ISSUE No. 89 Summer 2009
Leaseholders losing out Message from FPRA Chairman Bob Smytherman
Leaseholders are disadvantaged when it comes to Government energy-saving initiatives and I am urging everyone to support the Fuel Poverty Bill on June 12.
I have written an open letter to the Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband and Under-Secretary Joan Ruddock asking for their support in this campaign. I have made it clear that the FPRA is an active supporter of the Government’s policy on energy effi ciency and climate change. However, the one to two million leasehold fl ats in the UK (a signifi cant proportion of homes) are effectively excluded from carrying out many home insulation initiatives as a result of legislation or because there is no provision for this in their leases.
Much legislation on energy effi ciency – and certainly the legislation that provides for grants – effectively excludes those living in leasehold fl ats because the grants are aimed at individuals who purchase in their own names rather than through communal arrangements. It is unfair that some leaseholders live in a block where they would otherwise qualify for a grant, although others in the block do not.
Most leases only provide for maintenance of existing facilities and there is no provision for “improvements”. There have been many court/ LVT cases challenging the validity of service charges where any improvement has been carried out. For example, double glazing has been disallowed because it is an improvement, not maintenance.
If the government is to succeed in its targets, it needs to consider seriously the situation for long leasehold fl ats and work in conjunction with colleagues at the Department of Communities and Local Government (Leasehold Reform Branch) and enter into
May we remind members that annual subscriptions were due on April 1. If you have not already renewed, please do so as soon as possible. FPRA has no outside funding and relies on the membership fees to continue its work. If you do not pay your subs, this is the last newsletter you will receive! Important legislation affecting leaseholders is due this year and we want to keep you informed.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE A Presidential Reply
Simplifying the Paperwork
– for self-managers Ask the FPRA
– your questions answered Legal Jottings
– compiled by Philippa Turner
negotiations with David Heath MP to allow the Fuel Poverty Bill through to Standing Committee on 12 June, 2009.
This Bill will reinstate a duty to end fuel poverty, after a recent High Court judgment ruled that the targets under the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act were merely “aspirations”.
There is an urgent need to tackle fuel poverty with fi ve million households (including leasehold fl ats) unable to afford to heat their homes.
Increasing the energy effi ciency of our homes will help lower energy bills, reduce carbon emissions and create jobs in this time of economic downturn.
As a new member of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition campaign, the Federation of Private Residents Association asks the MPs to support the return of the Bill to Parliament on Friday June 12 and we and our Coalition partners will do all we can to ensure that a Bill that is agreeable to all can proceed into Committee.
We fi rmly believe that the concerns raised by the Government at Second Reading can be satisfactorily addressed before the Bill returns to Parliament on June 12 and I understand
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