When the Holly Lodge Estate was founded it was laid down in the covenants that each of the 285 plot-owners should statutorily pay annually, to the trustees of the estate, the sum of £2.50 with which the trustees would discharge their duty of maintaining the roads, footpaths and grass verges of the Estate, together with the ornamental gardens in Holly Lodge Gardens. The flats were reckoned as 97 “plots” at £5 each and the annual income thus derived by the trustees amounted to £1,188.
Up to the end of the Second World War this income proved adequate; the roads did not need much maintaining in those early days and all went well. Gradually, however, a situation developed in which it was clear to the trustees that the £2.50 rent charge had become quite inadequate and that repairs and renovations on a fairly large scale (for example the gates were in bad state) would be needed.
So they applied their minds to see whether the rent charge could be raised. Could, for instance, a sliding scale be introduced to vary with the cost of living index?
Counsels opinion was taken, but the trustees were advised that it would be unwise to try to get the rent charge raised statutorily: there was no guarantee of success and the legal charges in which the plot-owners might have been involved would have been prohibitive. The trustees therefore decided, in january 1952, to set up first, a Reinstatement Fund, to which plot-owners could contribute either, a lump sum down, or annually and secondly, a Voluntary Maintenance Fund (VMF). These, of course, were to be in addition to the annual rent charge.
Gradually the two funds were merged; more and more the plot-owners realised the good sense behind the VMF and soon practically 100% of the plot-owners were contributing, including Camden Borough Council, the owners of the flats. Plot-owners and Camden contribute approximately 50% each to the Estate’s income, and accounts are circulated at each of the Committee’s AGMs.
Management of the Estates affairs has now become both demanding and costly, however, the Committee is confident that, given the continuing support of the plot-owners, including Camden Council, it is possible to maintain the Estate to the high standards we have always enjoyed. Given the present age of the estate, costs are likely to increase considerably Their aim is to leave the estate, its roads, paths, grass verges and gates, in such condition that our property will not depreciate, and to leave it in better condition than that in which they found it.