LAMBETH COUNCIL’S SHOCK ADMISSION: WE GOT IT WRONG ON LEASEHOLDERS – TWICE!

More than 800 leaseholders living on Lambeth estates were sent payment requests totalling almost £540,000 for works which were never carried out, Lambeth council have admitted.

Five leaseholders ended up forking out more than £5,450.80

The admission comes in response to a follow-up answer from Lambeth council’s Freedom of Information team which initially admitted 350 leaseholders had been sent the payment requests.

BACKGROUND TO THE NEWS: On February 4th this year Peter Lennard made the following FOI request:

Dear Lambeth borough council,

Please could you advise me how many of the 350 Lambeth council leaseholders that received payment request letters in 2017, as referred to in the answer to Freedom of Information request number IR225666, were living in properties that had no major works carried out on them in the chargeable year referenced in those letters?

A reminder of which payment request letters were referred to in Freedom of Information Request IR225666: They either had a reference number including the letters INTMC and ending with the numbers 1314 or were referencing an Interim Major Works invoice from 2013 – 2014, or were one and the same thing. Yours faithfully, Peter Lennard.

On March 29th Lambeth council’s Freedom of Information team wrote back:

Of the 350 payment request letters referred to in your request, 20 were issued to leaseholders of properties that had no major works carried out on them in the chargeable year referenced.
 
These letters were sent in error. The council is in the process of cancelling the invoices that were raised, and will be writing to apologise to all those affected.

On April 2nd this year Peter Lennard wrote back:

Dear Lambeth borough council,

1) Of the 20 leaseholders referred to in the response to FoI request number IR228496, who were sent payment request letters for major works, despite no work having been done in the chargeable year in question, how many of those 20 leaseholders made any payment to Lambeth council in respect of those payment request letters prior to the date of dispatch of the letters of apology referred to in the answer to FoI request number IR228496?

2) If the answer to question 1) above is higher than zero, what is the total sum of money paid by those leaseholders who did commence payment in respect of those payment request letters, prior to the date of dispatch of the letters of apology referred to in the answer to FoI request number IR228496?

If the letters of apology are yet to be written and thus the total of any payment made by those 20 leaseholders up to the date of dispatch of the letters of apology won’t be known until those letters are dispatched, please delay your response until such time as you have a date for the dispatch of the letters of apology, so that the answers to questions 1) and 2) above can be accurate.

3) What was the total sum of money requested of those 20 leaseholders in the payment request letters referred to in the response to FoI request number IR228496? I.e. the amount of money that would have been paid had all those 20 leaseholders responded to the payment request letters by sending to Lambeth council the full amount of money requested?

Lambeth FOI team’s response:

Firstly, whilst collating the information to respond to this request, it was identified that the information provided in response to your previous requests was, unfortunately, incorrect. This was because of a misunderstanding which meant the information provided referred only to leaseholders in one area rather than across the borough. I am sorry for any inconvenience caused by this error, and have provided corrected responses to your previous requests below before going on to respond to the current request.

Please could you advise me how many Lambeth council leaseholders received Major Works payment request letters in 2017 with a reference number including the letters INTMC and ending with the numbers 1314? 840

Please could you advise me how many Lambeth Council leaseholders were sent payment request letters in 2017 referencing an Interim Major Works invoice from 2013 – 2014 840

Please could you advise me how many of the 840 Lambeth council leaseholders that received payment request letters in 2017, as referred to in the answer to Freedom of Information request number IR225666, were living in properties that had no major works carried out on them in the chargeable year referenced in those letters? 61

Lambeth have told Mr Lennard: As previously advised, these letters were sent in error. The council is in the process of cancelling the invoices that were raised, and will be writing to apologise to all those affected.
What is the total sum of money paid by those leaseholders who did commence payment in respect of those payment request letters, prior to the date of dispatch of the letters of apology referred to in the answer to FoI request number IR228496?
The five payments made quoting the exact invoice reference number totalled £5,450.80
 
What was the total sum of money requested of those 61 leaseholders in the payment request letters referred to in the response to FoI request number IR228496? I.e. the amount of money that would have been paid had all those 61 leaseholders responded to the payment request letters by sending to Lambeth council the full amount of money requested?

£539,496

We have written to the leaseholders affected to apologise and advise those who have paid of the process for requesting a refund. Once again, please accept my apologies for the incorrect information originally provided in response to your previous information requests.  (Source: WhatDoTheyKnow website)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.