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Cabinet to decide on fair leaseholder plan

Published Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Enfield Council's Cabinet has agreed a report recommending a framework for all leasehold properties that fall within the Council’s estate regeneration areas.

The aim is to draft a plan that provides vacant possession for developers to regenerate a number of council housing sites that not only renew the housing but will stimulate local business and jobs while building affordable homes and stronger communities.

In order to prepare for key regeneration sites the Council is keen to reach satisfactory arrangements with resident leaseholders and non-resident leaseholders (investor landlords) who will be required to relinquish their properties.

The areas in various stages of renewal include: the Alma Estate and Dujardin in Ponders End; Highmead Estate in Edmonton; small housing sites across the borough; New Avenue and Ladderswood at New Southgate.

The report recommended that estates should have a leaseholder booklet that is specific to each individual estate to take into account different property values in different parts of the borough, since this will affect the offers being made to leaseholders.

Cabinet Members approved a set of four guiding principles:
a) When purchasing property in the borough, leaseholders should not be financially disadvantaged;
b) All resident leaseholders should be enabled to remain in the regeneration area;
c) Resident leaseholders should be provided with a fair choice;
d) Encourage resident leaseholders to exercise financial responsibility.

They also agreed that an exceptions panel is set up to deal with special circumstances. This will help to achieve vacant possession within the timescales of the renewal projects while ensuring leaseholders get a fair deal.

Cllr Ahmet Oykener, Enfield’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said, “Our contractual terms with developers often require us to ensure that agreed areas within estates are vacant before any work is able to start.

“We also want to reflect our own principles of fairness for all leaseholders; offer a choice of options and make reasonable offers to purchase their properties.”

• Resident leaseholders can expect offers of market value plus 10% and all legal and arrangement fees paid.

• Non-resident leaseholders (investor landlords) can expect offers of market value plus 7.5% and all fees paid.

• A typical three bedroom maisonette on the Alma Estate is valued at £165,000.

• The council does have legal powers to make Compulsory Purchase Orders if necessary.

• Leaseholders remain on three of the estate renewal sites: At Ladderswood the council has purchased 39 residential leases with five remaining to be bought back.

• On Alma 35 of the 170 residential leases have been purchased; 135 remain to be bought back.

• At New Avenue, one residential lease has been purchased; 32 remain to be bought back.

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