The sharing of grant money with leaseholders

Cheryl Ladding made this Freedom of Information request to Leasehold Advisory Service

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Leasehold Advisory Service,

There is grant money available for various energy/carbon reduction targets.

Is it legal for the local authorities to get grant funding such as CERT CESP and in future ECO/Affordable warmth funding then not pass on this money to Leaseholders?
Does this behaviour count as fraud, theft or both?

Is it legal for a local authority to get any form of grant funding which includes leasehold properties and not pass on a proportioned cost of this money?

Yours faithfully,

Cheryl Ladding

Dear Leasehold Advisory Service,

I was meant to have had a reply to my FOI yesterday, but you have not replied within the time. I would be most grateful if you could send me a response.

Yours faithfully,

Cheryl Ladding

Dear Leasehold Advisory Service,
I wrote to you and prompted you for a reply to my request for information. I would be grateful if you would please provide me with an answer as you are now very long overdue.

Yours faithfully,

Cheryl Ladding

Audrey Minton, Leasehold Advisory Service

Our reference: FOI130212

 

Dear Ms Ladding

 

My apologies that your original email request was not responded to. I only
became aware of your FOI enquiry yesterday. I now also have your original
request and am writing to acknowledge receipt and to let you know that I
should be able to respond to you within the next 48 hours. The delay is
only because I have asked one of the senior legal advisers at LEASE to
look into the detail of your question and I am awaiting his comment.

 

Apologies again that your original request did not reach me when you sent
it in December.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Audrey Minton

 

Audrey Minton | Head of Office Services

The Leasehold Advisory Service

[1]www.lease-advice.org

 

Maple House

149 Tottenham Court Road | London W1T 7BN

Tel: 020 7383 9800 | Direct: 020 7383 9820

Email: [email address]

Fax: 020 7383 9849

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you have received this in error please contact LEASE on 020 7383 9800 or
[LEASE request email].

 

 

show quoted sections

FOI - LEASE, Leasehold Advisory Service

15 February 2012

 

Ms Cheryl Ladding

By email

 

Our reference: FOI130212

 

Dear Ms Ladding

I am writing in response to your e-mails of 14 December 2011 and 10
February 2012 requesting information about grant funding to local
authorities made available to meet various energy/carbon reduction
targets.

 

A review of residential landlord and tenant legislation has turned up one
passage which refers to the impact of grant funding on service charges.

 

This is Section 20A of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and is headed
“Limitation of service charges: grant-aided works” and reads as follows:

“Where relevant costs are incurred or to be incurred on the carrying out
of works in respect of which a grant has been or is to be paid under
section 523 of the Housing Act 1985 (assistance for provision of separate
service pipe for water supply) or any provision of Part I of the Housing
Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (grants etc for the renewal
of private sector housing) or any corresponding earlier enactment or
article 3 of the Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and
Wales) Order 2002 (power of local housing authorities to provide
assistance) the amount of the grant shall be deducted from the costs
incurred and the amount of the service charge payable shall be reduced
accordingly”.

 

If the works in question fall within any of the categories above then the
landlord shall set off the funds made available against the service charge
account. However a reading of Section 20A is that it applies to grant
funding provided by local authorities rather than to them.

 

Should other forms of grant funding be reflected in a reduction of the
service charges?

 

Section 19 of the 1985 Act states that “relevant costs shall be taken into
account in determining the amount of a service charge payable for a
period:

(a)  only to the extent that they are reasonably incurred;

(b)  where they are incurred on the provision of services or the carrying
out of works, only if the services or works are of a reasonable standard;
and

the amount payable shall be limited accordingly.”

It is arguable that if the funding concerned is a grant rather than a loan
and not repayable in any circumstances then to pass on any costs met by
the grant through the service charges would not be a cost “reasonably
incurred”.

 

An application can be made to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal for a
determination as to whether the costs are payable / reasonable. Please
refer to LEASE’s advice guide entitled “Application to a Leasehold
Valuation Tribunal” available on LEASE’s website at
[1]http://www.lease-advice.org/documents/Ap.... You may
also find our advice guide on alternative dispute resolution helpful. It
is also available on the LEASE website at
[2]http://www.lease-advice.org/documents/Al....

 

LEASE as an organisation aims to be as helpful as possible in the way it
deals with requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act
2000. If, however, you are not satisfied with the way in which your
request has been handled or its outcome, you may request an internal
review within two calendar months of the date of this letter. Information
about LEASE’s review procedures and how to apply for an internal review of
your case can be found on the Department for Communities and Local
Government’s website at
http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/...
This also explains your right to apply directly to the Information
Commissioner for a decision in the event that you remain dissatisfied
following the internal review.

 

Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
internal review procedure provided by the Department for Communities and
Local Government.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please reply to this email
address. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Leasehold Advisory Service
[email address]

 

 

Freedom of Information

The Leasehold Advisory Service

[3]www.lease-advice.org

 

Maple House

149 Tottenham Court Road | London W1T 7BN

Tel: 020 7383 9800

Email: [email address]

Fax: 020 7383 9849

This email and any files transmitted with it are private and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to which they are
addressed. If you are not the intended recipient the email and any files
have been transmitted to you in error and any copying, distribution or
other use of the information contained in them is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this in error please contact LEASE on 020 7383 9800 or
[LEASE request email].

 

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References

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1. http://www.lease-advice.org/documents/Ap...
2. http://www.lease-advice.org/documents/Al...
3. http://www.lease-advice.org/