Asked by Baroness King of Bow

To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance the Department for Communities and Local Government provides for registered social landlords on the imposition of administration fees on charges for communal energy costs.[HL341]

 Asked by  Baroness King of Bow

 To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance the Department for Communities and Local Government provides for registered social landlords on the imposition of administration fees on charges for communal energy costs.[HL341]

     The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The Department for Communities and Local Government does not provide any specific guidance to private registered providers of social housing (previously known as registered social landlords) in respect of the imposition of administration fees on charges for communal energy costs.

 

  The regulatory framework issued by the Homes and Communities Agency (as the regulator of social housing) requires registered providers to provide clear information to their social housing tenants explaining how any service charges are set.

  Where landlords, including registered providers, are able to recover administration charges from leaseholders under the terms of a lease, as well as charges towards the upkeep and maintenance of common parts of a building and the costs of management, the law requires that the amounts demanded are payable only where they are reasonably incurred. If the charges being demanded are not believed to be reasonable, a leaseholder has the right to apply to an independent leasehold valuation tribunal to determine payability.

 24 May 2012 : Column WA87

   Asked by   Baroness King of Bow

 

 To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) social rented homes, (2) intermediate rent homes, and (3) low cost home ownership homes, were built in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in (a) 2010-11, and (b) 2011-12.[HL343]

     Baroness Hanham: Statistics on gross additional affordable housing delivered in each local authority area are published by the department at  http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/affordablehousingsupply/livetables/.

 

  New affordable housing can be delivered through new build and acquisitions, although the majority of the additional supply in 2010-11 in Tower Hamlets was through new build. Data on total affordable supply in each local authority area for 2011-12 will be published by DCLG in the autumn.

 

  The Homes and Communities Agency publishes statistics covering housing starts and completions delivered through its programmes. Data for the first six months of 2011-12 were published in November 2011, but exclude affordable housing supply provided outside their programmes. The Homes and Communities Agency is due to publish its 2011-12 figures on 12 June 2012.

 Housing: Leaseholders

Question

   Asked by   Baroness King of Bow

 

 To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase public understanding of the means of redress for leaseholders in dispute with their freeholder or managing agent.[HL342]

     The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The Government recognise the importance of leaseholders being able to understand their rights and means of redress when a dispute arises with their landlord or managing agent.

 

  Free initial advice and information on residential leasehold law and the rights available is therefore made available through the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE), which also seeks to increase wider public awareness where possible.

 

  In 2011-12, LEASE dealt with over 40,000 individual enquiries. In addition, over 693,000 visits were made to the LEASE website, and over 547,000 of LEASE's guidance booklets and 491,000 of its frequently asked questions were downloaded from the LEASE website.

 

  Landlords and managing agents are also required by law to provide leaseholders with a prescribed summary of their rights and obligations, when demanding service charges or administration charges from them.

Hansard Link: Housing