Truce called over St Albans roofing repairs dispute

PUBLISHED: 12:11 26 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:03 06 May 2010

TENANTS of a block of flats facing a large bill for roof repairs have been asked to reconsider taking St Albans District Council to a valuation tribunal. The 15 private residents of St Pauls Place in St Albans were asked by the council to pay £11,000 each

TENANTS of a block of flats facing a large bill for roof repairs have been asked to reconsider taking St Albans District Council to a valuation tribunal.

The 15 private residents of St Pauls Place in St Albans were asked by the council to pay £11,000 each towards a new roof at the end of last year, but they disputed the amount arguing that it was unfair, extortionate and that the consultation process was flawed.

They are due to go before a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) next week but in the meantime the council has sent them a letter offering to start the consultation process again and requesting that the tribunal is cancelled.

One of the residents in dispute is Neil Jordan, aged 28, who bought his flat about two years ago with his fiancée Kaye McBlain. He has already said that they may be forced to amend their wedding plans if they have to pay the £11,000.

Mr Jordan said: "Even if this letter does not expressly say it, it is an acknowledgement of flaws in the process and proves that the council are concerned that we have a point."

But he said that he was disappointed that no apology was issued.

The residents are still undecided on whether or not to press ahead with the LVT and they are in the process of seeking legal advice.

But Mr Jordan said that he was currently minded to follow through with the tribunal as he feared that the outcome would be the same if the consultation process was repeated.

By cancelling the work the council had agreed with the contractors, it will be liable for penalty charges.

A district council spokesperson said they were currently negotiating with the contractors to determine the amount of the penalty.

She maintained that the council offered to start the consultation process again in response to the residents' concerns but emphasised that they weren't admitting any fault.


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