Partners for Improvements in Islington (Partners) currently manage one private financial initiative contract, called PFI1 which runs until 2033. There are approximately 2,000 PFI1 properties and these are all street properties.
Islington Council has worked closely with Partners to ensure the transition of the PFI2 homes back to council management is smooth for tenants, leaseholders, and staff from both organisations.
We have answered some of the commonly asked questions here about this change.
Why has this change happened?
In March 2020, Islington Council consulted with PFI2 tenants and leaseholders to ask if people would prefer services were brought back in-house or outsourced again through a procurement process.
91% of respondents voted for services to come back in-house and be managed by Islington Council. Islington Council’s Executive took the decision to bring services back in house when the PFI2 contract ended on 4 April 2022.
Why is it only PFI2 properties that are affected?
The PFI1 and PFI2 contracts are separate. The PFI1 contract runs until 2033.
How can I get in touch with you about this?
If you have not found the answer to your question, please email the PFI Clienting Team
If you have any additional needs that you think we should know about to help us communicate better with you, such as English as a second language, please let us know.
How is the council managing the extra properties?
The properties are managed by the council using the council systems, standards and commitment to residents. A number of staff working for Partners have transferred to the council as a result of employment protection legal requirements. They have brought with them their expertise and knowledge of delivering services to PFI2 residents over a number of years, but now managed by the council.
How do council engagement with residents?
We are keen to keep the relationship between landlord and residents that exists from Partners Open Forum and Partners Resident Engagement register. The Open Forum remains in its current format and any future developments will be discussed with residents.
Residents can join the Resident Involvement Register for Islington Council. Find out more on our council tenant and homeowner involvement webpage.
The council’s Resident Participant Manager, Dionne Seymour can be emailed for more information about resident engagement activities.
We will work with residents to see how they want to engage with us.
How has the information been transferred from Partners to the council?
The council’s IT department has worked closely with Partners to make sure all PFI2 data has been securely transferred over.
How will the council ensure that my data is held securely and will not be shared without my consent?Islington Council is committed to protecting your privacy when you use council services. Our privacy notice explains how the council uses information about you, the ways in which we protect your privacy and some of the rights you have in relation to our handling of your data. Find out more about our privacy notice.
I was in the middle of paying for work when the transfer took place, who do I pay, the council or Partners?
Leaseholder charges that have been billed by Partners for works or services they delivered will continue to be collected beyond the expiry of the contract, until the full amount has been collected. Hyde Housing Association, who carry out this work for Partners, will continue to do this.
Any works carried out after April 2022 will be completed by Islington Council, so any billing or consultation after this date will be from the council.
The council send bills for service charges at different times to Partners. Annual service charges are set each September by the council, meaning these will be invoiced and collected from September 2022. We will write to you closer to the date of the change with more information on how this works.
Will I need to change my standing order or Direct Debit to pay my service charge?
You do not need to change your standing order or Direct Debit for any bills previously charged by Partners up to 1 April 2022. Hyde Housing Association, who carry out this work for Partners, will continue to collect these charges after the contract ends.
You will need to set up new standing order or Direct Debit payments for any new annual service charges and major works carried out by the council from April 2022. Information on the various payment methods is available on our service charge webpage and will be included with any bill you receive.
What happens if I am in arrears for my service charge payments?
If you have any arrears you will need to pay the outstanding money owed back to Partners.
Will my annual service charge bills stay the same?
Your bills will change slightly. Partners send invoices based on estimated costs for the new financial year in March each year and an adjustment invoice based on actual costs for the previous financial year in September each year.
We will send you a bill in September 2022 with the estimated charges for the year. For all following years, from September 2023 onwards, we will send you a bill in September with the estimated charges and the actual bill for the previous year.
Will Partners still charge me after April 2022?
In September 2022, Partners will have their actual service charge costs confirmed for the year 2021-22 and they will send you a final bill. Depending what the final charges are you may have an additional charge to pay or be due a refund (or credit to offset against other arrears, or if there are no arrears the credit might be transferred to Islington Council to offset against the 2022/23 estimate).
Will my annual service charge change?
The service charge will be estimated, based on the previous years’ costs, after the end of the year we will calculate the actual costs. If we overestimate your charges, your adjustment will be a credit for the difference between the estimated and actual costs. If we underestimate your charges, your adjustment will reflect the additional amount due.
Why is the service charge bill I receive estimated?
We don’t know what work will be required over the next year so we can only estimate these costs based on the work that has been done in previous years. We invoice estimated charges because we don’t know in advance the exact cost of providing works and services to your building, especially as repairs can vary from year-to-year.
How will major works carried out by the council be charged for leaseholders?
Major works include repairs and replacements to windows, roofs and communal areas. We generally survey homes every seven to ten years to understand what works need to be carried out. Emergency work may also need to be carried out.
Major works include repairs over £250 and you will receive a section 20 Notice to consult with you about these repairs and the estimated costs before they are carried out. These are more complex repairs that may need a surveyor or specialist to check what is needed. You will be billed the actual costs after the work has been completed.
Under Partners contract Leaseholders were not charged more than £10,000 for repairs, maintenance and improvement works in any five year period because the government partly funded these works under the PFI financing agreement which has now ended. There is no maximum charge for repair costs for major works carried out by the council. Find out more about our payment options for major works here.
Who do I apply to in the council if I want to carry out alterations?
I had applied to Partners to carry out alterations but this has not yet been agreed, what will happen to my application?
All Partners alterations applications that have not yet been agreed or completed have been taken over by the councils Homeownership Team. A council surveyor will visit to assess your application.
I’m moving and want to rent out my home, what do I need to do?
If you are not a resident and are subletting your home you need to register your sub-let with Islington Council. You can find out more about registering with the council on our subletting your home webpage. It is part of your lease agreement that you tell us if you are subletting your home and understand your legal obligations as a landlord.
How long after I report a repair will I hear back from the council?
The council completes all routine repairs within 20 days. However, we try to book an initial appointment within four days of receiving a call reporting a repair. The council aims to complete urgent repairs such as no heating or hot water within 24 hours and emergency repairs within two hours.
I reported a repair with Partners, who will manage it now?
All repairs that were not completed by 1 April have been passed to the council from Partners to complete. The council will contact you to arrange an appointment for a council repairs operative to complete the repair.
What happens if I accidentally report my repair to the wrong place?
If you report a repair to Partners by accident they will pass your repair onto the council or get in touch with you to explain how to do this yourself.
How do I report a repair to the council?
How will future planned redecoration and maintenance works be carried out to PFI2 properties?
The council have incorporated the PFI2 street properties into our wider planned redecoration and maintenance works programme.
If I have an ongoing repair or other ongoing issue that Partners were managing, will Partners complete this after April 2022?No. The council gave taken on all live case work and repairs from Partners and will complete them. The council is aiming to provide residents with an uninterrupted service as part of the transfer from Partners to the council and staff on both sides are working closely to make this happen.
Do I need to change my standing order or Direct Debit to pay my rent?
No, you do not need to change your standing order or Direct Debit to pay your rent. Although Partners manage rent collection on behalf of the council for your property, your rent is paid to Islington Council’s account and the council manage the rent collection.