VOTING IN LSVT
18/04/2011 10:28 am
I recently had a discussion with a leaseholder who seemed very much in favour of leasholders having a vote in the LSVT process.
My personal opinion is that leaseholders pay a ground rent and, as a renter, is therefore a tenant too and, should be entitled to have a vote.
Some leaseholders I know take the view that they had already decided on their landlord (in essence, themselves).
LSVT can be very emotive and some can be more successful than others depending on the quality on offer and so on.
So, anyone got an opinion (and there is no need to be nasty or snide about it, is there?) that they would like to put on here as to whether leaseholders, garage renters, tenants, etc. should have a vote in relation to a proposed LSVT?
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18/04/2011 2:45 pm
Let me just clarify that last posting -- all tenants entitled to vote in the LSVT ballot get an Offer Document -- anyone wanting to see ours (we transferred 5 years ago this July) can find it on my landlord's website. To find the landlord's name, simply click on my name and the info is on my profile.
18/04/2011 1:42 pm
All the tenants, whether general needs or not, have an offer document.
The reasons, in my experience, why leaseholders 'have power to their elbow' is because they can see that it is costing them (as opposed to tenants who, in our case, can't see it as costing them because (like the costs of services) it is/are included in their rent and they, therefore, tend to see it as 'free/entitlement'.
18/04/2011 12:43 pm
Thank you Nic.
The question of leaseholders deciding things for tenants is indeed a vexed one. Where I live the landlord was proposing an environmental improvement which included external cladding, fenced walls, protected access system(s), lighting upgrading and so on.
This weighed in at over £13k per property with the leaseholder contribution capped at a maximum of £5,000.
The leaseholders (7 of them) were consulted in minute detail and the tenants (then 23 of them were consulted on the broad strokes of the proposals (little detail and no costs given). Only 2 tenants participated in that first consultation.
Time passed and a further consultation took place (with an additional new tenant participating) on a much lesser scheme that the leaseholders were fully consulted upon in detail
I am not so sure that some tenants are pleased that the leaseholders had greater input but it goes to show, to me at least, when something hits a person in the pocket directly then they tend to be vociferous in opposing anything that doesn't suit them.
The same applies to a proposed LSVT which, in essence, is about a change of landlord.
18/04/2011 12:22 pm
This issue has always been a hot potato in transfer discussions. I think the official reason why tenants have a vote but leaseholders don't is because transfer from councils to housing associations changes the legal basis under which tenants occupy their homes (i.e. from secure to assured tenancies), whereas the terms of a leaseholder's lease do not change with the new landlord and so the legal basis under which they occupy their homes remains the same.
Having said this, there have been direct implications for leaseholders in transfers in that if transfer means that the new landlord will do improvements to buildings, then they will expect leaseholders to pay a proportionate share for improvements that affect them. And of course leaseholders have an interest in wider community issues and most people would normally expect leaseholders to be considered as part of the community. But then is it right that leaseholders are able vote on changing the legal basis of tenants occupying their home? Or that they can vote to prevent tenants from ever getting their homes improved? Hmmm - not sure that there is an easy answer to this question.