The CTRA and Gascoigne Neighbourhood Association have been working hard to develop plans for the Gascoigne Greening Project. These are the latest plans for the project, which will transform the area around Dunmore Point and Wingfield House.
Please take a look. The works are planned for early 2021. If you want to find out more, there will be a Zoom meeting about the plans on 20th October at 7pm. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an invite.
A situation has arisen on one of our estates that is causing great concern among residents. It is not unique; it has happened in other blocks across Tower Hamlets and more widely across London. The Columbia TRA Committee has written to Mayor John Biggs and other senior managers at London Borough of Tower Hamlets to try and understand the Council’s policy and future intentions.
Companies, describing themselves as ‘developers’, have been
targeting the leaseholders, where they are the majority in a block* and
offering to manage the process of buying their freehold from the Council. In exchange for organising this buy-out
process these companies are tying leaseholders to certain obligations, such as
insisting that a building management organisation is set up under their control
and/or giving them the right to build additional properties on the land and/or
building e.g. additional storeys, extensions etc. Leaseholders coming together
to exercise their right to buy their freehold (known as ‘collective
enfranchisement’), if all in agreement would not necessarily cause a problem
but as it has turned out, third-party agreements can create huge issues for
leaseholders and tenants living in a block, particularly when pressurised sales
techniques have led to some leaseholders signing away their rights before
speaking to their neighbours or getting legal advice.
Given that for most leaseholders their home is their
biggest life asset all residents should take extra care if approached by a
third-party advocating for them to buy their freehold on their behalf. The
pitfalls can be huge, including:
Hard sales tactics that put pressure of
leaseholders to sign agreements quickly without a chance to seek expert advice
and speak to their neighbours
Divide and conquer – some residents will be for
it and some against, fault lines can split a community and turn neighbour
Verbal promises that any future major works
costs will be offset by these companies, but then the contract offered stating
that leaseholders will be fully liable for them
Contractual promises can be broken if sold on to
another company. The company you enter into the agreement with can sell it on
and your terms could change
Companies without a strong financial standing
can easily go bust, leaving residents with an uncertain future
any contract or agreement without speaking to a legal professional – Free legal
advice, if you need it, is available locally through St Hilda’s and
nationally via the Citizen’s
your time – This is a huge decision, do not allow offers or hard sales
techniques to rush you
talk to your TRA – we can help you arrange meetings with other residents and
signpost you to expert advice
to your neighbours – do not allow yourself to be divided as a community
council tenants – discuss this with them. Any change of ownership essentially means
they have a new landlord which will have a huge effect on their lives
your research – find out about the company approaching you, look at their
Company’s House filings and find out about their other projects and how they
have gone; understand your rights within
the law; speak to an estate agent about
how this might change the value of your property.
us is you are approached by a third party suggesting you buy your freehold.
* Where at
least two thirds of the property are leaseholders, then as long as a 50% of those
leaseholders agree, it is their right to buy this freehold.