How Charter Quay escaped "the Property Nightmare"

The Channel 4 Dispatches programme broadcast on the 20 August 2012 explained the problems faced by many leaseholders around the country. They used Charter Quay as an example of what happens when residents fight back by going to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT).

The programme did not have the time to go into the detail of our first s24 case in 2009, which was perhaps our most important result. The case involved an application to the LVT to replace the landlord's managing agent. The court accepted our arguments to have the landlord's agent removed and for the court to appoint an independent managing agent reporting to the court. Key to this case was the landlord's estimates regarding proposed major works costs. While the landlords appointed surveyor estimated the need to spend over £5 million on the site over 10 years on external maintenance our independent surveyor put the figure at less than half that amount.

As a result of LVT's appointment of an independent managing agent, HML Andertons, in August 2009 we estimate they have gone on to save us a further half million pounds and reduced the service charges by an average of over 25% while increasing the levels of service.

The programme concentrated on our two s27 cases where we went on to recover over half a million pounds of historic charges unreasonably applied to the service charge bills in the period 2003-2009. Details of the various cases and the Tribunal decisions can be found in the LVT section of the web site.

In total this has meant the 244 leaseholders have benefited by saving more than a million pounds in the three years since the landlords managing agent was removed.

21 August 2012