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Welcome to the Leaseholder section of this website.  Leaseholder means person or persons who own the leasehold of a flat or maisonette where the Council owns the freehold.  I am a leaseholder and for the past six years have been probing Housing Landlord Services to gain an insight into just how it is run and the implications of charges.  I have been a professional builder for the last thirty years and so feel well qualified to cast opinions as to the quality of work and charges applied by the Housing Landlord Services.

There are problems with Housing Landlord Services.  For example, overcharging, poor quality workmanship, innaccurate assessments and general bullying of leaseholders.  Our aims are to bring all of these points to the attention of Housing Landlord Services and introduce more transparency into the system.  For too long now Leaseholders have been presented with minimal single line bills and told to pay up or risk being taken to  Court.  We are not advocating that you do not pay bills - nothing could be further from the truth - but what we are saying is that for years now the Council has been overcharging Leaseholders for poor quality work and this has to stop.

Let me give you an example:  did you know that if you live in a purpose-built block of flats over 30% of your Service Charge is taken up by administration charges of one sort or another.  That cannot be right and needs challenging.

By now you will have had an estimate of service charges.  You do not have to pay for this before the work is done (see Minutes of 2:1 ! Aug Leaseholder Forum Meeting on Bournemouth Council website).  My advice is to keep an accurate record of the time workmen spend at your particular property and also to try and assess the amount of materials used.  I know it is quite difficult but it will be worth it and if you have any problems with this you can contact me at the email address given at the end of this post.

Charges have to be reasonable, and the emphasis is on the word reasonable.  You are perfectly entitled to ask for a detailed breakdown of any charges you consider to be more than you would have expected for a particular service or works.  Examine your lease - I am sure the word ‘reasonable’ will appear somewhere.  You may be threatened with a charge for this service but this is rubbish as I personally have asked for a breakdown of bills and no charge was applied - since when do you have to pay for details of your own bills?  The answer is that you do not!

In the case of supplementary charges or what builders call "extras" the law is on your side.  You should not have to pay a ridiculously high bill and, (I quote from the BBC Watchdog website), so you should pay what you consider reasonable and invite the Council to sue you for the rest quoting ‘The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982’.

There are 480 Council Leaseholders in the Borough.  The Council is desperate to keep you isolated so that they can apply maximum pressure to you on a one-to-one basis.  If you have problems with Housing Landlord Service email me and explain the situation.  I do not need your name or address, just the details of your concerns.  I can then collate the information and gain a full picture of just what is happening at Housing Landlord Service and publish my findings on this website.  If enough people are dissatisfied the HLS must change its ways.  It is well known that there is something dreadfully, dreadfully wrong with the way Housing Landlord Service is run.  Incompetence abounds coupled with a display of contempt for Leaseholders’ rights.  So don’t delay, contact me now - we need your involvement.

                                      Email me at :  leaseholders@abetterbournemouth.org