The Guardian has covered a story about leaseholders bills when the exercise the right to buy.

A tenants of an ex-local authority flat on the Roupell Park estate in Lambeth was bought four years ago, they were told there were no major works planned on the block. Then lumps of concrete started to fall off it, prompting health and safety fears.

Lambeth council initially told leaseholders that repairs to the estate would cost £7m, and that the household share would be £6,000.

This soon more than doubled to £13,000 – a fee they scraped together with other hardship. They have been billed another £5,000 – on top of the £170 service charge they pay every month.

If this happens to you, ask about easy payment terms and don’t forget Florrie…


In theory, local authority leaseholders are protected from massive bills by “Florrie’s Law”. Florence Bourne, 93, “died of shame”, according to her family, after being unable to pay a £50,000 bill for the refurbishment of her block in Newham, east London, in 2013.

Bourne called her son in panic after the huge bill landed on her doorstep. She died of a heart attack after being startled by the sound of falling tiles as builders replaced the roof. A leasehold valuation tribunal later found that Newham council had not done a proper survey and the existing roof would have lasted another 40 years.

The case led to Eric Pickles, then secretary of state for communities and local government, introducing Florrie’s Law, which caps the amount local authority leaseholders have to pay for repairs to £10,000 (or £15,000 in London) over a five-year period.