Around 70 residents have notified their landlord, Clarion, that they will be partially withholding payments in a dispute over rent and service charge levels, plus contested service charge items. The residents have formed a collective of some 60-strong households covering their estate in Southall, West London. Shana, a striking resident has explained that the group… Continue reading Clarion: Over 70 Southall Residents Start Service Charge Strike
Anyone with any eyes on the news at the moment will have caught articles about the use of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete, or RAAC in some buildings. This weaker concrete can crumble if it isn't properly maintained and therefore needs regular inspection. While media commentary has focussed on schools and other public buildings, many members… Continue reading RAAC: The Next Housing Scandal?
Empty Ministry of Justice flats in Islington, north London, were occupied by a group of activists over the weekend to highlight the housing and climate crises. The protest was organised over the scandal of 28 three- and four-bedroom flats owned by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) which have been left empty for more than ten… Continue reading Occupation and Protest Highlights Empty Homes Scandal
Rent and service charge strikes are growing across England according to a new report published by SHAC. The snapshot report was published following a survey of members, and sought to identify growth and trends. I am withholding payment because Clarion raised the service charge 20% without informing me any details or reasons beforehand. Nina, Clarion… Continue reading SHAC Rent and Service Charge Strikes Grow and Collectivise
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 says that service charges must be reasonably incurred, and incurred on services or works completed to a reasonable standard. Apart from the fact that certain parts of the legislation apply only to leaseholders but not full renters, and that there is also differentiation in the protections that apply depending… Continue reading Service Charges: Unreasonable Laws
By Steve Sheldon*, a Guinness Partnership resident I live on the top floor of a block of flats with more than 60 homes. It’s a building owned by Guinness Partnership, a housing association that has lost its social purpose. Guinness enjoyed a good reputation in the past, but over time, we’ve seen a decline in… Continue reading What’s Gone Wrong at Guinness?
Behind the Facade: L&Q, the G15, and the Fractured Reality of UK’s Social Housing by Carl Davis In the intricate tapestry of the UK's social housing landscape, few threads stand out as starkly as L&Q housing association. Boasting a rich history and grand ambitions, the association is today a microcosm of the very challenges that… Continue reading Behind the Facade
By guest writer Alan Blackmore* Our absurd and unexpected balancing charge from One Housing Group (OHG) has effectively doubled our service charges for 2021–22. I am one of a group of residents living on the One Stratford estate. One Housing Group (now part of Riverside Group) is the freeholder for some of our homes. They… Continue reading One Housing Strikers Reject Doubled Service Charges
We are desperate, this felt like the only way to get them to listen to us” Paula*, Shepherds Bush Housing Group leaseholder These are the words of a frustrated leaseholder at William Perkins Court in Greenford, West London. She and other residents are describing why they felt forced to withhold payment of their service charges.… Continue reading Shepherds Bush Service Charge Strikers Fight On
Tenants and residents of the UK's largest housing association, Clarion, have written an open letter containing a five point plan and 33 recommendations to improve the landlord's performance after it ignored their appeal for a meeting. Addressed to chief executive, Clare Miller, the letter covers service issues and service charges, complaints handling, disrepairs, routine and… Continue reading Clarion Tenants’ Five Point Improvement Plan