BANSTEAD WOOD MANAGEMENT COMPANY LIMITED
Heritage Management Ltd (Managing Agents) Report 2016/2017
Introduction: Heritage Management Limited [HML] is the managing agent and Company Secretary of Banstead Wood Management Company Limited. HML took over management of the estate on 1st July 2016. This report provides a summary of issues progressed on the estate since HML’s appointment.
Finance: It appeared that historically, BWMC has always had a high volume of service charge arrears. Since HML’s appointment, both ourselves and the Board have taken a tougher attitude to non-payment of service charges. Thus, in the last financial year, it has proven necessary to take legal action against two property owners for non-payment of service charges, but this was only as a last resort with all other options exhausted. HML is pleased to report that the number of Leaseholders in significant arrears is now into single figures.
Estate progress: Within six months of managing the estate, a significant amount of work has been undertaken to rectify historical issues and ensure that the estate is managed effectively and in accordance with the Lease.
General Repairs: Since HML’s appointment, a variety of maintenance works have been organised, carried out and overseen which included (but was not limited to): various tree works were undertaken in accordance with the recommendations contained within the tree report; all entrance and fire doors were repaired/adjusted accordingly to ensure maximum security and safety on the estate; lift repairs in Elizabeth House and Rendel House; all gutters and gullies on The Art Gallery have been cleared; numerous aerial and television signal issues have been rectified; water boosters in the pump room have been serviced and repaired accordingly; removal of several wasp nests; tiles on the retaining car park walls have been repaired and made safe; various electrical repairs have been completed to both internal and external lighting and the entry phone systems – Mr John Box, resident Director, is especially thanked for purchasing all relevant light bulbs and fittings and carrying out the works in a timely fashion, which saves the estate considerable cost; periodic electrical testing was completed to the blocks being a legal requirement to ensure all lights and wiring conforms to current standards; fire alarms, emergency lighting, dry risers and smoke vents have all been tested as a legal requirement, the tennis courts have been cleaned and broken nets replaced.
Bin areas: Problems have arisen with large household items being left in the bin store, which the Council will not remove upon normal collection. A contractor is required to attend, the cost of which all residents pay for through their service charges. Owners renting out their properties need to remind new tenants of the arrangements for disposal of rubbish.
Fire risk assessment: An annual inspection is carried out of all blocks of flats and the active fire register is updated being a legal requirement. The fire regulations also require compliancy of a range of issues and residents are reminded of the following:
· It is a legal requirement for all residential flats to have active smoke alarms. Owners are requested to ensure they have smoke alarms in their flats and they are tested to ensure functionality.
· If any person occupying a flat is disabled or infirm they must advise Heritage of any special arrangements that may be required.
· The front doors to each flat must be a fire door to 30 min (FD 30S) standard with a self-closing device (NB if your door is original it will comply)
· No items whatsoever may be left in the communal hallways as they will obstruct fire exit routes and maybe a fire hazard. This is also likely to invalidate the insurance on the building in the event of a fire.
· No items can be left in the riser cupboards which contain electrical feeds and fuse boards as this can cause a fire and as such breaches fire regulations.
· No fire doors in the blocks must ever be propped open as this defeats the purpose of them being there and is in contradiction to the signs on the doors (“fire door keep closed”).
· No smoking is permitted within any internal communal areas of the Estate.
Parking: There are numerous signs around the parking areas stating that no commercial vehicles are to be parked on site overnight. This is a contravention of the Lease and in addition, could prevent emergency vehicles from accessing areas of the estate, if so required. As there are more cars than spaces, we continue to encourage residents to utilise their designated parking spaces (if applicable) other than simply using visitors’ spaces for convenience. We are actively working with the parking control company to attend daily and issue penalty charge notices to those who are in breach of the lease.
Water Heaters: Historically, individual properties have experienced issues with leaks from their Dimplex water heaters, which in turn has caused significant damage to properties below and resulted in insurance claims. Please be aware that the Leaseholder responsible for the damage will be liable for any insurance excess payable, repairs to their water heater and the larger than usual water bill as the leaking water passed through their flat. It is strongly suggested that all water heaters are serviced on an annual basis to prevent leaks. In any event, this is a legal requirement for Leaseholders who sub-let their property. When malfunctions occur, water may pass into the overflow but if there is a build-up of limescale, water will inevitably flow onto the floor and possibly into the property below.
Pets: Whilst pets are permitted on the Estate, the Lease does state that prior consent is required, which can be revoked at the discretion of the Management Company in the event of any nuisance or annoyance. We ask all Leaseholders with pets, or the intention of having a pet, to formally request permission in writing. We would also ask that dogs are kept on a lead, especially on the road and walkways.
Looking ahead: HML continues to work hard with your Board of Directors in managing the estate, making improvements where possible and seeking to get overall value for money for all services provided. HML also works closely with residents to ensure the estate is managed in line with expectations and requirements. At times this can be a difficult process given the significant size of the estate and the inevitable diversity of views expressed by property owners. HML remains as committed as ever to ensuring value for money from all external contractors and that service charge monies are properly utilised to maintain the estate in line with the terms and conditions of the lease. Any suggestions for viable and practical enhancements to the estate are always welcomed from residents who should contact HML in the first instance.