The Brockley PFI Leaseholders Association

The Brockley PFI Leaseholders Association meets every third Wednesday of the month, at 7.30pm at the Broca cafe, Coulgate Street.


The group exists to secure a fair deal for the 600 private leaseholders affected by Lewisham Council's 20 year deal with Regenter to maintain their properties. The NAO recently criticised Lewisham Council for allowing the cost of this contract to spiral out of control, from £45m to £115m.

We spoke with Patrick McGinley (in May) who represents the group, to understand the group's main issues.

He explained that the group believes that the work they are being forced to pay for is overpriced, with up to 26% of the cost of the work taken up by professional fees and a further 10% of the cost accounted for by management fees. They can't see any evidence that costs have benefited from economies of scale and there is no hourly rate provided in their quotes (when they've asked for one, they've been told it's commercially sensitive information).

The group also claims that much of the work is of an unsatisfactory standard, the result of a contract which punishes Regenter for failing to meet deadlines but which provides no quality control - a recipe for rushed work.

When leaseholders are informed of the cost of the work required for their property, which can be up to £10,000, they are only given one month to find the money. Back in March, the Council responded to the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee, agreeing to look at ways to introduce more flexible payment options.

Above all, the group is frustrated that they haven't enjoyed a more constructive relationship with the Council, which they feel has divested itself of any responsibility towards them.

The group invites anyone who's been affected by these issues to attend one of the meeting and join them.

11 comments:

TJ (O) said...

A recent success of the group is that we have secured a 3 year repayment interest free repayment plan for the £10,000 charges.

Who says community activism doesn't work?

Brockley Nick said...

Congratulations!

Headhunter said...

Yes, well done. Although it doesn't affect me, Lewisham BC apparently washing its hands of responsibility for social housing maintanence in the area apparently without proper checks and controls seems ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

PFI leaseholders face bills capped at £10,000, wonder if Lewisham Homes leaseholders are aware of the following from the report to the Mayor...

The decent homes programme has yet to start in Lewisham Homes and the bills will not be capped at £10,000.

sandy.pylos said...

Another action is an ongoing mass case to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. This involves around 22 leaseholders who are disputing their bills for the 'Decent Homes' major works. The disputes involve a number of issues including irregularities in the consultation processes, the necessity of much of the works, the cost of the works (roughly £5000 of the £10,000 capped bills are for fees and scaffolding!), the abysmal quality of the works. At the moment everything's at a pre-hearing stage and the LVT have indicated that the full hearing will be sometime in 2011 given the complexities of dealing with so many cases (this will be the largest LVT against a local authority). So far, Regenter B3 and LBL have been very slow in providing the required paperwork on the case to the LVT. Leaseholders are fully aware of the need to provide a compelling case - this means providing as much evidence as possible to back up individual cases in the form of photos, written documentation etc. There is no doubt that the outcome of this LVT will have major implications for local authority leaseholders in and beyond Lewisham.

Sean D said...

Through work comitments i have been out of the country for over 6 months now, in February I recieved a letter from Lewisham Homes stating that they would not be carrying out major works on my property, and today I recieved an invoice from Major Works that I owe them £10,000, according to my neighbours some work was carried out on the building over the last few months without my concent, who can I talk to, does anyone have a contact for this action group, i would like to get involved.

cheers in advance,
Sean.

Admin said...

Sean D,

you can contact the association at this email:

brockleyleaseholders@gmail.com

(and sorry, there won't be a meeting in the Broca cafe on 18th Aug, but there should be one in September.)

Richard Carey

Rebecca said...

I am a leaseholder in Brockley and currently disputing my bill for major works. I am really pleased to hear that there are other people in the same boat as me. Although it's clearly also a bad thing that so many of us are having to deal with this issue. It's great that there has been an association set up thank you for all your hard work getting us an extention on the payment time period. I was wondering if anyone can advise me about how to get involved in the Leaseholder valuation tribunal? Do I need to contact a solicitor and if so can anyone recommend one in the area? Thanks, RT Brockley

R Carey said...

Rebecca,

if you can make it, come to the Broca cafe by Brockley railway station on Wednesday 15th September at 6.30, as we should be meeting. Failing that, you can contact me via the email I gave above or go to:

http://brockleyleaseholders.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

My Mother is a leaseholder in Brockley and is currently being hounded by the council to pay an extortionate amount of money for repair works in her block of flats. She has been disputing the bill for some time now but seems to be hitting a brick wall. On the off chance I found this site, after looking for information for repair work carried out in Brockley, and also to find out if she was the only one dealing with this issue. The council have not been forthwith with the information requested by her and in some cases they have provided information that is inconsistent. When she asked for a break down for the repair work with costing, it took them ages to provide the list and she discovered they were charging her for lift maintenance work, to which there is no lift in the block that she lives in. Now they are trying to make her make repayments that she can’t afford. The repair work carried out by the council was minimal for leaseholders properties compared to the work carried for the other properties. She is looking for a solicitor to be advised, but she has struggled to find the right solicitor, one that has managed such cases in the past. Is there someone this association can recommend?

Roland Kemp said...

I am a leaseholder, being the owner of one flat in a Victorian house divided into four flats in Breakspears Rd. I have received an invoice for major works totalling £9753.79. Much of this work has not been done and I object to the principal of invoicing for future works particularly having experience of poor quality work in the past.
A main objection of mine is the fee of £8,273.80 (my share being £2019.09)for 'On costs Prelims, consultant fees, OH/P etc'. I have never heard of this kind of fee in the past and I seriously question its validity, does anyone share this opinion? BTW many more objections! RK

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