第180回 WORKSHOP報告(9月1日) / 参加者49名

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《 今回のworkshop 》
○workshop参加人数:49名(うち新人の方:6名)
○【前半】:”A Super Volunteer”
○【後半】:”The Excessive service”
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[今週のマテリアル]
≪FIRST HALF≫
<Agenda>
“A Super Volunteer”
During summer vacation, Haruo Obata, 78 years-old, made headlines after he found a two-year-old boy missing for three days on Suo-Oshima island in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The media have dubbed Obata “a super volunteer” as he often goes to disaster-hit areas to help victims.
Let us discuss this new word “a super volunteer” today.

<Questions>
Q1. How did you feel when you heard this news of Mr.Obata finding a missing boy?
(Unexpected, Surprised, Moved so much, etc.)
Q2. Do you know someone around you who is “a super volunteer”* like Mr.Obata?
If you have, please share his/her activity as a volunteer.
*super volunteer is the person who often goes to disaster-hit areas to help victims.
Q3. Do you want to be a super volunteer if the circumstances allow you?
Please share your idea, including the reason why (advantages/disadvantages)
(In case of Mr.Obata, his activity fund is a pension after his retirement.)
Q4. How will you spend the rest of your time after your retirement?
Please share your plan.

If time allows;
Q5. Have you ever experienced any volunteering-related work?
If so, please share your story with the reason why.
Q6. Do you do any sports or other activities for your health?
If so, please share yours.
(In case of Mr.Obata, he runs 8 kilometers a day for his health!!)

≪LATTER HALF≫

The Excessive service
~Do we seek convenient and easy life too much? ~

I belong to customer service department in my company. I feel some customers ask me too much things and want to do easy way. Customers like to get “OMOTENASHI” service from us and expect it. When I have capacity to handle it, it’s ok. But, sometimes I don’t have it and have to overwork because of it. Therefore, it makes me think of working efficiency because my boss asks us not to do overwork too much. In addition, the government promotes work-life balance. So, we need more staff to meet customer’s demand. However, Japanese population is decreasing and working population is also decreasing. It means we may not be able to do “OMOTENASHI” service in the future due to lack of working population.
I think we have to think what we need instead of what we want for the future and prepare for decreasing working population. So, I would like you to think about what is “The Excessive service” by this topic.

<Questions>
1. Do you think supermarkets should open on New Year’s Day?
2. Do you think convenient stores in local area should open 24-hours and 7 days?
3. Do you need special delivery within the day or next day for internet shopping?
4. Please give some examples of “The Excessive service” other than those above.
5. Some people said that “The Excessive service” decreases the working efficiency.
Do you agree or disagree to this opinion? Why?

<Reference>
Excessive service charges and what to do about them
14-November-2017 in Commercial and Chancery by Samuel Jarman

Background

Service charges are fees that homeowners often commit to pay under the terms of the lease they enter into when they purchase their homes. They are increasingly common in share-of-freehold properties, and commonly include the costs of insurance, lighting, maintenance, cleaning and the repair of common parts such as lifts and gyms, as well as fees for the purchase, sale, sublet or alteration of a flat. They can also effect the purchase of some freehold properties.

In recent years, such charges have spiralled and are often excessive, both in their amount and in exchange for the quality of service received. Research by Direct Line for Business indicates that a third of management companies hiked service charges in the years 2014 to 2016, pushing the average charge up to £1,863, which is over twice the average monthly rent.

At the time of writing, service charges are unregulated. As such, they are often exploitative and homeowners may be left footing unexpected bills of between £1,000 and £3,000 per year.

What to do about service charges

There are a number of steps that can be taken by homeowners to challenge excessive or unreasonable service charges.

Short of buying the freehold of the property outright, the first step is always to complain directly to the managing agent or freeholder. Homeowners should write to the agent or freeholder, setting out in detail why they think the fees charged are unreasonable. Even if this yields no reduction, it is a useful step in narrowing down the issues and is in compliance with paragraphs 6 and 8 of the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols.

If the agent or freeholder is unresponsive to negotiation, the matter may be referred to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). This can be done in one of two ways.

First, homeowners can make a Right to Manage application under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 to acquire the right to manage the residential block. Homeowners can either set up their own company to oversee the management or, more often than not, employ a different property management firm under more favourable terms.

Secondly, one can apply to the Tribunal to decide whether the amount charged is reasonable. Under section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, service charges are limited to a reasonable amount. If the Tribunal determines that a sum claimed is unreasonable, it can be significantly reduced and homeowners may even have returned to them part of the sums already paid.

Reform

The Government is currently analysing responses to a major consultation, entitled “Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market” , which ran from 25 July to 19 September 2017. The consultation followed the announcement by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid of plans to cut out unfair abuses of leaseholders, including stamping out unreasonable service charges.

The Law Commission has also recently proposed the introduction of a new framework to regulate the charging of “event fees” , whereby owners of retirement homes are charged fees on certain events including sale, sub-letting or change of occupancy.

Chambers’ Commercial and Chancery Team is able to provide expert advice on the challenging of unreasonable service charges, as well as leasehold disputes generally.

http://www.4kbw.net/news/14112017112551-excessive-service-charges-and-what-to-do-about-them/
https://www.nhk.or.jp/gendai/articles/3923/1.html

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