If filming is a problem voice recording will suffice surely this cannot be a problem as it can be used to prepare minutes of the meeting?
My concern they don’t want to show either the state of the building (negligence ) or evidence of works they put on the list (and prepared to bill for) that actually are not there. When you do voice recording it is hard to tell what is refered to, for example there are 2 lists of works, one - align bricks, second - replace 75 bricks. How, through the voice recording, to proof that the works are actually needed or not needed without seeing the part the replacement or alignment reffers to.
Our words against theirs… What are the chances to proof we are right?
P. S madam Karen has not replied…because there is no reason to object if everything is fair and correct… and she knows that
Okay my misunderstanding, photographing the areas under discussion should be acceptable even video of the area being discussed on a point by point basis should be acceptable. I believe video of LH personnel may be subject to personal preference and the right to refuse.
So audio recording the explanation of the work required to enable accurate minutes should be accepted which I believe is agreed? Photos or video of the areas in question should also be allowed perhaps seperate from the audio for the purpose of establishing the dilapidation/structural requirements possibly requiring rectification and repair and will allow judgement as to the value/cost of such items.
Sherlina specifically mentioned when replied to them that ‘no people’ filming, but areas in question.
We had a meeting on site. Here is the summary of the meeting that emailed to Karen at Lewisham Homes:
Dear Karen, please see the summary of the meeting, which took place on 5/02/2018, below. If you have anything to add, please let me know.
Summary of the meeting on 5/02/2018, Standlake Point block, SE23-2XB
Kat, leaseholder, flat X, Standlake Point
X, leaseholder, flat X, Standlake Point
X leaseholder, flat X, Standlake Point
X leaseholder, flat X, Standlake Point
Karen Sweeney – Assistant contract manager for Lewisham Homes
Kiley Marr – construction project officer for Lewisham Homes
2 representatives from Breyer, works contractor
1 representative from Ridge, property and construction consultants
Reason for the meeting: clarification of the list of works proposed for the planned major works, S8-3S, Standlake Point, SE23-2XB
Discussed at the meeting:
smoke vent windows are proposed to be replaced with aluminium vents - leaseholders say there is no need to, all vent windows are in good order, also they were installed during last major works and leaseholder have already been charged/paid for the replacements in the past.
east and west side canopies - suggested by leaseholders: as an alternative, to enclose the areas to stop people urinating there, leaseholders insist Lewisham Homes to choose the cheapest option
leaseholders pointed out that wall tiles and floor tiles in the lobby are in good order and there is no need to replace them
leaseholders pointed out that a lot of works on the list are cosmetic works (protective mesh, removal of water tanks, lobby wall and floor tiles, floor steps cover to reduce noise, etc) and it is a waste of public and leaseholders money
a revised version of the list of works will be available for leaseholders to examine, however it was pointed out that it would be a goodwill gesture from Lewisham Homes; the leaseholders disagreed and pointed out that the current list of works is a ‘guesstimate’ and not acceptable.
leaseholders will be issued with a separate letter to sign if they wish to change their separate balcony door, it was pointed out that flat windows and balcony doors should match
- 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 pay twice? Or no survey took place on 12/06/2015 but leaseholders were charged for??
At the meeting: requested to see survey reports when they are completed, Lewisham homes agreed to show them for leaseholders to examine
- report says: Spot 1036 - specialist subcontractors used to carrying out repairs to existing asphalt paving prior to Procol application, quantity: 55 items, £15,743.45
my comment: we have 40 balconies in our block, where quantity 55 came from?
At the meeting: quantity 55 were suggested to include the communal balconies in addition to flat balconies but pointed out, by leaseholders, that communal balconies floors are concrete – the surveyor from Ridge was not aware of the latter
- report says: spot 827 – building notice fees, quantity: 409,5 (unit price £1), total £409,50
my comment: block has 40 flats, where 409,9 number came from??
At the meeting: clarified that it is 1 notice
- report says: #307703 – cladding: remove existing and renew with cellular cored PVC shiplap boarding, quantity 9,9sm
my comment: the block does not have cladding, it has external brickwork. Where is this 9,9sm cladding??
At the meeting: Leaseholder Kat was given answer before the meeting took place, at earlier date, that the cladding was on the tenth floor in communal area; Leaseholder Samir was given explanation, before the meeting, at earlier date, that the cladding was on the ground floor, under the canopy, next to the bin chamber. The answer at the meeting was that the cladding was actually on the roof of the block. Leaseholders requested to see photos, Lewisham Home representatives agreed to show photos for examination
- report says: spot 234,232, 233 – contingencies, total: 17, ranged from £500 per unit to £10,000 per unit; total: 33,45 units = £280,000
my question: what are those 33,45 units that cost £280,000???
At the meeting: contingencies were said to include security mesh on the south (back) side of the building, plus removal of 4 old water tanks (1mx1.5m) on the roof. It was pointed out by leaseholders whether or not the replacement of the mesh is needed and whether it will be cheaper to sand it and paint it. In respect to the old water tanks, photos of the tanks were requested to see in order to establish the need for their removal and agreed to be shown by Lewisham Homes. One photo of one water tank was shown and the water tank appeared to be in good order and did not show the need for the removal.
- 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.
At the meeting: the surveyor was not sure, works explained to be frames under the east and west side canopies of not-in- use and boarded sheds on the ground floor outside.
- 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?
At the meeting: clarified to be all steps in communal areas on all floors, however, the surveyor was confused about their number, surveyor suggested their quantity needs reviewing
- 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?
At the meeting: clarified – external masonry strips between brickworks
- 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??
At the meeting: clarified – all flat balconies ceilings and walls, ground floor outside
- report says: #9.9.3 – prep&redec to external walls, flats: painting to timber surface, total: 114sqm, £1277.21
my question: there is no timbers on external walls, where are the timber surface on the external walls in our block exactly??
At the meeting: no answer received, the surveyor did not know, possibly ground floor shed doors, further clarification will follow
- 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??
At the meeting: clarified – ground floor outside in front of the building under the canopy – walls, ceilings, supporting posts prior painting, however, the quantity suggested needs to be reviewed
- report says: # 9.12.8 – prep&redec to fences and railings: open type:painting to metal fences 1-1.5m high, total: 1491m, £39720.24
my question: we dont have 1491m of fence around our block, where this figure came from??
At the meeting: clarified – communal railings, flat/balconies railings, stairs, however, the quantity has to be reviewed, it does not appear to be right
- report says: #17.5.8, #17.5.2 – specialist treatment – apply anti-graffiti paint, total 1203.1 sqm, £16025.17
my 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???
At the meeting: the current state of the internal painting in the block is good, it was acknowledged by the surveyor that some spots require repairs and repainting. It was also confirmed the internal communal walls had been already painted with anti-graffiti paint in the past, leaseholders questioned whether it is needed to paint walls again with anti-graffiti paint
- 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?
At the meeting: the surveyor was not sure where the area for painting was, further clarifications will follow
- report says: #435501 – clean existing graffiti covered surface, apply high pressure hot water to remove all traces of remover, paint, debris, total: 1070sm, £12380.97
my qestion: there is no graffity covered surface, where exactly 1070sm are covered with graffiti that you are prepared to spend £12380.97 for???
At the meeting: no graffiti found on external or internal walls, the surveyor was not sure where the area to be washed was, further clarification will follow.
- report says: #436205 – door: rub down, prepare for and apply one coat of primer, one undercoat and two coats of gloss paint on any size single metal door, quantity: 40.58 IT, cost: £2416.38
my comment: we dont have metal doors except for the main entry door and caretaker door which are in good order, where 40.58 It came from??
At the meeting: the surveyor did not know the answer, further clarification will follow
- 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?
At the meeting: meter cupboards in communal areas for some flats
- 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:£467.97
my question: sheds are not in use, I dont use any shed why am I charged for the lock??
At the meeting: the surveyor did not know that the sheds were boarded, further review and clarification will follow, sheds are not in use
- report says:# 070107 - shed door: renew shed or bin store door with any size softwood framed, ledged, braced door, quantity: 20, cost £3769.79
my comment: sheds are not in use, I dont use any shed, why am I charged for it?
At the meeting: the surveyor did not know that the sheds were boarded, further review and clarification will follow.
- 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?
- report says: 11.35.0 – repair of PVCu windows/doors: doors: ease, adjust, lubricate hinges, fittings, quantity; 25, cost: £555
my 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.
At the meeting: clarified – flat doors for council flats only, not leaseholders
- report says: 17.10.4 – replace door to caretaker store, quantaty: 1, cost £205.35
my comment: the caretaker’s door is fairly new, it is in good order, why replacing it??
At the meeting: the caretaker’s door, outside, witnessed by all attended, was in good order and fairly new: no replacement is needed.
- report says: #16.21.5 – renew door and frame with PVC door and frame, quantity: 75, cost: £ 26556.74
my 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??
At the meeting: the surveyor did not have an explanation, the quantity 75 appeared to be incorrect, the quantity will be reviewed.
- 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??
At the meeting: the works are for the communal aerial, it is one communal aerial, not 40. It was pointed out that leaseholders do not use Sky and dont require an upgrade.
- report says: 14.1.0 – CCTV survey of drain runs, quantity 16, cost: £1332
my 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?
At the meeting: the surveyor did not know that CCTV survey has been recently done, so no need to do it again
- 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!
At the meeting: confirmed it is one lightning conductor per block and the job was a duplicate. Spot 381 has already included works with the lightning conductor. The job spot 420 should be taken off the list.
- 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?
At the meeting: the area in question was not found
- 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???
At the meeting: the area in question was not found
- report says: 6.12.51 – general repairs: former hopper and chute, quantity:10, cost £512.79
my comment: waste chutes were already renewed during last major works, why do it again??
At the meeting: the majority of works were planned to upgrade the bin chamber. Pointed out by leaseholder that there is no need for the upgrade. The bin chamber has metal doors and always locked - no problem with safety.
- 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??
At the meeting: confirmed – there is one communal aerial for residents to use, no private satellite dishes are meant to be on the roof. It was pointed out that leaseholders don’t have satellite dishes and should not be billed for.
- report says: 029305 – supply standard NO BALL GAMES sign, screw to timber, quantity: 55, cost £3260.77
my comment: the building has 4 external walls!!! Where 55 signs came from???
At the meeting: 55 signs - all signs for the block, not only NO BALL GAMES; it was pointed out that the signs in the block have been recently replaced and leaseholders were billed for them. The current signs are new and dont need to be replaced. This works leaseholders should not be billed for.
Hi Karen, in additiin of the summary, some things were missed for the record:
the surveyor was checking the works sheets for Radcot Point when aswering questions, not Standlake Point. When the leaseholder pointed it out to him, the surveyor said that it is the same.
Electrical works include replacent of emergency lights. It was pointed out by leaseholders that some communal lights have been replaced with emergency ones and not all communal lights need to be replaced.
Painting meter cupboards in communal areas - leaseholder pointed out that they are in good state and dont need painting
Also, received a letter from Karen@Lewisham Homes that the major works have been delayed until unknown date.
It will be suicidal for LH to go ahead with the works that dont exist. But, hey, this is only beginning. Mr Potter, LH CEO, is the next to get our portion of letters.
Good evening Victoria,
My appology for the delayed response to your reply.
I appreciate your time for gathering information. I did look through your answers and but dont feel some of my questions have been answered.
LM179 SUPPLY & FIT NEW SUSPENSION ROPES AS PER SOR02B
This cost is to replace the main ropes for the lift £973.56
BLK LM180 SUP & FIT SUSPENSION ROPES AS PER SOR02B
This cost is to replace the main ropes for the lift £973.56
I live on the 10th floor and use lifts daily, i also live opposite the lift engine room and did not see any works to replace lift suspension ropes. I will be needing to see the proof of that please.
BLOCK DOOR ENTRY FAULTY. TENANTS CANNOT BE BUZZED IN- Defective Door entry panel reported by the resident and when attended no fault was found.
BLOCK DOOR ENTRY SYSTEM NOT WORKING- Defective Door entry panel reported by the resident and when attended no fault was found.
Those 2 jobs above should be addressed to the tenants who called reporting the faulty buzzer. They are the one to be charged. I did not call therefore the charge should be removed from my bill please.
On the list: BLOCK PNEUMATIC AUTO OPENERS SERVICE
the frequency of the service is suspicious - April, Jun, August 2016 - why such high frequency? Was it meant to be done quarterly? The time frequency does not match.
I asked: “pest control - £1002.00 – I believe John, another leaseholder from our block, questioned yourself and got a reply that £54 were spent to remove a dead pigeon by the caretaker – we are charged £40.17 per hour caretaking service and charged again £54 for cleaning the dead pigeon by the caretaker? It is a clear charging for the same service twice. The refund of £54 is due to the block leaseholders, please. £950 were spent for the pigeon proofing - can you please provide the details of what job exactly was done, where exactly was done so we can investigate the repair. Please find below breakdown of the pest control.”
Your answer: Our Environmental services team have confirmed that they have not asked a caretaker to carry out a job the same time the pest control team attended.
My response: to remove one dead pigeon you do not need to call a pest control team out, the caretaker easily can do that, it is his job. Are you saying you called out the whole pestcontrol team to remove one dead pigeon? Victoria, this is not acceptable. I insist the refind is provided for the pigeon removal please. Also, I have not received the information as to where exactly the pigeon proofing was so i can inspect the place please. £200 for survey - when it was done, what exactly was done?
I asked: Caretaking charges: Mr Kanareck confirmed the price Lewisham Homes charge per hour of caretaking - £40.17. Estimated charges for three blocks on our estate for years 2017-2018 are 53,023.86 pounds. You kindly provided the breakdown of the hourly costs of caretaking which are: equipment, supervision, uniforms, telephones, IT, transportation and associated running costs, wages for caretaker, supervisor and manager, cleaning materials, admin support, office accommodation. As you are probably aware, we obtained quotes from commercial cleaning companies for the same amount of services currently provided by Lewisham Homes, with one caretaker cleaning our three blocks only (more weekly hours per block) and providing service 52 weeks a year, not 44 weeks as currently provided by Lewisham Homes. The quotes came as 30 percent cheaper from both commercial companies. It raised further questions as to why Lewisham Homes, a not-for-profit organisation, charges so high prices that affect not only leaseholders, but council funds your company source the money from. Therefore please provide a comprehensive breakdown of how £53,023.86 pounds distributed between equipment, supervision, uniforms, telephones, IT, transportation and associated running costs, wages for caretaker, supervisor and manager, cleaning materials, admin support, office accommodation. Once the breakdown is provided by yourself, I will be requesting to see every single invoice, receipt, etc. that supports the breakdown of £53,023.86 for further assessments.
You answered: please email our Environmental services team for additional information on the caretaking.
My response: Victoria, this is not acceptable, you department issues bills to leaseholders therefore your department is responsible to provide answers. I expect an answer from your department about the catetaking charges. I would also like to see invoices that match the charged amount please with full and detailed description of how £53,000 are spent.
I asked: Window repairs: job # 4445412 on 22/06/2016 – erect scaffold and renew window frame to bedroom of flat number 17 and the job # 4508107 on 25/01/2017 – measure up balcony door for renewal flat number 33. On what ground do you charge leaseholders for repairs carried out in other, not belonging to leaseholders flats, please? The lease (the tenth schedule, part one, the service charges, contribution formula, repairs and maintenance section) clearly states that leaseholders contribute to the repairs of their own leasehold properties and common parts only. Windows, as doors, as any other parts of each separate flat are not common parts, they are not shared areas. Refund due to leaseholders for the wrong billing, please.
You said: our repairs team have confirmed that the repairs numbers 4445412 and 4508107 are all logged as communal repairs.
These repairs were in relation to the window frame and balcony door in the communal areas which forms part of the fabric and structure of your building which are chargeable, in accordance to the terms set in your lease agreement. The description was for the purpose of identifying the areas the repairs was needed.
My response: Victoria, the jobs say FLAT 17 and FLAT 33 - their windows inside the flats are not communal windows. They are classed as reserved property but not communal shared - the tenth schedule, section 5, maintainance and repairs; definition of the common parts - “which are used in common with the lessees or occupiers” - the third schedule. I dont use windows in flat 17 and flat 33! Do you guys know the building at all? The jobs done inside the flats, my lease says that i can only be charged for repairs of communal areas, areas that used in common. PLEASE PROVIDE THE EVIDENCE - THE CLAUSE in MY LEASE that shows I am legaly responsible to pay for windows in other tenants flats or you remove the charges if there is no such evidence.
I asked: Kitchen sinks blockages:
job #4433137 on 06/05/2016 – jetters to clear blocked stack affecting kitchen flat 23
job # 4485545 on 4/11/2016 – clear stack affecting utilities to flat 35 causing blockages
job # 4485545 on 4/11/2016 – clear blocked stack affecting flat 35 sink
Can you provide details of where exactly all three blockages were, please?
Your response: The stack is within the structure of the building which gets blocked up from time to time. Our repairs team confirmed that this is not necessarily caused by the tenants detailed within the repairs request.
My response: if the communal stack is blocked, it will affect number of flats, not one flat. Can you please provide the evidence of where exactly the blockages were, i would like to see the documentation of those jobs please.
We have already seen the number jobs that have been crossed of the bill because they were billed incorrectly. I have trusted your department but it seems the department is a complete mess and bills leaseholders for something they dont suppose to pay! And if I did not check and query, you will take my money like you did in the past! That is ILLIGAL and will be taken further not only to Tribunal, but to the high ranking people in Lewisham Council and Central Government, and even the Police, if your department does not strat perform professionally and correctly.
Having said all above, here is my requests:
- i am expecting clarifications of my queries above and removal of incorrect charges
- i would like to examine ALL invoices, documentation, supporting evidence of ALL jobs and services billed in Service Charge summary and its breakdown for 2016-2017 please. Please let me know the day I can attend your office to inspect all supporting documents.
LEWISHAM HOMES: LEASEHOLDERS FLEECED IN DECENT HOMES SCANDAL
Wow, interesting reading. As a Lewisham leaseholder who is currently paying yet another large major works bill for shoddy and disorganised works carried out by Breyer and also informed my Lewisham homes I had to buy a new front door due to fire regulations, which now after reading this I did not have to do makes me so angry. It also explains why service charges have risen so much over the years despite the fact my block is lucky if a caretaker attends once a week now and is rarely cleaned. I wonder if the ‘profit’ made from fleecing leaseholders will be returned? I think not!!!
We are joining forces and would welcome leaseholders who are serviced by LH to come forward. It seems a certain pattern - crap works, crap services, massive bills, charging for smth that is not provided, charging for smth that should not be, coming up so far from leaseholders from different areas. It is very alarming and needs definitely investigating.
My email: email@example.com
feel free to write.
Thank you for your email to Andrew Potter on behalf of Standlake Point leaseholders. I head the planned delivery team, responsible for managing major works contracts and have been asked to respond.
You raised concerns for:-
• Estimate and schedule of works recently received by leaseholders
I have reviewed the estimate and schedule of works and I am happy to provide further clarification.
The project team were keen to engage with tenants and leaseholders on the Bampton Estate to obtain your views of the proposed works and identify local priorities. The intention was to remove the contingency sums from the estimate once a high level inspection took place and replace them with quantified works and costs. Any variations would have been shared with you for comment, prior to work starting. I am sorry if you feel this was not communicated effectively.
Our contractor, Breyer Group, have only recently submitted a planning application for the work to your block and have not been instructed to start work.
Having considered leaseholders comments and observations, I have requested the estimate and schedule of works be re-issued, once work identified from ground level is quantified and existing scheduled items are checked.
The new estimate will include a building contingency sum for any unforeseen work.
Works will not be instructed until the new estimate has been issued and leaseholders observations have been considered and responded to.
A letter will be sent to all leaseholders explaining the notice of estimate will be re-issued
• Capabilities of Karen Sweeney
Following the meeting held on 24 November and 5 February, our assistant contract manager, Karen Sweeney, escalated the concerns raised by leaseholders, which have been considered along with your email.
Our major works programme is being delivered under a design and build contract, Breyer Group have design responsibility and our client representative, Ridge, review and approve works schedules, prior to Lewisham Homes instructing the work.
Karen is an assistant contract manager with a number of years’ experience of our major works programme. Karen is very customer focused and looks after site progress and our residents experience. Karen reports to contract manager, David Pritchard who can be contacted via email XXX should you have any specific concerns.
• Audio recording refused
Following the event held on 24 November, Karen referred the request to make an audio recording of the site visit on 5 February to our head of communications, Gavin Jones. Gavin confirmed you could make written notes of the visit and share these with other residents but did not believe it was appropriate to video or make audio recordings of our staff. As you will appreciate, making recordings can be quite intimidating and we believed it unnecessary.
• Meeting request
A further meeting with leaseholders will be arranged once the revised estimate has been issued. I will make sure the correct people are present to answer questions relating to the specification, delivery of work, costs and repayment options
I hope this meeting will help instil more confidence in the work proposed to your block
Head of Planned Delivery
This is my communications with Gavin (p.s. still dont have evidence from LH showing we wanted to film the staff. Nice words manipulations)
Good morning Gavin,
I received your email but i dont think you sent your email to the correct leaseholder. I was not the one who were planning to film but I am the one who is suprised and puzzled by the ‘panic’ from Lewisham Homes regarding filming.
However, as the email addressed to myself I will respond as I was the one requested this meeting in the first place.
First of all, I sent an email to all attendees yesterday requesting no video or audio recording at the meeting coming. I will be taking notes and there will be enough leaseholders to witness and verify their correctness.
Second of all, as I witnessed the initial email from the leaseholder to Major Works team about filming, I dont see any expressed intentions to film the staff that you are referring to. The filming was intended for the areas and points in questions. Therefore please show me quotes from the emails that express intentions to film the staff, till then I will take your email as incorrect representation of what has been communicated .
Third of all, the meeting on the 5th of February has been requested, and consequently arranged, due to:
- extortionate amount of public money and leaseholders money Lewisham Homes are planning to spend on improvements in Standlake block that leaseholders would like to see the proof of.
- unclear, contradictive and not making sense responses from Major Works department on selected jobs in question.
- based on the responses from Major Works team there were evidently no one from Lewisham Homes major works team attended the site to confirm the validity of the works survey that had been carried out by the independent surveyor (during questioning the works by leaseholders, it has been brought to Lewisham Homes attention that there were works that we should not be billed for, there were works on the list that are not required in the block, there were works that have been done in the past that will be done again - all of that resulting in public funds and leaseholders billed twice, overbilled, charged for smth that should not be charged)
The meeting requested is to be able to obtain satisfactory answers from Lewisham Homes as there are multiple grounds for the doubt of Lewisham Homes competence, professionalism, correctness of information recieved from Lewisham Homes. It is in both, leaseholders and Lewisham Homes, interests to meet and discuss the works on the list and works in questions to reach mutual understanding. I hope Lewisham Himes has no objection to that?
Dear Councillor Hall,
My name is Kat and I am writing this email in the support of Mr XXX. I am a leaseholder as he is and Lewisham Homes is a managing agent of the block where I have my flat. Lewisham Homes is currently under investigation being carried out by some leaseholders in our bock since April 2017 including myself. Once the investigation is over, I will be seeking an opportunity to present our findings to Lewisham Councillors. The subject of our investigations is poor block and estate management, very strange financial activities that affect leaseholders budgets and public funds. As an example:
Lewisham Homes claims over £53,000 for caretaking services for three tower blocks. The service consist of 10 hrs per week per block cleaning (30 hrs per three blocks per week), 44 weeks of cleaning services out of 52 where 8 weeks reserved for staff sickness and holidays.
The recent major works estimate was issued by Lewisham Homes to leaseholders of our estate where the estimated bill for one leaseholder came to £25,000. We invited Lewisham Homes representatives together with its contractors and surveyor to come to our block and show us the works on the list and some works on the list did not exist or could not be pointed out be Lewisham Homes representatives or its surveyor. The estimate was actually a guesstimate. I believe if such guesstimate is presented to me by a private contractor, I would involve the police to have such company investigated and criminally prosecuted. I am currently enquiring the possibility of such actions towards Lewisham Homes.
I would like to stress that Mr XXX is not the only victim of Lewisham Homes strange management and financial activities. Bampton leaseholders are also suspicious about management and financial activities carried out by Lewisham Homes and if Mr XXX goes ahead with legal actions against Lewisham Council, he will certainly be supported by us, leaseholders from Bampton estate.
I will be in touch once our investigation is over so I can present a report with supporting information.
Councillor Hall has just replied. Fantastic. With actions and recommendations that I will follow.
Dear Councillor Egan,
My name is Kat and I am a leaseholder of a flat on Bampton Estate, SE23-2XB.
I have recently contacted Councillor Alan Hall in the support of Mr XXX who happened to be in dispute with Lewisham Homes to the point that the matter has been escalated to yourself and Councillor. Mr Hall kindly replied to my email and advised to alert the Cabinet member for Housing as well. As I mentioned in the email to Mr Hall, Mr XXX is not the only victim of Lewisham Homes’ strange management and financial activities. Leaseholders from Standlake Point on Bampton Estate have been investigating Lewisham Homes on various matters since April 2017. The investigation is ongoing and once it is completed I will be preparing a report which I will be seeking to deliver to Lewisham Councillors and Cabinet Members. It will be a multiple pages report with a lot of evidence and communications.
I would like to highlight 2 issues out of many that show the seriousness of leaseholders concerns on our estate and in our block:
Lewisham Homes claims over £53,000 for caretaking services for three tower blocks. The service consists of 10 hrs per week per block cleaning (30 hrs per three blocks per week), 44 weeks of cleaning services out of 52 where 8 weeks reserved for staff sickness and holidays. (Please see attachments). I still have not received an explanation on how they came to this amount, Lewisham Homes skillfully avoid answers, but i must say I will not rest until I see all invoices that justify these £53,000. The quality of services is another issue which will form a part of my report as well.
The recent major works estimate was issued by Lewisham Homes to leaseholders of our estate where the estimated bill for one leaseholder came to £25,000. We invited Lewisham Homes representatives together with its contractors and surveyor to come to our block and show us the works on the list and some works on the list did not exist or could not be pointed out by Lewisham Homes representatives or its surveyor (please see attachments) The estimate was actually a guesstimate. I believe if such guesstimate is presented to me by a private contractor, I would involve the police to have such company investigated and criminally prosecuted. I am currently enquiring the possibility of such actions towards Lewisham Homes. It needs mentioning that we have recently received communications from Lewisham Homes that the estimate will be reissued (please see attachments), I hope Lewisham Homes understood consequences of issuing guesstimates which in fact is quite shocking and illegal.
Concluding my email, I would also like to make a small comment on one sentence addressed by XXX to Mr XXX (the reply was Cc to me). XXX said: "We still think these are essential for both the protection of residents’ safety and to comply with fire safety law…This is an area we take very seriously, and will take legal action if required.’’
Just to show how ‘residents’ safety and ‘comply with fire law’ Lewisham Homes take “very seriously”:
From the evidence that will be a part of my report:
Standlake Point, Bampton Estate
Photos taken on 17/04/2016, 22/06/2016, 31/08/2016, 31/10/2016, 8/11/2016, 13/11/2016, 16/11/2016, 21/11/2016, 23/11/2016, 28/11/2016, 03/12/2016, 06/12/2016, 12/12/2016, 22/01/2017 (the dates under each photo is in reverse order): photos show that the front of the building is a dumping ground for months and months, creating fire hazard with cigarette buds landing next to the dumped items; the picture of wood boards used to patch the canopy ceiling that costed over £120 when the real price with materials, labor and VAT is about £70
I think legal actions are definitely required, please forgive me,…against Lewisham Homes. And as I mentioned to Mr Hall, if Mr XXX decides to go ahead with legal actions, he will certainly have support from Bampton leaseholders. We have enough evidence to show Lewisham Homes strange management and financial activities which Mr XXX is trying to bring to the attention of all of us. I hope it will never reach this point and all troubles will be resolved amicably.
I will be writing again when I am ready to present my report. I also hope that Mr XXX will receive support from councillors and resolution of his problems with Lewisham Homes.
Just an UPD with our service charges claims. So far to be returned to Standlake leaseholders (all these charges were billed in error, we should not be billed for. But if we did not check, we would have paid for them) :
1) job #4318269 / 06/03/2015 – rebuild wall in garage area - £715.66 block cost
2) job # 4457545 / 28/07/2016 – fit new lock case and cylinder to caretakers - £224.25 block cost
3) job # 4481137 / 19/10/2016 – jetters to clear caretakers toilet - £165.52 block cost
4) job # 4434639 / 11/05/2016 – flat 19 reports faulty entry phone system - £74.56 block cost
5) job # 4508107 / 25/01/2017 – measure up balcony door flat 33 - £41.00 block cost
Total for above: £1220.99 per block
£30.52 per leaseholder
6) caretaking service adjustment for year 2015/16/17/18 - £106.21 refund to each leaseholder
Total: £136.73 refund due to each leaseholder in Standlake block.
It will be another battle to get this money back. Got service charge bill for 2018-1019, no adjustment showing.
IF YOU ARE A LEASEHOLDER - ASK YOUR MANAGING AGENT FOR A BREAKFOWN OF SERVICE CHARGES SUMMARY. It shows what services/products you are billed for. CHECK YOUR LEASE, to see if the charges are or are not in breach of the lease.
We met Duwayne Brooks today. The only election candidate who invited us to talk about our leasehold troubles. I wont go into much deatails of our meeting but he had some picture already about how leaseholders are fleeced in Lewisham. He kinda confirmed our fears and guesses in terms of what is going on in the Council and managing agents when it comes to contracts, money, dealing with issues, etc. We are not the first ones to stand up against this whole leasehold (and public funds) fleecing machine, probably won’t be the last. However, i liked his suggestions in terms what he would do if he happens to win. And i think he drew targets I will be aiming to achieve as an outcome of our saga . His suggestions are:
disclosure of all contracts and subcontracts of the managing agents, no more secrecy due to the commercial nature
Leaseholders protection department in the Council that can deal with issues without bias
independent and transparent audit of the managing agents with full disclosure of audit outcomes.
To me, it seems like realistic ways to put things right as all this managing agents business fleeces not only leaseholders but public funds too.
Duwayne said if anyone wants to get in touch with him to talk about leasehold issues, he will be happy to meet and talk. His contact number 07999821441.
To: the head of the leasehold department, Lewisham Homes
Cc. complaint department, Lewisham Homes
Dear sir, madam,
My name is Kat. I am a leaseholder of flat XXX in Standlake Point, Windrush Lane, Forest Hill, SE23-2XB. I have recently received the service charge bill for 2018/19.
The following refunds are due to leaseholders of Standlake Block, SE23-2XB that were agreed by Lewisham Homes staff due to incorrect billing/missing services:
job #4318269 / 06/03/2015 – rebuild wall in garage area - £715.66 block cost - refund due to leaseholders, ref. letter from Victoria Akiwowo on 2/10/2017 ref. 032257/VA
job # 4457545 / 28/07/2016 – fit new lock case and cylinder to caretakers - £224.25 block cost - refund due to leaseholders, ref. letter from Victoria Akiwowo/ ref. 032257/VA on 7/11/2017
job # 4481137 / 19/10/2016 – jetters to clear caretakers toilet - £165.52 block cost - refund due to leaseholders, ref. letter from Victoria Akiwowo/ ref. 032257/VA on 7/11/2017
job # 4434639 / 11/05/2016 – flat 19 reports faulty entry phone system - £74.56 block cost - refund due to leaseholders, ref. email from Victoria Akiwowo on 12/01/2018
job # 4508107 / 25/01/2017 – measure up balcony door flat 33 - £41.00 block cost - refund due to leaseholders, ref. email from Victoria Joseph on 7/03/2018
Total refund for above: £1220.99 per block
£30.52 per leaseholder
- caretaking service adjustment for year 2015/16/17/18 - £106.21 refund due to each leaseholder - ref. email from Emma Donnelly on 15/03/2018
Total: £136.73 refund due to each leaseholder in Standlake block.
However the refund adjustmens are not reflected in my bill. Could you please explain why? I expect the above amount to be deducted from the service charge total for 2018/19. Can you please urgently arrange to resend the service charge bill for the correct amount so I can arranged my payments.
Please note, I will be escalating this matter further if the correct bill is not issued withing 7 working days.
I must mention that what I and other leaseholders in our block have been experiencing for the past year is absolutely disgusting. I have been already in touch with Damien Egan and reported to him few out of many issues we encountered with your organisation. My next step will be meeting him and discussing our troubles in person. I will inform you formally when that happens.
Sent on 9th April
Dear complaint department,
I would like to place a complaint about your leasehold department and the head of the leasehold department.
Two weeks ago I sent an email for the attention of the head of the leasehold department regarding missing service charge adjustments which were due to leaseholders of Standlake Block, SE23-2XB. Please see attached. I have received no response, neither acknowledgement of the receipt of my email.
Leaseholders of Standlake Block were charged for missing services and works that they did not have to pay. We were billed incorrectly. The leasehold department staff confirmed errors and promised to remove charges/ return money for missing services. However the refunds are not reflected in our service charge bill for 2018/19. I asked the head of the leasehold department to explain why it had not been done and re-issue the correct bill reflecting the adjustments so i, and other leaseholders, can arrange payments. But I received no communications from the homeownership team. I have no choice but to escalate this matter further to yourself. Can you please ask the head of the leasehold department to respond to my original email with an explanation why the adjustments are missing and re-issue the correct bill (including refunds due to us) to Standlake Point leaseholders so I and others can arrange payments.
I trust 5 working days are sufficient to respond and to put things right.
The email below was copied to Councillor Damien Egan and Councillor Alan Hall, sent today:
Dear Jana, thank you for your reply.
I would like to clarify that my email to the head of the leasehold department was not an enquiry but a complaint.
The department charged Standlake leaseholders for works/services which were missed or we did not suppose to pay. Then, after us questioning the charges, the errors were admitted and promised to be removed. Having enough time to compose the correct service charge bill for 2018/19, the department still issues it with errors. Hoping that leaseholders will not notice? As with the current major works estimate that had works that did not exist or overly estimated. Hoping leaseholders will not notice as well?
Jana, i think your organisation does not realise the seriousness of the issues we have been bringing to the attention of Lewisham Homes staff for the past year. I have your leaseholders from other areas in Lewisham contacting me with the same problems as we have been having in Standlake Block which only points out to their consistency across the Bourough and therefore its deliberate nature.
As I may appreciate the full response before 13th April, i am expecting for the correct bill, reflecting the refunds to Standlake block leaseholders, to be received by us by 16th April. If we dont, I will escalate this matter further down the dispute line.
Sent today to complaint depart:
Dear Jana, i hope you are well.
I have not received the correct service charge bill reflecting the refunds that are due to Standlake leaseholders, neither the response from the head of the leasehold department that I asked for. It needs to be noticed that 3 weeks have already gone in my attempt to receive the correct bill from your organisation (and 2 deadlines for response have already missed by Lewisham Homes)
Money are due back to Standlake leaseholders for missed services and incorrect charges claimed by Lewisham Homes.
I am now proceeding further with my grievance.
Can you please provide me with Lewisham Homes standard complaint procedure for Leaseholders to ensure I am giving your organisation all opportunities to resolve the greviance amicably before seeking external enforcement means.