Homeowners (leaseholders) Council and Fund

Waiting for an internal review by Southwark Borough Council of their handling of this request.

Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Dear Southwark Borough Council,
At LB Southwark Resident Involvement Review Panel Meeting No4 (2018) minutes include report Home Owner Fund Budget 2018/2019 and Strategy 2018-2020" report which states:

"25. The Home Owners Council has funds allocated through the Home Owners’ Fund which was established in 2004 (then under the name Leaseholders’ Fund). The then Leaseholder Council agreed to ring fencing a precept of £10 per service charge account from each leaseholder’s management fee and to placing the monies in a leaseholder fund budget"

We cannot find any information about setting up the Home Owners’ Fund (Leaseholders' Fund) as it was) on your website.

We note "The Council pays for the current involvement structure by setting aside a portion of the rent collected by tenants (£13.78/year) and Home Owners (£10/year). These in turn provide income for the Tenants Fund and Home Owners Fund."
We carefully read the LBS Homeowners' Guide (2006) and found no information.

REQUEST
Please can you provide copies of any decision by Leaseholder Council to ring fence £10 per service charge account?
Please can you provide copies of any decision by Southwark Council to ring fence £10 per service charge account?
Please can you inform us how the £10 per year from each service charge account is collected?
Is the £10 per annum "precept" collect as ground rent? If, not what is the ground rent spent on?
Is the £10 per annum the council's money?
How many leaseholders in the financial year 2018/19 did not pay the £10?

Public interest
This request is in the pubic interest because he LGHA requires local authorities to maintain a statutory, ring-fenced HRA. The ring-fence is controlled by Schedule 4 of the LGHA and is still in place following the move to self-financing in England. Its purpose is to ensure that council taxpayers do not subsidise services specifically for the benefit of tenants and that rent is not used to subsidise functions which are for the benefit of the wider local community. Secure tenants of Southwark Council would like to know that homeowners are paying their fair share of HRA costs. We understand that by law Southwark Council is unable to collect a precept using a service charge. As a general rule, we would not expect the HRA to be charged for services that a local authority would be expected to provide to tenants if it was not the landlord (such as waste collection, libraries and street-lighting).

Yours faithfully,

Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Southwark Borough Council

Southwark Council - Information request

Our reference: 1102432

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Southwark Borough Council

3 Attachments

Southwark Council - Information request

Our reference: 1102432

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Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Dear Southwark Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.
Thank you for the response. Much of the response was very helpful.

Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum is writing to request an internal review of Southwark Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Homeowners (leaseholders) Council and Fund'.

Our request at 1: "Please can you provide copies of any decision by Leaseholder Council to ring fence £10 per service charge account?" Your response: "1. Please find attached". Inspection of the relevant attachment provides no evidence of a decision by Leaseholder Council. You have no minutes of a decision by Leaseholder Council? No decision was made?

Our request at 2:"Please can you provide copies of any decision by Southwark Council to ring fence £10 per service charge account?" Your response "2. 2. Please find information attached". Inspection of the relevant attachment provides no evidence of a decision by Southwark Council. We checked the decision register of the council and the council's publication scheme prior to making a request and found nothing. Do you have a decision by the Executive Member for housing back then? Or any other decision maker with the necessary authority under the council's constitution as it was back them? Or no decision was made?

Our request at 6: How many leaseholders in the financial year 2018/19 did not pay the £10? You did not provide the number of leaseholders who fail to pay their £10. So that all do? Collection is 100%?

A full history of the FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/h...

Yours faithfully,

Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum