By Carl Davis Earlier this week SHAC’s Suzanne Muna gave evidence to the opening session of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee’s inquiry into the regulation of social housing. After discussing disrepair more generally, the Committee of MPs turned its attention to what the panel Chair described as ‘ a bit of explosion in… Continue reading Desperation – Not Lawyers – Drives Disrepair Claims Rise
This week we interviewed Emma, a Hyde shared ownership tenant who will shortly hand back the keys to the Hyde flat she has lived in for 15 years. Emma will then become homeless. Emma has been driven out of her home - not by rising rents, but by extortionate service charges. One example is the… Continue reading Emma’s Story: Made Homeless by Hyde Service Charges
The amount collected by housing associations as service charge income has increased by 2.3% (£33 million) in one year, according to the consolidated returns of housing associations made to the Regulator of Social Housing. It brings the total income generated through this income stream to £1.5 billion in the 2020 financial year. Upward Trend The… Continue reading Associations Enjoy £33 million Service Charge Income Bonanza
The problems experienced by tenants and residents living in housing association properties come in many guises, from extortionate service charging to slum landlordism. From failures to comply with equalities law to a dereliction of their duty of care. All problems have two distinct common threads. The first is the relentless commercialisation of social housing, and… Continue reading SHAC Steps Up The Political Agenda
Oh, the irony. Or is it hypocrisy? An announcement has hit the headlines. Peter Denton, former CEO of Hyde, has been appointed to lead Homes England, the government body responsible for housing investment. Denton quipped: The government has an ambitious agenda of not just more homes but decent, affordable, safe, energy-efficient ones that sit well… Continue reading Hyde: A Very Bad Apple in a Very Rotten Barrell
Hyde Housing association has caved in to a tenant's demand for a service charge reduction after he informed the landlord he had begun a service charge strike. This rapid victory comes just a few short weeks after beginning the strike action. This timescale contrasts favourably against many fruitless years previously spent attempting to challenge unfair… Continue reading Hyde Cracks: Third Strike Group Win!
When SHAC attempted to gather evidence for our report on extortionate charges for services, or charges for ‘phantom’ services never delivered, it became clear that there was a strong possibility of fraud in some of the cases that were sent to us (alongside incompetence and mismanagement). Errors are easily made, but if an error is… Continue reading Incompetence or Fraud?
Tenants and residents from a wide variety of housing associations have agreed to hold a coordinated service charge 'strike' under SHAC's banner. Action is being taken by residents frustrated at their landlords' failings in relation to extortionate or erroneous service charges, disrepairs, shoddy maintenance, and cladding. No Other Choice Residents described how their problems are… Continue reading Tenants and Residents Hit Back
By Elizabeth Campbell It was a lovely May afternoon and the sun was shining. We stood outside Fortress Clarion, just a small group of protestors in the shadow of the landlord's palatial waterfront head offices. We had gathered under the slogan 'Clarion: See Us, Hear Us'. We had protest flags, cardboard eyes and ears, a… Continue reading Limelight Falls on Fortress Clarion
Tenants and residents of Tower Hamlets Community Housing (THCH) have begun a campaign to fight back against appalling service charge rises amounting to 100% on the previous year in some cases. No valid reason has been provided by the landlord as to why such a hike is being threatened. The most recent shock relating to… Continue reading THCH: Drop the Service Charge Hike Now!