Monthly Archives: September 2019

Leaseholders need some free leasehold assistance?

Background

Leaseholders on the Alton Estate have been highlighting some various concerns in various meetings. For instance:

  1. At the Let’s Talk event held earlier in the year there was a mention regarding over whose responsibility it was for the door frame when discussing fire doors (with one gentleman claiming to have an email from the Council suggesting that they had the responsibility for the door frame?).
  2. Another example is that some residents have had double glazing installed for their property and the Council is going to install double glazing for the whole block and there are concerns over how the charge will impact them in this situation.

Related to these and other examples some leaseholders have been keen to seek advice though have little idea of who to go to. In this instance, one possible option is The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE). Note this is not an endorsement for rather, some leaseholders have used their service and have suggested that they might be good place to start for any queries. For instance, they provided feedback regarding the retro fitting of water sprinklers – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/feedback-from-lease-regarding-retro-fitting-water-sprinklers/

Who is LEASE?

From their website it states “We provide free advice on residential leasehold and park homes law. We are an independent body, and we only advise leaseholders and park home owners. All of our advisers are legally qualified”.

For more information – https://www.lease-advice.org/about-us/

Options for contacting them

The same webpage states:

“If you need advice please start by looking on this website for the answer you need. We have lots of advice guides and Frequently Asked Questions, that are used by thousands of people every week”.

“If you still need advice you can book a telephone advice appointment. We will provide as much advice as can be fitted into a 15-minute appointment. We are necessarily limited on the length of the advice slot, but you can book another appointment, if necessary. We can also direct you to other services for further help and advice”.

“If you have a more complex enquiry, or if you would prefer a written response to your enquiry, then please complete the enquiry form”.

Newsletters

If you sign up with them you can receive newsletters which might be of interest. The following link highlights their past newsletters – https://www.lease-advice.org/newsletter-archive/

Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Receive articles into your inbox when uploaded on the blog

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

 Feel like leaving a comment?

Please feel free to leave a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section to let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

With the regeneration what happens with the “estate” part of the service charge?

Background

The question has been asked over the years what would happen with the “estate” part of the service charge when the Alton Estate regeneration happens. Yet, residents are still none the wiser regarding what is happening.

It does not appear to be covered by the planning application (2019/2516)?

What is the “estate” charge?

The following photo highlights a service charge invoice for leaseholders and it is divided into “block costs” and “estate costs” charges with this being highlighted in yellow.

Council response to a Residents’ Association in 2016 was…..

The Council responded to the Hersham Close Residents’ Association (HCRA) with the following:

Leaseholders – a question for you……

What do you think will happen when the regeneration happens?

Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Receive articles into your inbox when uploaded on the blog

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Feel like leaving a comment?

Please feel free to leave a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section to let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Squirrels climbing the fibre optic cables?

Background

Some readers may remember that Wandsworth Borough Council permitted Community Fibre to roll out fibre optic across its estates.

The Wandsworth Guardian article ‘Fibre optic for more council houses in Wandsworth’ might jog your memory – https://www.wandsworthguardian.co.uk/news/17191326.fibre-optic-for-more-council-houses-in-wandsworth/

However, it seems neither the Council or Community Fibre considered local conditions when installing these cables? As squirrels have been using these cables, for at least one property, on the Alton Estate to scale the tall buildings, chew the cables as well the pigeon netting (bearing in mind many of the nets are new from 2017 when the double glazing works were undertaken).

The photos below highlight a squirrel which was using the cables to pass by on the 10th floor of a tall building.

The wider issue?

Well, replacing pigeon netting is not cheap. Have you looked at a service charge bill in detail?

The following highlights one block’s costs of replacing or fixing pigeon netting in recent years:

2014/15

£125 – renew pigeon netting

2016/17

£216.56 – Renew pigeon netting

£82.56 – Renew pigeon netting

That means if a solution is not found for this problem there could be ongoing costs for leaseholders as pigeon netting is constantly renewed.

Hopefully this is corrected soon……..

Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Receive articles into your inbox when uploaded on the blog

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Feel like leaving a comment?

Please feel free to leave a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section to let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Electrical testing and urgent works contract (Paper 19-254)

Background

The fire safety measures which Wandsworth Borough Council has instigated with the current attempt of retro fitting water sprinklers has resulted in another measure which adds to the costs for leaseholders and council tenants. It is up to readers to interpret the new proposed contract for electrical testing and urgent works contract and what it means for them.

Council Meeting and Papers

Paper 19-254 was first discussed at the Borough Residents’ Forum (BRF) on 11th September 2019 – https://democracy.wandsworth.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=488&MId=6123&Ver=4

When it was in draft – https://democracy.wandsworth.gov.uk/documents/s68574/Electrical%20testing%20and%20urgent%20works%20contract.pdf

Then at the Housing and Regeneration Overview Scrutiny Committee (HROSC) meeting on 19th September 2019 – https://democracy.wandsworth.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=575&MId=6153&Ver=4

Where Paper 19-254 was produced – https://democracy.wandsworth.gov.uk/documents/s68804/Electrical%20testing%20and%20urgent%20works%20contract.pdf

Queries to the Council.

One Residents’ Association raised various queries at the BRF and the followed this with queries post the meeting and this is outlined below:

START OF EMAIL

“With reference to Council Paper 19-254 which was discussed at the Borough Residents’ Forum of 11th September 2019 there are asks please with regards to the queries raised on the night along with subsequent queries and they are referenced below on 15th September 2019:

Link to Paper 19-254 – https://democracy.wandsworth.gov.uk/documents/s68574/Electrical%20testing%20and%20urgent%20works%20contract.pdf

Costs

The following queries were raised at the BRF and it would be most helpful if the answers could be provided in time for the [removed] meeting which takes place on [removed].

With regards to the testing costs of an estimated £533,294 per annum for testing the Council was to revert on how this figure is:

#1 – Divided between testing of tenanted property and communal areas and

#2 – With the communal areas how this divided between what is recoverable to leaseholders and for tenanted properties.

#3 – For the answers to #1 and #2 above could the please be Minuted or at least referred to as a post-meeting note.

Additional queries have been subsequently been raised be RA members which asks the following and these too would be greatly appreciated if they could be answered in time for the Residents’ Association meeting.

#3 – What will be the average annual cost of this being added to the annual service charges? This has been raised by some leaseholders which are concerned by continual increases in service charges with varying degrees of transparency.

#4 – Under which service charge cost will these charges be allocated against?

#5 – A couple of tenants have asked whether this will feed into costs for them and how this be paid for by them?

One contract

In terms of the mention of this contract being under one contract and not two, as referenced at the BFR this was raised off the back of the recent lift maintenance contract fiasco, the response was that this was going to be under one contract.

#6 – It is asked that this is Minuted along with the brief background mentioned by an RA of what had occurred with regards to the lift maintenance contract especially as the amount of blank faces around the table indicated that many attendees did not seem all that aware of what had happened. As a BRF and as a HROSC item this should be discussed as to how such situations will be mitigated in future.

#7 – Could it also please be Minuted that in response to an RA question the Council will not be requesting from the contractor a Bid Bond as this is not Council policy.

Fire safety in purpose built blocks of flats

With regards to paragraph #3 which states – “The Local Government Association (LGA) guidance ‘Fire safety in purpose-built blocks of flats’ (2012) recommends periodic testing of electrical installations in both tenanted properties and common parts of blocks. The guidance recommends an interval of ten years between electrical inspections and testing for individual dwellings and five years for communal areas. It is proposed the Council adopts this guidance, maintaining the flexibility to increase frequency when required particularly in relation to future changes in the regulations”.

#8 – Could it please be Minuted that in response to a question asked by an RA in terms of what was happening between years 2012 and now that tenanted property is currently checked only when the property is vacated and for communal areas this is not currently undertaken.

#9 – In addition to this could the document please be shared? It was a bit surprisingly not to see a hyperlink footnote reference to this at the end of page 2.

#10 – Could a response to the following query raised by a few members of RAs please be provided as well. This being that given the focus on fire safety by Wandsworth Borough Council since Grenfell what are the reasons for instigating this fire safety programme now rather than say in 2017 as it would seem this would be a quicker to implement measure?

Thank you in advance for the replies.

END OF EMAIL

Council’s reply

On the 19th September 2019 the Council reverted with the following:

START OF EMAIL

I have been asked to respond on behalf of the Housing and Regeneration Department with regards to your enquiries about Council Paper 19-254 discussed at the Borough Residents’ Forum of 11th September 2019. I have answered all the questions, where I can. All matters with regards to the minutes of the meeting will be considered by Democratic Services.

For ease of reference I have answered your questions as you have numbered them in you enquiry.

With regards to the testing costs of an estimated £533,294 per annum for testing the Council was to revert on how this figure is:

#1 – Divided between testing of tenanted property and communal areas and

£415,400 is allocated to the works to the communal areas and the remainder to the tenanted properties.

#2 – With the communal areas how this divided between what is recoverable to leaseholders and for tenanted properties.

As with any works to the communal areas the cost of the testing of the communal electrics and any work arising will be recharged in accordance with lease percentages. Testing of tenanted flats will not be chargeable.  Works arising maybe subject to Sec 20 consultation depending on their value.

#3 – What will be the average annual cost of this being added to the annual service charges? This has been raised by some leaseholders which are concerned by continual increases in service charges with varying degrees of transparency.

Costs from block to block will vary so we would not wish to give a figure at this stage but the testing itself will only make a small  difference to annual service charges.

#4 – Under which service charge cost will these charges be allocated against?

These will appear under the repairs element of the service charge.

#5 – A couple of tenants have asked whether this will feed into costs for them and how this be paid for by them?

All additional spending is a factor  to be taken into account when setting the rent annually.

#9 – In addition to this could the document please be shared? It was a bit surprisingly not to see a hyperlink footnote reference to this at the end of page 2.

For information the Local Government Association (LGA) guidance ‘Fire safety in purpose-built blocks of flats’ (2012) can be found at  https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/fire-safety-purpose-built-04b.pdf  .

#10 – Could a response to the following query raised by a few members of RAs please be provided as well. This being that given the focus on fire safety by Wandsworth Borough Council since Grenfell what are the reasons for instigating this fire safety programme now rather than say in 2017 as it would seem this would be a quicker to implement measure?

The Council has prioritised fire safety work since the Grenfell fire and has focused on issues such as dangerous cladding, the fire safety front entrance doors and communal  fire doors where risk is greater –  over matters which are recommended but not currently mandatory.

If there is any further information you require with regards to the electrical testing do not hesitate in getting in touch.

END OF EMAIL

Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Receive articles into your inbox when uploaded on the blog

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Feel like leaving a comment?

Please feel free to leave a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section to let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Open House London – See the Mount Clare Temple (21 September 2019)

Background

The Putney Society with the University of Roehampton are opening the Temple up to the public as the below photo highlights.

What does the Temple look like?

To give you an idea of the inside of the Temple the following link has photos of this rarely viewed building – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2019/06/07/temple-update-with-photos/

Where is the Temple located?

The following link shows you where the Temple is located – https://www.google.com/maps/place/51%C2%B027’02.2%22N+0%C2%B014’59.6%22W/@51.450611,-0.250726,200m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d51.450611!4d-0.2498912

 Who is The Putney Society?

Information about them can be located at the following link – http://www.putneysociety.org.uk/

Hopefully you’ll take this opportunity to have a look!

Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Receive articles into your inbox when uploaded on the blog

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Feel like leaving a comment?

Please feel free to leave a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section to let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Lift Maintenance Contract – Stage 1 complaint (9 September 2019)

Continuing the follow on the 2019 Lift Maintenance Contract renewal which is now being given a hearing at the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTPT) directions, case reference being LON/00BJ/LDC/2019/0131.

Stage 1 complaint has been raised with the Council regarding the handling of this contract and concerns have been raised regarding how a repeat situation could occur with other contracts put out for tender.

Link to the previous article – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/lift-maintenance-contract-tribunal-application-6-september-2019/

Stage 1 complaint

The below photos refers to the Stage 1 complaint which was lodged with the Council on 9th September 2019.:

The following photos refer to the which aggregation, on a best efforts basis, of all the various Questions and Answers between the Council and the Kimpton House/Rushmere House Residents’ Association (KHRHRA):

Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Receive articles into your inbox when uploaded on the blog

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Feel like leaving a comment?

Please feel free to leave a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section to let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Lift Maintenance Contract – Tribunal application (6 September 2019)

Continuing the follow on the 2019 Lift Maintenance Contract renewal, the letter of 6th September 2019 highlights the following the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTPT) directions, case reference being LON/00BJ/LDC/2019/0131.

It seems that “several requests for a hearing” have been raised and a hearing will take place on 2nd October 2019.

Link to the previous article – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/lift-maintenance-contract-tribunal-application-21-august-2019/

Notice of Tribunal case

The below photos refers to the Council’s cover letter and the Tribunal hearing details.

The documents which were provided with the Council’s letter can be located at:

Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Receive articles into your inbox when uploaded on the blog

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

 Feel like leaving a comment?

Please feel free to leave a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section to let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Lift Maintenance Contract – Tribunal application (21 August 2019)

Continuing the follow on the 2019 Lift Maintenance Contract renewal, the letter of 21st August 2019 highlights the following:

  1. Case reference for the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTPT) case with the reference being LON/00BJ/LDC/2019/0131
  2. Not allowing for postal time the feedback to the FTPT was for the 30th August 2019 which does not allow a lot of time, especially over summer holiday season?
  3. The application from the Council dated 14th August 2019 was provided.
  4. The FTPT directions dated 16 August 2019 were also dated.

Link to the previous article – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/lift-maintenance-contract-change-of-contractor-9-august-2019/

Notice of Tribunal case

The below photos refers to the Council’s cover letter.

The documents which were provided with the Council’s letter can be located at:

Council’s Tribunal application – https://1drv.ms/b/s!ArEMr7ee7ZCNiVE9HlWHUopETLAM?e=rcivAu

Tribunal’s directions – https://1drv.ms/b/s!ArEMr7ee7ZCNiVAbQLIU4FTCHI3e?e=Va8UIS

Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Receive articles into your inbox when uploaded on the blog

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Feel like leaving a comment?

Please feel free to leave a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section to let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Lift Maintenance Contract – change of contractor? (9 August 2019)

Continuing the follow on the 2019 Lift Maintenance Contract renewal, the letter of 9th August 2019 highlights the following:

  1. Precision Lifts has withdrawn from the tender.
  2. There appears to be no explanation provided for why this withdrawal has occurred?
  3. Liftec Lifts Limited has been awarded the tender.
  4. This is the first time it seems to have been mentioned that one contractor is not permitted to be provided both Contract A and Contract B? Therefore Contract B receives the third highest bid rather than the second?
  5. The cost to this leaseholder has now gone up by about 12% from £72.50 to £81.20. Not a large increase in actual cost though the concern might be that this could happen to any contract, even those of larger costs?
  6. The new contract was to start on 1st September 2019 and this was not a lot of time for leaseholders to review or consider the situation?
  7. Bottom of page 2 has reference of seeking a dispensation from the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTPT) to not require the 30 day consultation with leaseholders. Therefor many leaseholders now have two such FTPT applications they need to be aware of, with the first being that of the Council’s actions to seek retro fitting water sprinklers in 100 buildings.

Link to the previous article – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/lift-maintenance-contract-tender-awarded-to-29-march-2019/

Notice of Proposal to Enter into a Long Term Agreement – Renewal of Lift Maintenance Contract

Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Receive articles into your inbox when uploaded on the blog

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Feel like leaving a comment?

Please feel free to leave a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section to let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Lift Maintenance Contract – tender awarded to (29 March 2019)

Lift Maintenance Contract – tender awarded to (29 March 2019)

Continuing the follow on the 2019 Lift Maintenance Contract renewal, the letter of 29th March 2019 highlights the following:

  • Precision Lifts has been awarded the tender? Referring to the letter of 17 September 2015 this might be the same company which was awarded the contract in 2015.
  • If it is the same company, then there seems to have three companies from the 2015 bid which put themselves forward for the 2019 bid? These being Precision Lifts, Liftec Lifts Ltd and Lift & Engineering Services Ltd.
  • Can you see anywhere in this letter or the letter dated 8th November 2018 that the same company cannot be awarded Contract A and Contract B?

Link to the previous article – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/lift-maintenance-contract-notice-of-intention-8-november-2019/

Notice of Proposal to Enter into a Long Term Agreement – Renewal of Lift Maintenance Contract

Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Receive articles into your inbox when uploaded on the blog

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Feel like leaving a comment?

Please feel free to leave a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section to let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate