannot accept the terms of your Lease do not buy the property in the first place and buy a Freehold.
Terms of lease are unlikely to have stated that the Freeholder will not maintain the property.
[quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: This is the problem when you are not a Freeholder and as such why do Leaseholders expect the Freeholder to pay for everything including maintenance? If you cannot accept the terms of your Lease do not buy the property in the first place and buy a Freehold.[/p][/quote]Terms of lease are unlikely to have stated that the Freeholder will not maintain the property. Alan_1976
  • Score: 0

1:51pm Fri 8 Feb 13

mtp1db says...

Cornbeefur wrote:
This is the problem when you are not a Freeholder and as such why do Leaseholders expect the Freeholder to pay for everything including maintenance?

If you cannot accept the terms of your Lease do not buy the property in the first place and buy a Freehold.
If you pay a service charge and the service is not conducted and leads to major repairs why would you pay for the repair? That's like buying a car with free service and then having to pay for a component on the car that failed due to neglect during service. You just wouldn't pay and I doubt it is stipulated in the lease that you would.
[quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: This is the problem when you are not a Freeholder and as such why do Leaseholders expect the Freeholder to pay for everything including maintenance? If you cannot accept the terms of your Lease do not buy the property in the first place and buy a Freehold.[/p][/quote]If you pay a service charge and the service is not conducted and leads to major repairs why would you pay for the repair? That's like buying a car with free service and then having to pay for a component on the car that failed due to neglect during service. You just wouldn't pay and I doubt it is stipulated in the lease that you would. mtp1db
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Helen, Walthamstow says...

The root of this problem lies in Maggie Thatcher's Right to Buy policy from the 1980s.

Regardless of what you think of it, the fact is that the purchase of flats in blocks should not have been included. It was bound to cause huge problems when a) only some of the flats are privately-owned, and b) the landlords are councils, which have not by and large have not proved to be good freeholders for privately-owned properties.

In Waltham Forest, there have been numerous cases of leaseholders landed with huge bills for problems not of their own making. They have also been charged a portion of the total cost of refurbishments, even when they had already carried out the work at their own expense eg double-glazing their windows.
The root of this problem lies in Maggie Thatcher's Right to Buy policy from the 1980s. Regardless of what you think of it, the fact is that the purchase of flats in blocks should not have been included. It was bound to cause huge problems when a) only some of the flats are privately-owned, and b) the landlords are councils, which have not by and large have not proved to be good freeholders for privately-owned properties. In Waltham Forest, there have been numerous cases of leaseholders landed with huge bills for problems not of their own making. They have also been charged a portion of the total cost of refurbishments, even when they had already carried out the work at their own expense eg double-glazing their windows. Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

'The root of this problem lies in Maggie Thatcher's Right to Buy policy from the 1980s'

Poor old Maggie been out for 25 years and still getting the blame for giving people no hope of ever owning a property the chance to. Of course labour stopped this policy as soon as they got in? No they did not, they sold everything to the Housing Associations.

Ok, let them have their money back with a bit of interest. See how many would take that offer up.

What a daft comment.
'The root of this problem lies in Maggie Thatcher's Right to Buy policy from the 1980s' Poor old Maggie been out for 25 years and still getting the blame for giving people no hope of ever owning a property the chance to. Of course labour stopped this policy as soon as they got in? No they did not, they sold everything to the Housing Associations. Ok, let them have their money back with a bit of interest. See how many would take that offer up. What a daft comment. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

4:49pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Helen, Walthamstow says...

Cornbeefur wrote:
'The root of this problem lies in Maggie Thatcher's Right to Buy policy from the 1980s'

Poor old Maggie been out for 25 years and still getting the blame for giving people no hope of ever owning a property the chance to. Of course labour stopped this policy as soon as they got in? No they did not, they sold everything to the Housing Associations.

Ok, let them have their money back with a bit of interest. See how many would take that offer up.

What a daft comment.
Typical response from you.

You haven't made the slighest attempt to answer the central point about flats in council-owned blocks.

In fact, I'd go further and say that the sale of so many council homes of any kind is at the heart of the many problems we have now in providing social housing. Even the HAs are building accommodation for sale - albeit at so-called "affordable" prices - with public money.
[quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: 'The root of this problem lies in Maggie Thatcher's Right to Buy policy from the 1980s' Poor old Maggie been out for 25 years and still getting the blame for giving people no hope of ever owning a property the chance to. Of course labour stopped this policy as soon as they got in? No they did not, they sold everything to the Housing Associations. Ok, let them have their money back with a bit of interest. See how many would take that offer up. What a daft comment.[/p][/quote]Typical response from you. You haven't made the slighest attempt to answer the central point about flats in council-owned blocks. In fact, I'd go further and say that the sale of so many council homes of any kind is at the heart of the many problems we have now in providing social housing. Even the HAs are building accommodation for sale - albeit at so-called "affordable" prices - with public money. Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 0

6:40pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

Helen, Walthamstow wrote:
Cornbeefur wrote:
'The root of this problem lies in Maggie Thatcher's Right to Buy policy from the 1980s'

Poor old Maggie been out for 25 years and still getting the blame for giving people no hope of ever owning a property the chance to. Of course labour stopped this policy as soon as they got in? No they did not, they sold everything to the Housing Associations.

Ok, let them have their money back with a bit of interest. See how many would take that offer up.

What a daft comment.
Typical response from you.

You haven't made the slighest attempt to answer the central point about flats in council-owned blocks.

In fact, I'd go further and say that the sale of so many council homes of any kind is at the heart of the many problems we have now in providing social housing. Even the HAs are building accommodation for sale - albeit at so-called "affordable" prices - with public money.
And you have not addressed given the whingers their money back.

It is common knowledge that the Council use the Leaseholders money to subsidise the ones who remain with the Council but this is the nature of the Beast when you buy a sub-standard Leasehold property and is why many Lenders will not advance money against them as security as they are fraught with problems as there is a massive grey area.
[quote][p][bold]Helen, Walthamstow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: 'The root of this problem lies in Maggie Thatcher's Right to Buy policy from the 1980s' Poor old Maggie been out for 25 years and still getting the blame for giving people no hope of ever owning a property the chance to. Of course labour stopped this policy as soon as they got in? No they did not, they sold everything to the Housing Associations. Ok, let them have their money back with a bit of interest. See how many would take that offer up. What a daft comment.[/p][/quote]Typical response from you. You haven't made the slighest attempt to answer the central point about flats in council-owned blocks. In fact, I'd go further and say that the sale of so many council homes of any kind is at the heart of the many problems we have now in providing social housing. Even the HAs are building accommodation for sale - albeit at so-called "affordable" prices - with public money.[/p][/quote]And you have not addressed given the whingers their money back. It is common knowledge that the Council use the Leaseholders money to subsidise the ones who remain with the Council but this is the nature of the Beast when you buy a sub-standard Leasehold property and is why many Lenders will not advance money against them as security as they are fraught with problems as there is a massive grey area. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

2:09pm Thu 14 Feb 13

arnie59 says...

What is hard to understand here is why the residents of Broomhill ct think any thing should be any different under the council. Redbridge Homes is simply called Redbidge Housing now, its the same inept incompetent idiots who absolutely refuse to admit that they are ever wrong.Complain?.....
see above.
What is hard to understand here is why the residents of Broomhill ct think any thing should be any different under the council. Redbridge Homes is simply called Redbidge Housing now, its the same inept incompetent idiots who absolutely refuse to admit that they are ever wrong.Complain?..... see above. arnie59
  • Score: 1

5:49pm Thu 14 Feb 13

eric.jansen says...

Situation at Broomhill Court is rather bad and during recent preparation works for this year's repair and decoration programme, more chocking damage to the estate has come to light.

Facts:
These are pictures taken starting from sept 2011 to early feb 2013

https://picasaweb.go
ogle.com/10275134692
0425588691/48Broomhi
llCourt?authuser=0&a
uthkey=Gv1sRgCMf5xsL
V7uSpmwE&feat=direct
link
Situation at Broomhill Court is rather bad and during recent preparation works for this year's repair and decoration programme, more chocking damage to the estate has come to light. Facts: These are pictures taken starting from sept 2011 to early feb 2013 https://picasaweb.go ogle.com/10275134692 0425588691/48Broomhi llCourt?authuser=0&a uthkey=Gv1sRgCMf5xsL V7uSpmwE&feat=direct link eric.jansen
  • Score: 0

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