A new law that will limit the amount councils can charge leaseholders for repairs to their homes comes into force this week.
‘Appalled’ local government secretary Eric Pickles vowed to introduce the cap after Newham LBC landed 93-year-old grandmother of seven Florence Bourne with a £50,000 bill for roof repairs.
The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said Newham based its fee on a ‘guess because it had not conducted a proper survey on the first-floor flat’.
It later emerged the roof would have lasted another 40 years and the work was unnecessary.
Florence’s family say she ‘died of shame’ because she had never been in debt in her life and could not afford to pay the bill for the work on her Brentwood home.
New directions – dubbed Flo’s Law - are being issued to councils and housing associations that will force them to limit the amount they can charge for future major repair, maintenance or improvement works when they are wholly or partly funded by the government.