Dollis Hill leaseholder slapped with £13k maintenance bill is charged £100 to paint ONE bollard

Leaseholders on the CAM estate in Neasden say they're paying over the odds for work done to their bl

Leaseholders on the CAM estate in Neasden say they're paying over the odds for work done to their blocks - Credit: Archant

A leaseholder on a Dollis Hill estate has slammed a housing group after she was charged £13,000 for maintenance work including a £100 bill for the painting of ONE bollard.

Kim Darby who lives on the Cams Estate has accused Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) of overcharging leaseholders after she was forced to fork out the five-figure sum in the last two years.

The estate, which is managed by BHP, is made up of four different blocks: Comber Close, Banting House, Bellhouse and McKensie House.

Some of the flats are occupied by social housing tenants with the remaining properties owned by leaseholders.

Ms Darby, who has lived in her property on Bell House for 34 years, said: “I paid £7,000 for my roof two years ago because there were problems and then they did the major works I got another bill for just under £6,000.

“It was for painting and work they say that they’ve done to my particular block but you have to be reasonable, they came to paint a bollard and charged me £100.

“I don’t see how you justify that kind of money for the work they are carrying out. “We’re constantly being charged for works on this estate which doesn’t look any better for it and we have loads of major issues that aren’t being resolved.”

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Adding that there is inconsistency in the way leaseholders are billed, she said: “In Banting House which has 71 flats, nobody there has the same bill for major works, but they can’t tell you how they difference the bill.

“We constantly have to battle over service charges which are constantly rising, mistakes they make on those charges and after two or three years when they finally admit they’ve made a mistake they want to give you a £50 compensation payment.

“It’s hard work and in the end it drives people away, they want to sell up and leave.”

A second leaseholder, who asked to be anonymous, added: “I think they toss a coin as to who will be charged for what.

“I was charged for a new battery for smoke alarms when there are no communal alarms in my block.

I was also charged for drainage works on a communal walk way which also wasn’t in my block and works carried out on a walkway above me when I live on the top floor.”

Alison Hopkins, a former Lib Dem councillor and friend to the residents, said: “BHP adds up to 20 percent for management of major works. And the cost of both major works and routine minor stuff is extortionate.

“Leaseholders get charged way over the odds by BHP.”

A spokesman for BHP said: “We do a full statutory consultation with residents before works take place. As part of this process every leaseholder receives a detailed breakdown of their service charge bills and they can also request a breakdown of the total costs for their block.

“How much leaseholders in each block are charged can depend on a number of factors which include the type of work needed, type of building and the overall number of leaseholders living in each block. Therefore leaseholders in different blocks may indeed find that they get charged different amounts.

“During this consultation process leaseholders have raised a number of issues with the bollard, drainage works and smoke alarms charges which may result in amended bills being issued.”