St Albans roof-repair case withdrawn
LEGAL proceedings brought against St Albans District Council by a group of tenants disputing a large bill for roof repairs have been withdrawn. The 15 private leaseholders at St Pauls Place in St Albans were asked to pay �11,000 each towards a new roof to
LEGAL proceedings brought against St Albans District Council by a group of tenants disputing a large bill for roof repairs have been withdrawn.
The 15 private leaseholders at St Pauls Place in St Albans were asked to pay �11,000 each towards a new roof to be fitted on their block of flats last year.
But they argued that the amount was extortionate and felt that the council's consultation process on the matter was flawed.
They took the matter to a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) but the council asked them to stop proceedings so that they could carry out another consultation on the work.
A pre-trial review was held in Harpenden on Wednesday in which the residents agreed to withdraw from the proceedings and enter into a new consultation process.
They had been worried about agreeing to it in case the same result emerged from another consultation process.
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But the chair of the hearing from the residential property tribunal service, Andrew Dutton, said he thought the tenants had been sensible in their decision.
The tenants requested that the findings made during their independent investigation and their subsequent requests were considered by the council.
They also asked that the council compensated them for the �3,050 which they have spent during the legal process but Mr Dutton was unable to order any more than �500 in costs which only covered yesterday's hearing.
He was also unable to make an order to stop the council recovering their legal costs, which amount to thousands of pounds, through the tenants' service charge.
But Mr Dutton emphasised that if the residents' concerns weren't addressed in the new consultation they were entitled to apply for another hearing.
Tenant Neil Jordan said during the proceedings: "Without the flawed consultation process it need not have come to this stage because we would have had the opportunity throughout the consultation process to put our views to the council.