Proposed works to flat from freeholder

Discussion in 'Other Trades Talk' started by Jitender, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Jitender

    Jitender Well-Known Member

    Received a letter from the council who are the freeholders for my flat, the flat is in a block of 5, with the rest of the 4 being owned by the council. I am only the leaseholder for the flat.

    The letter sates a notice for proposal works to the door entry system, and they wish to provide a 'new door entry fob control system', and include the installation for a fire switch.

    The letter states the reason necessary to carry out works:
    • improve security to block
    • Allow access to the block in an emergency.
    They say they have received competitive prices for the works and appointed a contractor for it.

    I am asked to contribute 1/5th of the work, which is about £400. Actual figure is an estimate.

    My personal view, is that the the block is safe already, there is a key operated magnetic latch at the front door, and a trades button allows access for postman etc during certain times.

    Not sure what to do. There are some tenants on the the two flats who are always getting in trouble with the police, and a lady opposite has her door kicked in regularly by the tenant, she apparently collapses then they person brakes the door down, lost count of number of times, but is costing tax payers money every time they replace the door at something like £250 a time. Will ask around other blocks to see if they are doing this for all block, and not just mine.

    I once came back from an afternoon out last year, to find glass shattered all over the floor, and the tenant said he had done it and he had just been released from prison. I later rand the council the following week to let them know that the tenant had broken the glass on the large common window, they said that they had reported someone had broken in. So tenant was making up story.

    Getting back to the reason they give for having the work done, it seems there is a fire switch located above the main common doors, don't these allow the fire brigade to access in the event of fire? so not sure why they are saying they need to fin another?

    Mind is in two places as to just pay or argue. Don't see how a fob system is going to provide better security than key system?

    Did try to sell the flat last year, but people were put off from 2x broken door, boarded up. etc. had some viewings and only one offer which was well below asking price.

    Who's want to live next to this?

  2. dobbie

    dobbie Well-Known Member

    Are they planning an entry system with a handset in each flat, where you talk to the person at the main door and press a button for the lock release.Or are they just fitting a new maglock and fob reader to the main door.

    The fireman's switch is just a dropkey to release the maglock.
  3. Jitender

    Jitender Well-Known Member

    There is already an intercom system which was probably installed when flats were built. It allows you to talk to the visitor, and there is a button to 'unlock'.

    Sometimes I just switch it off a get other people ringing my flat to let them in, they can't be bothered to use their own key.

    I'm sure i saw a fire switch above the door, with a key, but will have to look again.
  4. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Well-Known Member

    On the one hand it seems fair enough. However, if the other 4 flats are owned by the Council then the council may need to have this work done in order to be serve the tenants for who the council is responsible for their health/safety etc. In this case, I don't see why you should pay as the work does not benefit you.
  5. Jitender

    Jitender Well-Known Member

    One of negatives of living in the flat is they can ask you to contribute towards the costing of any jobs for the flat, under terms of lease. I do have a right to debate the reasons etc.

    They have split the total of the job into 5 flats. And i would pay the amount over the course of the next financial year in 'service/maintenance charges, so will be a lot higher than I pay ever quarterly.

    This is the first time they have sent out asking for money, in 6 years since owning the flat.

    Don't mind paying the £400, but don't see any benefit from it, key is working fine and there have been no break ins, except form the people who are in the building, all are alcoholics and druggies.
  6. Jitender

    Jitender Well-Known Member

    I will ask a person who lives in another block to see if they will be doing the same their, and that it isn't just my block they are picking.
  7. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Well-Known Member

    I would say you certainly have cause to challenge the reason as to why the work needs to be done and hence why you should contribute.
    Jitender likes this.
  8. dobbie

    dobbie Well-Known Member

    The council will always try and get as much as they can from the owners to save themselves money.
    Two grand if the council are telling the truth seems a lot for a key reader and maglock when all the wiring is there.
    Jord86 likes this.
  9. Jitender

    Jitender Well-Known Member

    Will need to find out a few things from them, their is a 30 day consultation period.

    What happens if the system is faulty?

    How many fobs will I be given? and cost of replacement fob?

    They say they have received competitive quotes, but could I ask to view them.

    Unfortunately I am the only leaseholder in the flat so no one else will be bothered.

    Maybe they are trying to tighten up 'safety' after the Grenfell Tower disaster.
  10. Jitender

    Jitender Well-Known Member

    Check the front and there is already a fire switch.

    The door is very tough and has 2 x magnetic locks.

    I have sent the council to give clarification as to the reasons to fir a fire switch, since there is already one plus evidence to show where any security has been breached to the flat with the current arrangement.

    After all it is my money so I have aright to know the reasoning behind it.
    Allsorts likes this.
  11. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    Also ask them for full copies of the specification they sent out and the quotes received. You need full proof that value for money is sought and that you are only being asked to contribute an appropriately apportioned amount.
    Jitender likes this.
  12. Jitender

    Jitender Well-Known Member

    This is the picture of the fire switch.


  13. Jitender

    Jitender Well-Known Member

    Ok, so I haven't heard anything back form the council, just have automated reply saying they will respond with 10 working days. Sent another a few days ago to chase up no again no response.

    The letter stated there was a 30 day consultation period, and this will end tomorrow.

    A bit annoyed as I feel they are ignoring my e-mails. Look like they will go ahead with the work and then slap me with the bill at the end. As letter mentions contractors il start work at the end of the 'consultation period'.
  14. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    Hi Jit.

    Annoying indeed, but the worst case scenario is that it costs you only £400 and you will end up with an updated security system.

    I'd keep emailing them for that response even after the 'consultation' period has passed, and after the work has been completed and they've presented you with a bill, challenge them on the basis that they failed to respond to your requests for information even tho' you contacted them well within the consult period, and that therefore you weren't given an opportunity to agree or approve their decision. Attach copies of all the emails you sent them.

    Keep this going, batting it back and forth, keeping your cool but still maintaining the unfairness of it since they failed to respond, and - finally - ask for it to be 'escalated to a formal complaint'. Man, they HATE that! It looks really bad on their records :)

    I'd lay odds that 'in this case', and 'without prejudice' and 'as a gesture of good will'... 'blah blah blah'... they drop the bill.

    By the way, is Laura dead? :(

    (Keep the pressure on the police, too - report ANY breaking of windows, graffiti etc. Keep getting on their t** and they will be more inclined to get to the root. If there are known anti-social families there, they might get moved out.)
    Jitender likes this.
  15. Jitender

    Jitender Well-Known Member

    I have spoken to someone else who lives in the other block, and she says it is her block having the upgrade as well, so think this is the whole site rather than my individual block.

    I am fairly happy to pay, but want to be informed of the decisions etc, at the minute it is like they are demanding for the payment, rather than asking peoples opinion. If they were planning on this upgrade a letter 3 months prior would have been more appropriate.

    I don't think they will respond as cut off is tomorrow.

    About the other tenants, I don't think the council will move them on, and seems they like to house all the bad people here. The lady called Laura is an alcoholic and I have heard she is in a bad state so may not be around much longer. When I rang the council about the door being kicked in and the broken window in communal parts, the operator literally put the phone down on me.
  16. Jitender

    Jitender Well-Known Member

    So I have finally had a reply from them, only after mentioning the consultation period.

    The respondent hasn't given their name, just the team.

    Will update when I hear more.
    Allsorts likes this.
  17. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    :eek: Blimey!

    Note all this stuff down.

    Mind you, I'm not sure it is the LL's responsibility for a tenant's behaviour; the tenant is responsible for themselves, and if they step out of line that's what the law is for. The LL can, of course, enforce an eviction should the tenant contravene their tenancy agreement, but that would only cause the LL in this case more hassle as they still have responsibility for housing the person.

    Of course the best solution is to move out all the white 'REAL' BRITISH trash and house responsible and grateful immigrants and refugees there instead.

    teee heeeeeee heeeeee.
  18. Jitender

    Jitender Well-Known Member

    Hi all so this is the reply from the council, what do peopl think, need somone clever like Devs.

    Please find my response to the points you raised in your earlier emails.

    You asked for evidence about the security of the block.

    While the current door entry mechanism is to standard it is reaching the end of its serviceable life. The proposed replacement is more efficient and cost effective to administer with for example, an ability to update fobs remotely providing a turn-around service for customers requiring further fobs. From experience, the ability to cancel access quickly has proved valuable at other blocks we manage and therefore identified as a standard feature for our on-going security improvement programme.

    You asked about the consultation process.

    As mentioned in our letter of 5th July this council, as landlord, has a duty under the terms of your lease to maintain the structure and exterior of the building and you, as leaseholder, are obligated to contribute the cost of maintenance. We are required to consult with our leaseholders under section 20 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 as amended by section 151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 about such maintenance.

    The Notice of proposals is part of the consultation process. We can understand that you, like ourselves want to know that you are getting a good quality product at a price that is reasonable. B******* Ltd are our procured contractor for works to door entry and fire alarm systems. They were procured using an OJEU tender process for a specified time period and were recently awarded an extension as part of the original OJEU tender. The contract was awarded on best value and quality. This proposal is classed as ‘qualifying works’ under a ‘qualifying long term agreement’ and does not require additional quotes. It is perhaps worth noting that the purchasing power of the council means that leaseholders benefit from the lower rates than would be charged should you commission the work yourself.

    You said that a fire switch is already fitted to the block.

    If our contractor finds that it is functioning fire switch we will deduct the installation cost from the final cost of the work.
  19. Jitender

    Jitender Well-Known Member

    Going to list a few questions for reply.

    I have a few queries about this:

    Firstly are 'council' only replacing the front entrance door access? (There is also a rear access door similar to the front).

    How many fobs will be issued to each flat, 1 per flat, or one per tenant etc.

    What is the cost for replacement cost, and turn around?

    Could you provide me with the quote so I can assess what will be carried out and receiving best value?

    Anyone think of anything else to ask?
  20. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    Fair enough for you to ask about all this, Jit, but it also all does seem to be 'fair enough'.

    I personally hate all this 'preferred contractor' bar locks as it undoubtedly raises the cost of such jobs. I see this at our local school whenever any major repairs or renovations need to be carried out for which the LA are responsible - the sums involved are bludy incredible.

    If the school could be given the money used to replace a floor and outside cladding, we would - literally - be able to build a new extension from scratch.


    Tbh - for 'only' £400 it is probably worth doing for the peace of mind.

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