Author Archives: roeregeneration

Should the Council be more proactive in sharing the Tribunal’s water sprinkler directions?

Background

There are changes to actions and dates which have been issued by the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTPT). These can be accessed at – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/12/16/tribunal-directions-regarding-water-sprinklers-5-december-2018/

For various other Tribunal documentation they are available at – http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/downloads/download/1921/first_tier_property_tribunal_-_proposal_to_fit_sprinklers

Have you seen these put up in your block?

At least one block is a “No” – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/12/16/tribunal-directions-for-water-sprinklers-have-they-been-put-up-in-your-block/

Wandsworth @6

The same day as the Tribunal directions came out, this being the 5th December 2018, the Council issued the below email as part of its regular Wandsworth@6 communications. The link to the article is – http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/article/14840/sprinkler_activation_saves_young_mum_and_her_son_from_chip_pan_fire?utm_source=Wandsworth%406&utm_campaign=a790a54c57-Wandsworth%406&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fbd64a91fa-a790a54c57-398470769

Brightside Online

The weekly communications, Brightside Online, had the same article featured in its December 7th distribution – https://wandsworthmailings.org.uk/XWH-60JVT-46R3LJLMB6/cr.aspx

Should the Council email out the Tribunal directions as well?

For your thoughts leave a comment on the blog.

Caveats

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Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

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

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Tribunal directions for water sprinklers – have they been put up in your block?

Background

The latest Tribunal directions from the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTPT) regarding retro fitting water sprinklers have been issued – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/12/16/tribunal-directions-regarding-water-sprinklers-5-december-2018/ .

In the past, such Tribunal notices have been put up in the 99, or 100, blocks which have been impacted though this time that does not seem to be the case?

The below is one such example.

The following photo is from 8th September 2018.

The following photo is from 15th September.

The following photo is from 14th December and yet there the Tribunal directions have not, this time, been put up by the Council?

Are they up in your block?

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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.

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Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

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

Tribunal directions regarding water sprinklers (5 December 2018)

Background

There are changes to actions and dates which have been issued by the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTPT). These can be accessed on the Council’s website at – http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/downloads/file/13795/supplemental_directions_5_december_2018

For various other Tribunal documentation they are available at – http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/downloads/download/1921/first_tier_property_tribunal_-_proposal_to_fit_sprinklers

Tribunal directions dated 5th December 2018

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.

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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.

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Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

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

Major works – do you know how much you pay?

Background

When major works are required do you ever wonder how much has actually been paid for it? It can be a challenge as the following Alton Estate example highlights.

Stage 1 – Notice of Intention

The pre-tender consultation letter dated 23rd January 2015 states that this major work will cost an estimated £920.37.

Stage 2 – Post-tender costs

The post-tender notice dated 16th June 2015 states that the estimated cost is now £783.82. As a leaseholder one might think that this is great news.

Stage 3 – The service charge invoice

The invoice date of 01/10/2016 states that the service charge is £880.00 which is now almost £100 more than the Stage 2 indication of £783.82?

Stage 4 – Credit Note

On the 15th August 2018 a Credit Note for this major work issued for £60.63. For this leaseholder this means that the Council appears to have had £60.63 of the leaseholder’s money for almost two years since the service charge payment in October 2016?

Final statement of total cost?

Is it unreasonable for the leaseholder to expect a statement, or something similar, which states the final and total cost of the major works?

On 23rd October 2018 the following question was asked of the Council;

“3. No final cost is provided for the works (unless asked)?

The following timeline of documents and costs might assist;

  • 23/1/15 – letter dated from the Council regarding first estimated cost of £920.37
  • 19/6/15 – letter from the Council with revised estimated cost of £783.82
  • 01/10/16 – invoice stating £880.00 (with no explanation of how this differs with the price of £783.82)
  • 15/08/18 – invoice stating the credit note of £60.63 (making the overall total of £723.19 and these figures differ with the amount in the below email)”.

The reply from the Council on 9th November was:

“It is not practical to send this information to all leaseholders, bearing in mind the volume of leaseholders and amount of schemes being undertaken at each moment of time, therefore this information is available at request. Confirmation of the final costs comes in the form of the spreadsheet  sent  to you in the last correspondence”.

So, leaseholders have to request a final total from the Council?

Can this process be done differently?

If readers have any ideas then please leave a comment on the blog.

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.

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

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

Service charge hikes – can the process be improved?

Background

Many leaseholders have expressed a lack of faith in the Council’s £3,000 to £4,000 estimate for the retro-fitting of water sprinklers. Some leaseholders have experienced first hand the inaccurate costings of the Council and how this has come back to hit their pockets. Various examples have been heard though one example is to be provided.

Stage 1 – Notice of Intention

Leaseholders would be familiar with these letters which highlights the potential costs of the works to be undertaken. The following example is one recent major works which took place on the Alton Estate and it highlights the starting estimated in March 2014 of £2,586.92. Notice that there was a ‘consultation  process’ in April from 4:30pm to 7pm.

Stage 2 – Post-tender costs

Imagine that as a leaseholder you have received the letter in March and then attended the ‘consultation’ in April and then receive this post-tender letter in October 2014 which highlights the revised cost of £4,864.90. Bear in mind that only seven months later the increase is almost 100%.

‘Consultation’ times

For many, to be able to attend between 4:30pm and 7pm is going to be a challenge due to work commitments. Are these times the best times to have these ‘consultations’?

Can this process be done differently?

If readers have any ideas then please leave a comment on the blog.

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

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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.

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

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

Feedback to Councillor Gilbert’s update of 27 November 2018

Background

The below is an example of one email seen which provided feedback to Councillor Claire Gilbert’s update of 27 November 2018 – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/councillor-gilbert-water-sprinkler-update-27-november-2018/

 Email

“To: claire gilbert; Paul White; Maurice Mcleod; Angela Ireland;

Malcolm Grimston

Sent: ‎Thursday‎, ‎November‎ ‎29‎, ‎2018‎ ‎02‎:‎57‎:‎36‎ ‎PM‎ ‎GMT

Subject: Sprinkler Update + Communications

Dear all,

Unfortunately I am away for work and not able to refer to my materials on the matter though please find below thoughts regarding the ‘communication’ from the Council. It has been typed in a hurry and it is hoped makes sense.

#1 – Use of electronic media – Wandsworth@6, Brightside

In previous correspondence with the Council I have suggested the use of the daily Wandsworth@6 daily email from the Council which provides various snippets of information. Additionally, I suggested that it could use the weekly email Brightside to distribute this message and it has fallen largely on deaf ears. However, from memory, I am sure that they have been used to highlight various sprinkler related information of a non-Tribunal specific message. 

#2 – Emails to Residents Associations

Interestingly, the only one email from the Council regarding the Tribunal has been emailed to RAs, from memory, at least in the case of Kimpton House RA and it was at the last date of the deadline. This practice has not continued and in fact this RA sent an email last Saturday to members just in case the latest notice had not been received. 

#3 – Non-response to late delivery of the latest Tribunal notice

The latest Tribunal notice was received by us two days after the deadline. This was highlighted to the Tribunal along with the Council’s lawyer and to date there has not been an acknowledgement to this nor the questions I have raised.

#4 – Those without internet access – access of documents online (sections 3 to 5 of the latest Tribunal letter)

There are many residents on the Alton Estate that do have internet access. How are they meant to engage with other leaseholders who are trying to aggregate with other leaseholders to tackle this? The onus to comply with the Tribunal’s ask for leaseholders to work together is hampered by this as this is an administrative task that other leaseholders unfortunately don’t have the time to co-ordinate with due to the additional hands on approach this requires, e.g. door knocking, distribution of letters, phone calls.

#5 – With all of the documents to be placed online as highlighted in the Council sections 3 to 5, how is this demographic (those without internet access) going to access this information? Will the information be placed in easily accessible areas, such as libraries?

#6 – Section 4(b) – really going to publish this information?

As far as I understand it, and this could be incorrect, this section is stating that the Council will be uploading to its website the details of all impacted leaseholders, or at least the properties which are impacted. If that is the case, the Council may try to prevent this due to data protection grounds. If placed online this provides a great opportunity for leaseholders to try and reach out to other leaseholders.

#8 – Joint leaseholders – receive their own letters?

A small detail though shouldn’t each leaseholder receive their own copies of the notices from the Council? We currently receive one for both of us and I think there should be two copies provided, one for each.

#9 – Council database

The Council knows who the impacted leaseholders are, they could request permission to be allowed to email leaseholders directly with the notices. This could easily be addressed within one of the covering letters that are issued along with the Tribunal notices. Unfortunately this will not capture those leaseholders without internet access.

#10 – Delayed notice?

It is a common theme that Tribunal notices are posted out with the arrival time in one’s letterbox very near, if not after, the deadlines indicated by the Tribunal. Such delays only compound the difficulties for leaseholders in working together as each time a Tribunal notice is issued this could impact the approach of leaseholders towards trying to work together.

#11 – Frequently Asked Questions

The Kimpton House RA has suggested to Mr Stewart in an email to have a section on the Council’s website whereby questions can be asked by residents, this could be to seek clarity regarding the process, and the Council could answer them. This would be better than the piecemeal approach currently undertaken whereby both individuals and groups write to the Tribunal and/or the Council for clarity or answers”.

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.

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Councillor Gilbert water sprinkler update (27 November 2018)

Background

The below is an email received from Councillor Claire Gilbert regarding water sprinklers received on 27 November 2018.

Email

From: Claire Gilbert

To: claire gilbert; Paul White; Maurice Mcleod; Angela Ireland

Sent: ‎Tuesday‎, ‎November‎ ‎27‎, ‎2018‎ ‎10‎:‎33‎:‎58‎ ‎PM‎ ‎GMT

Subject: Sprinkler Update + Communications

Dear all, 

I am writing with a further update on the Sprinkler case in the First Tier Tribunal, and to ask for your views on communications about this matter in the future – please see highlighted section at end of message.  

  1. Last Open Meeting

Many thanks to all of those who came along to the open meeting on 4th November at the Alma Hotel, and to those of you who sent in questions. 

For those of you who were not able to attend, the speakers at the meeting included (1) Mark Eaton, the solicitor and Amanda Gourlay, the barrister who represented 11 Leaseholders at the Case Manangement Hearing on 16th October, (2) a representative of the Leaseholder Advisory organisation LEASE, (3) myself and the Labour speaker on Housing, Councillor Paul White, and (4) West Hill Independent Councillor Malcolm Grimston. The lawyers spoke about their view of the case, and explained how they could assist anyone who wanted to join the 11 Leaseholder Group whom they represent. They also took questions from the floor. LEASE explained their services, and Councillor Grimston and I spoke about the hearing which took place on 16th October. 

Anyone who would like to be put in touch with the lawyers mentioned above is welcome to contact me to do so. Equally, I have given details of other expert advisors in this area to residents in Roehampton, so again please let me know if this would be useful to you. 

However, you do not have to engage any lawyer or representative, and the Tribunal must ensure that all Leaseholders are able to participate.  

  1. 2. New Tribunal deadlines

The Tribunal issued new Directions on 5th November, which you should have received already in hard copy, and which are available via this link: file:///C:/Users/TLA%20-%20CGil/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/Tribunal_Directions_5_November_2018%20(1).pdf

In brief, the new directions say the following key things:

* All respondent leaseholders (i.e. those living in the 100 “tall” blocks) are entitled to take part in the proceedings whether or not they have already returned a reply form to the Tribunal office.

* Leaseholders are encouraged to work together in groups and seek representation – but this is not obligatory.

* By 19th November 2018 you should have been sent a hard copy of the following documents: (a)  The directions dated 5th November; and (b) Details of the website where all electronic copies can be seen. 

* By 11th December 2018, the Council must give the Tribunal a full “statement of its case”, i.e. a better explanation of its position and what it is asking the Tribunal to decide. This must nclude explaining the reasoning it says should be used by the Tribunal (a) To decide whether or not there is an obligation or right for the council to carry out the specified works in each flat; (b) To decide whether or not there is a right of access to each flat for the purpose of undertaking the specified work; (c) To decide whether or not there is a right to claim a proportion of the cost of the works as a service charge payable by each lessee. 

* The Council’s statement should also (a) Give full detail of the decision-making process and decision or decisions by the Council to provide the proposed sprinkler systems. 

* The statement should include details of the matters taken into account by the Council in reaching its decision which has been described as being on a “global” basis; (b) Append block by block lists of all long leasehold addresses, the date of the lease for each address and the type/category of lease;

 * By 5th February 2019, the respondents (i.e. Leaseholders or their representatives) must have made it clear if they intend to take certain steps – which are (i) if they intend to apply to Strike Out the Council’s application (i.e. if they think the Tribunal can decide that the Council’s application should not be allowed to go any further because it’s wrong in law) and/or (ii) if they intend to make a request to transfer the case to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) under rule 25 of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal)(Property Chamber) Rules 2013.

* If Leaseholders do not intend to take either of the above steps, they must give their statement of case in response to the Council’s case by 19th February 2019.  


  1. Communications – your views please

At the last hearing I informed the Tribunal and the Council how bad communication on this issue has been so far, and asked the Tribunal to note the importance of communicating clearly and regularly with residents on this important case.  

The Tribunal noted this request, and has agreed to establish a Leaseholders Communications Group which will assist the Tribunal in “seeking to ensure that communications are effective”. It will also liaise with the Council which I am told has agreed to assist in the task of communication. I volunteered to be a member of the Leaseholders Communications Group, and it will meet this Friday morning, 30th November 2018 at the Tribunal’s office in Goodge Street. 

To date, the Council has told residents that they must look at the WBC website regularly for updates. It’s not right in my view that residents have to seek out important information, and it is wholly inappropriate to fail to recognise how difficult this is for certain residents who may not have a computer at home/who may need assistance with IT, language or other support in this case. 

There are many other suggestions which can be made, including direct mail for the most important communications. As many of you will know, the Council publishes regular magazines such as HomeLife and Brightside, as well as having access to residents’ addresses, details of accredited residents’ association leads, and regular access to community halls, libraries etc where information could be shared. 

I have spoken to many residents about how they would like to receive communications, and asked about some of the above ideas. 

If you have a view on this, on behalf of yourself or someone you have spoken to in your block/in your Residents’ Association – please would you also email me with your views on this issue before close of business on Thursday 29th November? Thank you.

I hope that this is a helpful update. Please let me know if you have any questions. Please also let me know if you would rather not receive these emails in future. 

With kind regards, 

Councillor Claire Gilbert

Labour – Roehampton & Putney Heath” 

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.

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

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