Today I was emailed a document, sent to a number of councilors/officers in the London Borough of Lambeth about the ludicrous Lambeth Living service charge increases for 2009/2010. Apparently, the service charge increase is widespread and a number of residents have complained direct to the BBC, so expect to see the item feature on the news tonight!
Amongst other items, the email alleges:
* The estimates have gone out to leaseholders, 4 months late.
* The charges appear to have gone up by at least 50% and in many cases nearly 100% for the coming year.
* There was no forewarning residents of the huge increases other than one letter 7 months ago regarding the possible increase in heating charges.
* There are charges on the invoices for services and contracts that do not exist.
* The delays have resulted in a huge cash flow problem, not only for Lambeth, but for residents, as Lambeth Living will be deducting 4 months at the increased rate from Leaseholders bank accounts - resulting in many peoples' account being in unauthorised overdraft.
* No notice was given to Leasehold Council nor residents that the increases were going to be so high
Also, the email states...
"Leaseholders have called the contact centre only to be told that they would receive a call the Leaseholder call back in 48 hours. When Leaseholders called again after not receiving their call back, there were to that the contact centre had received a directive that they were not to speak to anyone about these charges and that Leaseholders must put their enquiries/complaints in writing.
This would conveniently take us past the three days notice that leaseholders have before the Direct Debit requests would be made on their bank accounts."
No doubt we'll be hearing more about this in the coming weeks. Why not leave a comment if you live in or near SE11 and say how this affects you.
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