Leaseholders Saga: Standlake leaseholders versus Lewisham Homes

bampton-rd

#22

Hi Kat… do I not recall that leaseholders have the option to put forward their own contractor from which to gain a quote? That might be an option for you to pursue as well.


#23

Got response to my first email:

Dear Kat

Thank you for your comments and observations for the Notice of Estimate (S8-3S) sent on 18 December 2017.

Our Major Works Team have now responded back with the following responses written in light blue below.

‘Taking into consideration the feedback of 5 leaseholders in our block that I am aware of, I, therefore, request that the notice consultation period is extended until the end of April 2018 (and longer if required) in order for the block leaseholders to be properly consulted with.’

The attached FAQ information sheet confirms that Lewisham Homes consulted with Leaseholders as required by statute about major works that will cost the leaseholder more than £250. The works at your building are being carried out under our Major

Works programme that delivers the ‘decent homes work’. The contracts to carry out the works were let under EU Procurement Regulations. Leaseholders were consulted as required by the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act (CLRA) 2002 amendments to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 section 20.

Each Section 20 Notice contains information about what we plan to do and gives you the opportunity to take part in the consultation. You have the right to send us your comments about the works we intend to carry out. You can do this by post or email. We carefully consider any observations we receive in writing during the consultation period. The end date for the consultation period is given in the Notice. The period is at least 30 days from the date the Notice is given. The consultation period will therefore not be extended however our major works team have confirmed in their below response that works will not start until all comments and observations have been responded to.

‘No works or decisions should be started or made until there is a satisfactory agreement with leaseholders reached in terms of the list of works, costs, period of payment and any other issues or concerns that leaseholders may have.’

Work will not start until the consultation with residents has ended and all comments and observations have been responded to.

'£902113.13 is an extortionate amount of money and therefore I am initiating the investigation into the proposed estimated spendings for the proposed major works.

As the initial part of this investigation, I would like Lewisham Homes to provide evidence for the following:

  1. The copy of the independent survey report on the list of works that may possibly be required in Standlake block during the planned major works that has been carried out before obtaining price estimates and costs.
    A copy of the task order was provided by email on 3 January 2018. This is a list of works that are needed to the block

  2. Evidence of the initial research for cost effective and value for money quotes from various suppliers/contractors in order to secure the best value for money contract.
    Please see attached document. It explains the tendering process for the contract and how it was awarded. This document also explains how the works are costed.

  3. A list of dates (months and years) when the last repairs/works done in following areas:

asbestos survey and asbestos works
balconies
cladding
internal decorations
external decorations
internal doors works
external doors works
drainage
internal electrical works
external electrical works
internal flooring
integrated reception system
lightning conductors
masonry and render repairs
paving works
rainwater system
block roof
signage
windows’

From time to time it will be necessary for Lewisham Homes to undertake items of Major Works to improve or repair the communal and structural parts of the building. These will usually be one-off works.

Our work includes:

· Fitting fire safety doors - if required

· Renewing windows

· Renewing roofs

· Doing structural work

· Redecorating shared areas such as hallways and on the outside of your building

· Upgrading IRS system if there is one present

· Drainage works

Our records show that in 2013 Lewisham homes repairs carried out checks to door closers and communal doors to each landing to see if they needed overhauling as they are fire doors.

I can send you a copy of the repairs history of the block. Would that be helpful?

‘The Standlake Point leaseholders will be requiring a meeting with Lewisham Homes major works and home ownership representatives in due course in order to discuss all issues, concerns, problems and their resolutions once we complete the investigations of the proposed list of major works and their estimated costs.’

A meeting is being arranged for leaseholders to meet with us on Wednesday 24 January 2018 from 6pm to 8pm. Letters were sent confirming this on 11 January 2018.

Kind regards

Lianne Holland


#24

Thank you )) But it feels that we are knocking on the glass wall. I am sorry that we may have to postpone our meeting as I am currently trying to deal with this ridiculous Major Works notice.

yes, thank you. I am currently trying to obtain the alternative quotes from commercial independent contractors…I must admit they are not really keen to reply, I got one response out of 4 and still waiting.


#25

Have you considered doing an FOI (Freedom Of Information) subject access? This is a good website as it’s all done public https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/ They have to reveal all the information they hold on a subect. You have to push them as I have caught them out several times on information they have over looked.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Lewisham Home slap a CPO on the leaseholders of Standlake. Deduct the 25k off the offer price and go ahead with their plans for building on the grounds now with less objections from leaseholders from the estate. I don’t trust Lewisham Homes from previous experiences.

Good luck :slight_smile:


#26

There is information from other councils that they may offer to buy back properties subject to large major works bills. Not found anything on CPO though.
Would be difficult to justify as the flats are not being demolished so making an offer you could not refuse may be an option for them.


#27

Morning, thank you for your post. I did use the site to obtain information from LH about the building plans on the ball court and majority of information was refused for disclosure ‘because it is not in public interest’. However it took them 2 month to reply, so basically what they did (and it is not the first time happened) - the gave timeframe to reply, they waited to the end, then they extended again, waited until the last day only to say that the most info cannot be disclosed. They were obviousely buying time by wasting my time, making me wait. Very sneaky.

The consultation is in progress, we are asking questions. It ends on 20th of Jan. They have to provide answers. They said, ‘Work will not start until the consultation with residents has ended and all comments and observations have been responded to’.

I dont think they will offer to take £25,000 off leaseholders in exchange for the building plans. Those people have the army of solicitors, I guess, and will screw the situation to the extent that they will manage to build the larks and rip leaseholders off. We are just lay people against those who are professionally trained with endless funds. We are so uneven in the battles.


#28

Stumbled across this. I’ve only scanned the article but thought it might be useful. Check out the bit on Florrie’s Law.


#29

Thank you very much Starman. One of the leaseholders already checked the Florrie’s law and checked that LH had not applied for partial central government subsidies. So it will not work in our situation. However the part that leasseholders are not obliged to pay for regeneration, but for maintenance and repairs is smth i will look into my lease. I paid for the lifts - 8,000 to replace them, water tank, internal electrics, internal reception system,main door entry system, etc - another 6-7,000. They billed me for the replacements, and repairs and maintenance as well on the top of that as part of the service charges. Thank you Starman! This is a valid point to research. I will definitely look into it.


#30

Just one other thought.

In my last property I was a leaseholder in a Victorian Terrace where the lessor insured it with a number of other terraces on the block. At one point he increased the insurance charges significantly passing the costs of course to the lessees on an equal (per unit) basis. As the block included 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats in the terraces I felt that somewhat unfair. He agreed eventually to apply the charge based on square footage rather then by unit. So if you had a larger place you paid a higher percentage.

This might work for you… but it won’t endear you to others in the building with bigger flats.


#31

Thank you, i will look into my lease but i think the formula is cost / 40 flats. However I did enquire that with my windows. Waiting for their reply.


#32

Would you happen to know what legislation " allows freeholders to recover the cost of repairs and maintenance from leaseholders, not improvements" at all :roll_eyes: ?


#33

Hi Kat. I’m just not informed enough on this issue to give you good advice. For this you should try the Leaseholders Advisory Service which I think has been mentioned before. I have found their online guides helpful in the past and used their free advice over the phone.

My understanding is that the freeholder has responsibility for the upkeep of the building itself including routine repairs and maintenance to the building and common areas. Those costs are then borne by the leaseholders like yourself. The repair or maintenance job does not have to directly impact on your flat. For instance, you are still liable for roof repairs even if your flat is on the ground floor.


#34

Just a couple of other thoughts.

When I was a leaseholder, disagreements which could not be settled through normal channels could be referred to the Leaseholders Valuation Tribunal for a third party binding decision. I think the LVT has been changed to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) so you may want to check into how they can help. As before the Leasehold Advisory Service (LAS) may be your best adviser in these matters.

I notice there is a huge part of the bill for windows. Normally windows not in common areas (like in your flat) are the responsibility of leaseholders… not the freeholders. Your lease probably directs you to keep them in good shape, but if they are you should probably not be paying for these. There is a piece in the LAS about this here.


#35

Thank you Starman. The problem with leasehold advisory is they take time to respond. You cannot phone them directly and ask, you need to make an appointment for them to call, it is not straight away. It used to be, you can call and they will answer. I will use them if I have to go to tribunal (which we are seriously considering) if the matter is not resolved amicably.

In respect to the windows, they have to be all changed, they are about 50 years old, single glazed and everything is rotten and cold. I live on the top floor and don’t have problem with water leaks but the neighbours downstairs and almost every flat suffer from leaking windows because the seal has gone, wood rooten due to high condensation. If my windows are not changed, i may be liable for the damage caused by my old windows to the neighbours’ flat below me.

That what I am dwelling on - repairs and maintenance, but not replacement and regeneration. In the past and currently we are charged for everything like if we are freeholders.


#36

Looked in my lease:
Improvements contributions according to section 187 Housing Act 1985, which states:

improvement means [F1, in relation to a dwelling house,] any alteration in, or addition to, [F2the dwelling-house] and includes—
(a)

any addition to, or alteration in, landlord’s fixtures and fittings and any addition or alteration connected with the provision of services to [F2the dwelling-house],
(b)

the erection of a wireless or television aerial, and
©

the carrying out of external decoration;

[F3and shall be similarly construed in relation to any other building or land;]

[F4 “ improvement contribution ” means an amount payable by a tenant of a flat in respect of improvements to the flat, the building in which it is situated or any other building or land, other than works carried out in discharge of any such obligations as are referred to in paragraph 16A(1) of Schedule 6 (obligations to repair, reinstate, etc. ); ]

“long tenancy” means—
(a)

a long tenancy within the meaning of part IV,
(b)

[F5 a tenancy falling within paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the M1 Tenants’ Rights, Etc. (Scotland) Act 1980, or ]
©

a tenancy falling within paragraph 1 of Schedule 2 to the M2Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1983;

and “long lease” shall be construed accordingly;

And nothing about REPLACEMENT!


#37

Amazing work . I’m not a leaseholder in the Estate but have experienced exactley the same rip off and lack of transparency with another provider that starts with the initial L .
Good luck


#38

Thank you )), we are trying to figure out what is actually going on.


Response from Lewisham Homes to my points (sorry a bit messy, dont have time to make it visually pleasant, LH replies are under my comments to each point)):

Please note that you have only received and estimated bill. Any works that are not required will be removed from the final account, you only pay for works that have taken place on the building. Please also note your lease requires you to pay a share of the cost of any structural, external or works to shared areas that benefit your block or estate
Please see the response in blue to your queries

My comment response to the Section 20: Notice of Estimate, Major Works, Standlake Point, Bampton Estate, SE23-2XB, Phase S8-3S.
Part 2
**After examining the works breakdown costs, I have the following questions - please respond to every one of them:

  1. report says: Spot 258, spot 969 – asbestos survey, total: £411.83
    my comment: there was asbestos survey carried out already on 12/06/2015, job #4341242 – why repeating the survey again and making leaseholders to pay twice ? Or no survey took place on 12/06/2015 but leaseholders were charged for??
    The Asbestos survey carried out by Breyer Group is to check areas where the contract will carry out works for example checking the putty around the windows as in old windows .we have found that sometimes they contain asbestos. This is to make sure that the contractors are who are working on the building are not putting themselves at risk.

report says: Spot 1036 - specialist subcontractors used to carrying out repairs to existing asphalt paving prior to Procol application, quantity: 55 items, £15,743.45my comment: we have 40 balconies in our block, where quantity 55 came from?
This is a provisional allowance for repairs to prior prokol coating to balconies and exterior communal areas. The extra 15 is for the communal areas.

  1. report says: spot 827 – building notice fees, quantity: 409,5 (unit price £1), total £409,50my comment: block has 40 flats, where 409,9 number came from??
    This is the cost for submitting building notices to Lewisham council building and planning department.

  2. report says: #307703 – cladding: remove existing and renew with cellular cored PVC shiplap boarding, quantity 9,9smmy comment: the block does not have cladding, it has external brickwork. Where is this 9,9sm cladding??
    This is internal and for the 10 floor in the communal area.

report says: spot 234,232, 233 – contingencies, total: 17, ranged from £500 per unit to £10,000 per unit; total: 33,45 units = £280,000my question: what are those 33,45 units that cost £280,000???
Spot items 232 codes are contingency sums
These contingency are for:
Provisional allowance for repair / replacement of 1st floor security mesh
roof renewal
**removal of old water tanks **
repair/replace aluminium smoke vents all floors

  1. report says: #436203 – door frame: rub down, prepare, apply coat of primer, one undercoat, two coats of gloss paint on external surface of metal frames; total quantity: 63.6 lm my question: where are the metal door frames in quantity 63,6 lm?? All communal doors are wooden.
    Decs to timber store frame – right hand side of bin area. This is a code for painting frames.

report says: 17.7.5 – floor covering: renew any size or type of noising to steps, quantity 110 nr, £1953.60 my question: where exactly 110nr are?
This is for the communal stairs

  1. report says: spot 348 – painting to masonry, quantity 1012 lm, £4,614.72 my comment: is it external or internal, how did you come to this amount?
    This is for decs to concrete ring beam 280mm - front , side and rear elevation external this is an estimate cost.

  2. report says: #9.9.1 – prep&redec to external walls, flats: painting to masonry, total: 563sqm, £3124.65 my question: the outside walls of the block are made of bricks, which is around 95% of the external walls, where 563sqm came from??
    This is for decorations for balconies for all elevations and communal balconies. Render panels to communal balconies and pain balconies soffits.

  3. report says: #9.9.3 – prep&redec to external walls, flats: painting to timber surface, total: 114sqm, £1277.21my question: there is no timbers on external walls, where are the timber surface on the external walls in our block exactly??
    This is for paint the ducting which is boxed in communal lobby’s and ground floor store. Timber panel in communal stairwell (internal)

  4. report says: #9.9.5 – prep&redec to external walls, flats: wash down with detergent, total: 551,93 sqm, £1225,28 my comment: why external surface needs to be washed with detergent??
    This is to wash down glass to balustrade after painting

  5. report says: # 9.12.8 – prep&redec to fences and railings: open type:painting to metal fences 1-1.5m high, total: 1491m, £39720.24my question: we dont have 1491m of fence around our block, where this figure came from??
    This is for painting the communal balustrade both sides of elevation D

  6. report says: #17.5.8, #17.5.2 – specialist treatment – apply anti-graffiti paint, total 1203.1 sqm, £16025.17my qestion: we dont have problem with graffiti in our block, never was an issue, no need for anti-grffiti paint, why on the list of works???
    All communal areas are painted with anti-graffiti paint. This cost is for decorating walls and ceilings with anti-graffiti paint

  7. report says: #43551 – surfaces: apply anti-graffiti paint to vulnerable external surface of brickwork, concrete, timber, total: 1070sm, £9616.09 my question: there is no problem with graffiti on external parts of the block, why on the list of works???
    This is for the communal area

  8. report says: #435501 – clean existing graffiti covered surface, apply high pressure hot water to remove all traces of remover, paint, debris, total: 1070sm, £12380.97my qestion: there is no graffity covered surface, where exactly 1070sm are covered with graffiti that you are prepared to spend £12380.97 for???
    This is for the communal area

  9. report says: #436205 – door: rub down, prepare for and apply one coat of primer, one undercoat and two coats of gloss pain on any size single metal door, quantity: 40.58 IT, cost: £2416.38 my comment: we dont have metal doors exept the main entry door and caretaker door which are in good order, where 40.58 It came from??
    This is decorations for metal door right hand side of bin area and metal door front elevation.

  10. report says: #135001 – meter cupboard: renew or fix new approved meter cupboard…complete with locking device…quantity: 4, cost: £261.30 my comment: I have no problem with my meter cupboard, why am I charged for smbd’d cupboards?? Also, one of this 4 cupboards have different price from another 3. Why?

This is for the ground floor lift lobby area cupboard for gas meter.

  1. reports says: #070115 – shed door: renew any type of hasp, staple…or other equal and approved padlock to shed or bin doo, supply two keys…quantity:20, cost:£467.97my question: sheds are not in use, I dont use any shed why am I charged for the lock??
    This is for the ground floor store doors. We carry out works to the foot print of the building.

  2. report says:# 070107 - shed door: renew shed or bin store door with any size softwood framed, ledged, braced door, quantity: 20, cost £3769.79my comment: sheds are not in use, I dont use any shed, why am I charged for it?
    As above

  3. you report says: #324125 – door: overhaul external door and frame and fanlight complete, remove all ironmongery, piece out, make good, resecure beads, architraves, rehang door, ease, adjust, reglaze fanligh, quanity 1, cost £106.23
    my comment: it is recently changed door, nothing wrong with it, why you charged massive amount to replace the door and now you repairing it?
    This is for overhauling communal front door.

  4. report says: 11.35.0 – repair of PVCu windows/doors: doors: ease, adjust, lubricate hinges, fittings, quantity; 25, cost: £555my comment: we dont have communal PVC doors, if they are doors to flats, why am I charged for somebody’s else door?? My door is wooden.
    This code used is for overhauling communal stairwell doors.

  5. report says: 17.10.4 – replace door to caretaker store, quantaty: 1, cost £205.35my comment: the caretaker’s door is fairly new, it is in good order, why replacing it??
    This code is for new doors to staircase leading to lift lobby.

  6. report says: #16.21.5 – renew door and frame with PVC door and frame, quantity: 75, cost: £ 26556.74my comment: what doors are they? If flat doors to balconies, there are 40 of them, all communal doors are wooden and there are about 20 of them (10 to stairs, 5 on south and north sides each), why do they need replacement?? Where quantity 75 came from??
    This code if for balconies door west elevation

  7. report says: spot 1041 – standard upgrade of integrated reception system, quantity: 40, cost £5063.20 my comment: IRS has been renewed during the last major works, it was charged lots of moneys for basic fanctions, why we are charged again for the upgrade when the good IRS should have been installed in the first place??
    This is the first time that Major works are carrying out works to the estate. Some works may have taken place on s different scheme. The IRS will be upgraded so it will have sky+

  8. report says: 14.1.0 – CCTV survey of drain runs, quantity 16, cost: £1332my comment: CCTV survey of drains were done on 9/06/2015, job # 4340705 – wasn’t it good enough or was it done at all? Why to do it again?
    This is for drains for the whole block which will be surveyed to make sure they are in good condition or if any works are needed.

  9. report says: spot 420 – lightning conductor works at 1st tower block at Woodvale, quantity: 1, cost: £1713.97 my comment: why are we charged for works in the block at Woodvale?? We are Bampton Estate!
    This code is for a lightening conductor. Woodvale is a miss print but is the same code that is used for this works

  10. report says: 8.19.0 – re-pointing in masonry: existing brickwork: repointing areas exceeding 3.0sqm, quantity: 23sqm, cost: £714.84 my comment: where are these 23sqm? Where is the problem with the brickwork?
    Repointing to front and rear elevation

  11. report says: 101907 – wall: cut out bricks from face of the wall, clean and clear away, lay up to 15No new facing bricks in cement lime mortar, bond, bed, point to match existing, quantity: 75it, cost: £2106.15 my comment: where are the bricks that need replacemen? 2106.15 pounds to replace 75 bricks???
    This is for the front elevation of the building

  12. report says: 6.12.51 – general repairs: former hopper and chute, quantity:10, cost £512.79my comment: waste chutes were already renewed during last major works, why do it again??
    This is for Lift Lobby - 1st-9th - ease and adjust chute doors

  13. report says: 6.12.34 – take down satellite dish and re-fix it, quantity: 58, cost £8,369.40 my comment: I dont have any satellite dish, why am I charged for it??
    This is cost I will be looking into. There is an IRS system which uses a dish on the building. It is possible its for moving the IRS system whilst the roof is renewed

  14. report says: 029305 – supply standard NO BALL GAMES sign, screw to timber, quantity: 55, cost £3260.77my comment: the building has 4 external walls!!! Where 55 signs came from???
    This is for signage for the whole block not just no ball signs

  15. Replacing flat windows My comment: my flat has 1 balcony window, 1 kitchen window and 1 bathroom window, why I am I charged the same price as those who have 1 and 2 bedroom flats with more windows??
    Our major works programme benefits all residents. Our promise to leaseholders is:
    You are not paying for tenanted homes windows within the block. You are paying towards windows to your property and towards the communal windows to the block.

  16. Management charge: £2292.50 per leaseholder, (10%) , total: £275099.40 for three blocks. Can you please explain what £275099.40 consist of? Are you saying that the cost of your department is that much? Also, I looked in my lease and could not find 10% management fee, will you please clarify what clause of my lease requires me to pay 10% for the management.

Lewisham Homes charge leaseholders their share of these and other costs when major works is carried out in a building or block containing leasehold properties. It is currently 10% of the major works bill. The 10% charge includes everything listed for the cost of the service charge each year plus: issuing all consultation notices needed by law when major works is proposed, responding to leaseholders’ questions, advising leaseholders on payment options, paying salaries and overheads of the staff and to manage the projects, tendering the major works scheme, going to consultation meetings on major works, working out the estimated and actual major works service charges, keeping information on the service charge IT system, contributing to developing the service charge module, recovering service charges, which have not been paid on time, going to meetings with residents about major works to tackle leaseholders’ concerns, keeping up-to-date with changes in leasehold laws and amending procedures when needed.

As well as the management charge, there are also professional fees that cover the costs of outside consultants such as surveyors, architects and engineers, these costs are shown separately on your service charge bill. We are not a profit-making organisation. Our charges are based on recovering the money we spend in supplying services to leaseholders.


#39

My email to them today:

My comment response to the Section 20: Notice of Estimate, Major Works, Standlake Point, Bampton Estate, SE23-2XB, Phase S8-3S.
Part 3

Dear Lianne,

Thank you for the reply to both of my emails. I am currently examining the replies and respond or inquire further as I have not received some of the information I needed.

  1. Looking through the reply from Kiley Marr to my 32 points, I am even more puzzled now than I was before, therefore I would like to have a meeting with one of your team who knows the works and site very well so we can go through the points and jobs on the list. I would like your team/person/representative to meet me on site, in Standlake Point, to show me what and where the jobs on the list are. I would like this meeting to take place after the one on 24th, which I will also be attending, at the convenient for both of us time, please.

  2. I would like to put my name on the list of those who will be attending to inspect works after their completion.

  3. I can see that there will be a person appointed from the contractor, a liaison officer, that we can address our concerns or issues to, but I don’t see who is a liaison officer and supervisor from Lewisham Homes to overlook the works. Who is from your team be supervising the site and works please? Can you provide name and contact details? As an example, some of the dec.works are planned to have one coat of primer, one under coat and two coats gloss, I would like an appointed supervisor from Lewisham Home on site at all times who will ensure that 4 coats are applied (as an example) and all works completed as stated/listed/obligated by the contractor.

  4. Has any of your team come to the site to check the list of works that your independent surveyor presented to you? Who was that person please? And who approved the estimated list of works from Lewisham Homes to go ahead with please?

  5. Further enquiries will follow once the replies have been examined thoroughly, as I mentioned above I have not received some of the information I needed/asked for in both of my emails.

I feel that your department does not have a full knowledge of what jobs are needed to be done or familiar with the site and this is the reason I am asking to have a meeting with you in Standlake so you can show me one by one all the jobs on the list/ jobs in question.

Please confirm the receipt of my electronic response to the Section 20, Notice of Estimate, Major Works, Standlake Point, Bampton Estate, SE23-2XB, Phase S8-3S.

Kind regards,
Kat
XXX Standlake Point