Conveyancing news – Tax payers lose out over service charge dispute

Ascham Homes, the management company which manages council housing has given up its attempt to force leasehold owners to hand over thousands of pounds for block repairs.

The company has now failed in its fourth bid to overturn a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal ruling which denied the company permission to avoid consulting people who had bought houses under the Right To Buy scheme on the major works.

A number of leasehold owners who share blocks with council tenants were faced financial ruin after receiving what they claim to have been exorbitant  bills with little warning for repair work. The leasehold owners further alleged that the works were unnecessary.

The leasehold owners took their dispute to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal, who ruled in their favour, but Ascham Homes used thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money in a bid to overturn the decision.

Ascham Homes has now indicated that it will not seek a judicial review against the latest ruling by the president of the Lands Tribunal, but a £5million council contingency fund will now have to be used to continue Decent Homes Program improvements.

Spear heading the campaign on behalf of the leasehold owners was Michael McGough who was billed £32, 000 for unwanted work on his property in West Avenue Road, Walthamstow, has led the leaseholders' battle.

He said: “This has come as a great relief to all the leaseholders who have been worried about whether they have to pay or not. ”  The leaseholders can only now legally be charged up to £250 for the work.