In their latest example of overspending and failing to deliver what they promised, Westminster Council have admitted their costs have gone massively over budget for their day-to-day services for leaseholders, leading service charges to hit an average cost of £1,631.41 per household. This is a whopping 8.6% over the Council’s original estimates to leaseholders for 2020/21.

Residents of Abbey Road have received an eye watering £345.74 (21.2%) average rise above their original estimates. Other above average rises include include Little Venice £241.17 (14.8%), Bayswater £176.43 (10.81%), Maida Vale £151.29 (9.27%), West End £143.93 (8.8%) and Churchill £140.53 (8.62%). These hikes for leaseholders come on top of the huge rises people are facing in their food, fuel and energy bills as the result of the Conservative Government’s cost of living crisis.

At the start of the year the council estimated it would charge leaseholders under £2.5m in total to cover supervision and management, administration, contract management and accountancy – £275 per property. But the actual bills are coming in at £3.25m – nearly £100 more from every household. The contract management cost alone more than doubled

This announcement comes less than a month after Westminster was cited by the Housing Ombudsman as one of the worst performing Councils for its treatment of leaseholders. In their report the Ombudsman found evidence of maladministration in 57% of the Westminster lessee cases they reviewed.

Westminster Labour Group leader Cllr Adam Hug said “Leaseholders are being made to pay far more service charge than they expected this year as Westminster Council, the people who spent £6m of tax-payers money on the Marble Arch Mound, have unsurprisingly failed to keep on top of their costs.

It’s just the latest mistake from this Conservative run council that has been in power for far too long and has lost touch with the needs of its residents. Leaseholders know it’s time for a change.”

Labour’s shadow cabinet member for finance David Boothroyd said: “Nearly 9,000 families live in leasehold home with Westminster City Council as the freeholder. But it seems they just can’t trust this spendthrift Conservative council to keep their bills down.

“This is yet more evidence the Conservatives have broken their pledge from the last election and are just not delivering value for money.”

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