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Final accounts call into question Council's estimates


The Council recently sent leaseholders the service charge final accounts for the period April 2022 to March 2023. These final accounts call into question the Council’s estimated service charge for the year April 2023 to March 2024 as well as the rent increase passed on to all Council tenants back in March.

In 2022-23 the Council spent £309,251.65 on gas. The Council's estimate for 2023-2024 is £970,219.52. That is a 213% (over 3.1 times) increase over its actual incurred expenditure in 2022-23.

WERA Committee Members suspect that the Council's estimate for 2023-2024 is a significant overestimate and that it is likely that the Council will end up crediting leaseholders significant sums of money come October 2024 (when the final accounts for 2023-24 are issued). WERA has asked the Council to provide evidence that the estimate is sound by, for example, providing copies of recent invoices demonstrating the increased expenditure. To date the Council has not produced a single invoice, which doesn't inspire confidence in any of their estimates and suggests that the scenario described above is the most likely outcome.

Of course the real problem is that whilst leaseholders will only be temporarily out of pocket it is very likely that Council tenants will be permanently out of pocket. The Council is not legally obliged to give them refunds, and on past performance will probably try not to but if refunds to Council tenants are called for WERA will most certainly be demanding them.

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