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16 Federation of Private Residents’ Associations Newsletter EXCITING ADDITION


FPRA is delighted to welcome new Hon Consultant Mark Chick to the team. Mark, a solicitor, heads the Landlord and Tenant/ Leasehold Reform Team at Bishop and Sewell LLP. He writes and lectures regularly on leasehold issues and has appeared on national television commenting on service charges. With a background in property litigation, Mark now focuses entirely on the residential leasehold sector. He is a director of ALEP (the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners).


Rubbish!


Are you being charged extra – on top of your council tax – to have refuse removed from your block? If so, please let us know.


One of our members, a block of 27 flats, writes: “Our local council’s contractor makes a charge for collecting our black sack rubbish. They do not charge for collection of pink recycling sacks. They also charge for hire of a large bin for black sacks which is fair. My complaint is that if the contractor came to a cul-de-sac of 27 houses they would have to spend much more time than just picking up and tipping our bin. So why should we pay extra on top of our 27 large council tax bills? Is this in your list of items that need law or LVT rules changing? Has anybody else raised the problem and what can be done about it?”


Other FPRA member blocks have encountered rental charges for communal bins and found that it was more cost effective to buy their own wheelie bin rather than rent these from the council. Councils often fail to mention that this is a possibility. Also there is no requirement to purchase from the council as they can be purchased from private suppliers, provided they meet the council’s specification.


The FPRA committee recommends writing to your local councillors as particularly effective. Lawyers on our committee were of the view that it would be challengeable if the council were charging for the actual disposal of domestic rubbish rather than the provision of the bin. However, there are all sorts of grey areas that need to be investigated.


Please let us know if this issue affects your block. SATISFIED CUSTOMERS


A talk by FPRA Hon Consultant Yashmin Mistry on the subject of “Leaseholder Rights” went down very well with her audience.


The residents’ association hosting the meeting wrote to FPRA: “Thank you for introducing Yashmin Mistry to us as a speaker on leaseholder rights. I would confirm that the meeting she held with an audience of 80 last night was a great success due to her clear and professional explanation to our members of some difficult issues. It is very reassuring when the professional body to which we belong can provide assistance to us with speakers of such quality.”


APPEAL FOR HELP


The Government is constantly announcing new consultations and proposals and we are looking for members who would be willing to monitor Government websites and other sources so that no issue, that could possibly impact upon leaseholders, is missed.


Where proposals clearly and obviously affect leaseholders, FPRA is normally fully consulted and works closely with the Department of Communities and Local Government.


However, there often are other announcements that are less obvious and which we could easily miss. For example, we did pick up on various matters relating to the Green Deal and parking, but there may be others what we would have missed. Therefore we would ask anyone who could spend a few minutes checking Government websites, to contact the FPRA admin office. Any help would be much appreciated.


Issue No. 107 Winter 2013


The inclusion of an insert or advertisement in the FPRA newsletter does not imply endorsement by FPRA of any product or service advertised


Your Committee Chairman Bob Smytherman, email: bob@fpra.org.uk Vice-Chairman Richard Williams Hon. Treasurer Michael Derome


Committee Members Chris Adams, Simon Haswell, Susan Hayward, Robert Levene, Roger Trigg, Philippa Turner


Hon. Consultants Mary-Anne Bowring, Mark Chick, Colin Cohen, Lord Coleraine, Ann Ellson, Chiara Gorodesky, Amanda Gourlay, Roger Hardwick, Paul Masterson, Yashmin Mistry, Adrian Potter, Andrew Pridell, Martin Redman, Shula Rich, Leigh Shapiro, Nic Shulman, Belinda Thorpe, Bernie Wales, Gordon Whelan


Legal Adviser Nick Roberts Newsletter Editor Amanda Gotham Designer Sarah Phillips


FPRA only advises member associations – we cannot and do not act for them. Opinions and statements offered orally and in writing are given free of charge and in good faith and as such are offered without legal responsibility on the part of either the maker or of FPRA Ltd. All questions and answers are passed to our newsletter and website editors and may be published (without name details) to help other members. If you prefer your question and answer not to be used please inform us.


Extra copies of the newsletter can be obtained from the FPRA office at £3.50 each, postage paid. Cheques to be made payable to FPRA Ltd. They can also be seen and printed out free from the Members’ Section of the FPRA website.


Contact details: The Federation of Private Residents’ Associations Limited, Box 10271, Epping CM16 9DB Tel: 0871 200 3324 Email: info@fpra.org.uk Website: www.fpra.org.uk


If telephoning the office please do so weekday mornings.


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