United We Are Stronger
As a result of the housing transfer program, all leaseholders that used to be represented by Tower Hamlets Leaseholders Association (THLA), found themselves to be lacking a united representation when problems started with the new landlord Eastend Homes. Leaseholders were not consulted for the transfer and they found themselves with a new landlord who was imposed on them.
Their numerous issues – most of them created by Eastend Homes – are not heard by the new landlord, because leaseholders are weak, fragmented and unrepresented.
Some of us had to go as far as the Leaseholders Valuation Tribunal (LVT) for Eastend Homes to accept its numerous errors in its service charge bills.
Eastend Homes has resisted the calls to create a Leaseholders Steering Group or Association, which will represent all leaseholders from all estates coming under its ownership.
This is despite the fact that the Council, as well as other RSLs (such as Tower Hamlets Community Housing (THCH)), have been operating such associations/steering groups for years.
It seems that the reason behind Eastend Homes opposition is that it does not wish them to be strong and united, having a single Representative Body, which will speak out for ALL leaseholders.
Instead, it is suggesting for leaseholders to participate at the various Estate Management Boards that has set up in each estate. However, there are two important issues that Eastend Homes prefers to ignore when it comes to leaseholders and Estate Management Boards:
• The first is that leaseholders’ interests sometimes vary from tenants’ and an EMB is not always the best forum to discuss
issues with the landlord, especially since these issues concern all leaseholders of its estates.
• The second is that ‘buy-to-let’ leaseholders are excluded from the EMB because although they have interests on the estate,
they are not residents. As a consequence, they cannot participate in an EMB, which is only for residents, tenants and
Eastend Homes has arrogantly stated “EeH overriding responsibility is towards residents, tenants and leaseholders, who actually live on the estate rather than absentee landlords who rent their flats out to private tenants”. Interesting! Especially since Eastend Homes stills wants ‘absentee landlords’ contributions when it comes to service charges and major works bills.
Although there is a debate about Tower Hamlets Leaseholders Association (THLA) becoming a Borough-wide “umbrella” association, there is still some way to go to achieve this and surely the first move has to come from us.
But in order to do this, we, leaseholders from all Eastend Homes estates, should come together and join our voice and our strength. Only then, we can make a change.
The formation of Holland Estate Leaseholder & Tenants Association is definitely good news and follows similar moves made two years ago by leaseholders at Island Gardens (EastendHomes Leaseholders Association) and St Georges Estate (St Georges Estate Leaseholders Action Group). I am aware that Glamis Estate does not have a leaseholders association yet and I am not sure what the situation is at Mile End Street estates.
Island Gardens and St Georges estates share similar views in getting all estates together and I wonder if leaseholders from other Eastend Homes estates share our views.
If so, I would suggest making contact with us at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
I believe that this website is the most suitable to make this appeal as I discover that it has gained a lot of momentum since it was created and addresses the concerns of many leaseholders/residents irrespective of which Eastend Homes estate they come from.
St Georges Estate Leaseholders Action Group (SGE-LAG)
See also here EeHlfa – Borough-wide Leaseholders group