Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles vowed to introduce the cap after a 93-year-old constituent was landed with a £50,000 bill by her local authority for roof repairs.
Newham Council 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.
The family of Florence Bourne say she “died of shame” because she had never been in debt in her life and simply could not afford to pay the bill for work on her Brentwood home.
Mr Pickles ordered officials at the Department for Communities and Local Government to review legislation governing council house repairs after Florence’s plight was brought to his attention.
Now new directions are being issued to councils and housing associations which 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.
Outside London the maximum level will be levied at £10,000 in any 5 year period, with a cap of £15,000 for the capital.
Authorities will bear the outstanding costs of work themselves.