Council leaseholder satisfaction rates sink

Complaints from council leaseholders in Southwark have reached a record high and less than one in three is happy with the service they receive from the Labour council.

The information was revealed in answer to a question from Liberal Democrat councillors at the last council assembly meeting.  The figures showed that complaints hit a record high last year with 249 complaints.  This looks set to be matched this year with 231 complaints logged by last month with a month remaining.

The data also highlighted how leaseholder satisfaction rates have gone down in each of the last three years measured.  In 2012/13 just 29% of leaseholders were satisfied with the overall service provided by the Council’s housing department.  In 2013/14 this went down to 28% and last year this fell yet again to a new low of 27%.

The Council has acknowledged that its leaseholder services have been poor historically and will try to turn things round with the launch of a new My Southwark Homeowners agency.  Liberal Democrats have expressed concern that its performance will not be publicly accountable as the agency will be independent of the Council.

Southwark Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson, Councillor Ben Johnson, said:

"Southwark Council has failed its leaseholders for too long. This appalling satisfaction rate shows what all leaseholders know - that they get a terrible service from the council.

"It is hard to believe that things have been allowed to get so bad.  Labour councillors in charge should be ashamed of the fact that less than one in three of their leaseholders thinks the service they get from the Council is satisfactory.

"Drastic action is needed to improve service for leaseholders. We will watch the performance of the Council’s new My Southwark Homeowners agency with interest - but this must be accountable to leaseholders and to councillors - not just a talking shop.

“Southwark Liberal Democrats will continue to fight leaseholders’ corner and will keep asking the hard questions to check what progress the Council is making.  Southwark is now in the last chance saloon with leaseholders.”