Better Homes estimate

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  • #6044
    JeanH
    Participant

    I have just found an estimate under the ‘My Resident Account’ section in my Camden Account showing a programme of works under the External Better Homes programme and planned for 2022/23. The work planned is estimated at £34,000 per flat and includes items such as £66,000 for management fees and £64,000 for scaffolding. This is a huge amount of money for the leaseholders in the block and impossible for some. The costs in some areas look totally disproportionate. Has anyone else come up against this? What are our options? Can we get other quotes, reduce the scope of the work, get some visibility on the breakdown and challenge it?

    #6048
    WestOneTango
    Participant

    The item you refer to is a heads-up for planned maintenance work which is in the pipeline. The figures are only best estimates for a scope of works based on a stock condition survey and may go up or down.

    Camden has entered into long term agreements (Contract 19-004: years 2020 to 2024) with shortlisted contractors to deliver its Better Homes programme and other major works. The selected contractors took part in a competitive tender process and submitted the most economically advantageous tenders.

    The framework agreement consists of 7 specialisms – to cater for the various types of work – and sets out the terms, particularly relating to price and quality, under which individual contracts (call-offs) can be awarded following mini-competitions.

    A mini-competition process for each package of work to be called off under the framework agreement invites the contractors to submit their best price for that package. Camden says this price will not exceed, and will potentially improve upon, the prices in the framework agreement.

    Before a contractor is appointed, Camden is legally required to consult leaseholders. They will send you a Schedule 3 notice which will describe the work package and give you the opportunity to comment on the proposed works (but not to nominate a contractor).

    Camden’s External Better Homes Programme schedule of planned works may be found here:
    https://opendata.camden.gov.uk/dataset/External-Better-Homes-Programme/yas3-u9wc

    #6049
    melsumar
    Participant

    Hi – this is in response to Jean H. We are in the middle of Better Homes contract at Lissenden Estate and so have some experience! Do you have a Recognised Tenants Association? We set one up for the leaseholders in our block, (other blocks on the Lissenden Estate have done the same, and we keep in touch) in order to maintain maximum scrutiny on the works and the charges. If you don’t already, then I suggest setting one up is a good first move. Contact Camden Leaseholder Services for how to go about it. In our experience it is very important for leaseholders to get together and keep a close eye on progress, quality, costs. If you have an RTA it makes it easier to access the information you need. The other useful source of advice is the https://www.lease-advice.org
    It is also worth contacting Camden about payment options. While that point is a long way down the line it might be good to get some info.

    #6055
    JeanH
    Participant

    Thanks for the info. We have a TRA so will do what we can. It has helped a bit with getting information but we have found it usually takes a long time and multiple requests. Often it seems impossible to find who is actually accountable for something and who has the information we are asking for.

    #6056
    melsumar
    Participant

    We have similar issues. Often communication is lacking between project managers and leaseholder services/accounts. Just really important to keep records of what exactly happens with dates and photos and note when letters were received so that you can check that the legally required notice has been given etc. But you have probably found all this out. We appointed our own quantity surveyor to check the specification, prices etc. Good luck with it all. The contractor here was AD Construction Group and we had major issues re quality….. If you want you can email info@lissendengardens.co.uk. and someone should be able to refer your email to one of the people involved if you want further contact.

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