Latest Public Sector News

12.08.14

New rule limits council repair charges

A new law that limits what councils and housing associations can charge leaseholders for future repair, maintenance and improvement works are to come into force this week.

Outside London the maximum level of charges will be levied at £10,000 in any five year period, with a cap of £15,000 for the capital.

The introduction of the new direction comes after local government secretary Eric Pickles vowed to introduce a cap after a 93-year-old constituent was landed with a £50,000 bill by Newham Council for roof repairs.

However, the DCLG says that the local authority ‘based its fee on a guess because it had not conducted a proper survey on the first-floor flat’. It later emerged the roof would have lasted another 40 years and the work was unnecessary.

The family of Florence Bourne say she “died of shame” because she had never been in debt in her life and simply could not afford to pay the bill for work on her Brentwood home.

Pickles said: “I was appalled at Florence’s treatment and was determined that no other leaseholder should ever have to endure the stress and hardship she experienced in the final weeks of her life.

“Under ‘Florrie’s Law’ authorities will no longer be able to levy huge bills for future government funded repair work on people who simply have little or no hope of meeting their demands.”

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