GerryMcLean

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  • in reply to: Council costs dispute #4182
    GerryMcLean
    Participant

    Roger Hardwicke at Brethertons has run a successful claim for leaseholders in the Brunswick Centre – he knows his onions, especially in relation to the technicalities of how the council has to consult, answer queries etc.. He’s here: http://www.brethertons.co.uk/site/people/profile/rogerhardwick – I don’t know when he had that picture taken though, it’s not recent. He’s not Camden based, but I don’t think that makes a difference.

    in reply to: Fire doors (Updating old glass front doors) #4180
    GerryMcLean
    Participant

    Whether or not your front door needs to have any fire resistance will depend on a few factors:
    1. If the common parts are enclosed, you will almost certainly need some fire rating, both to protect your flat from fire outside and to protect others’ escape route from a fire in your flat.
    2. If the common parts are external, then you probably don’t need any fire rating to the front door unless the deck/balcony/whatever outside are someone’s only means of escape. If this is the case, then any windows facing onto the common parts would also need to be fire rated.
    If you call Camden building control you might be able to get some advice – these days they are often too busy to take calls unless one has paid an application fee, but you may get lucky.

    in reply to: Better Homes Estimate Added to Service Charge Account #4171
    GerryMcLean
    Participant

    I have been a leaseholder in Camden for more than fifteen years. When I first bought, Capital Services (or the equivalent then) was reasonably responsive and you could trust what they said, even if you disagreed with it. In the last eight years however, CS has become unreliable and or uncommunicative. On more than one occasion I have been given assurances by CS staff, in front of witnesses, that it then reneged on. On other occasions it has claimed that work has been inspected and completed satisfactorily when it has either not been done, or has patently failed. Most often however, it simply fails to respond to queries. These problems may be related to the well publicised scandals involving CS staff taking bribes to certify work that had not actually been done; the CNJ has been reporting this issue: see http://www.camdennewjournal.com/camdenhousingfraud and http://www.camdennewjournal.com/fraudprobe
    I would recommend that you either a. ask a councillor to raise the query for you, or b. copy in your councillor to any correspondence.

    in reply to: Insurance #4151
    GerryMcLean
    Participant

    Following a Freedom of Information request, I have received information from Camden on the sum insured for other estates. I already knew that flats in the Brunswick Centre were insured for an average of £450,000 each (that’s claimed to be the rebuilding cost, bot the sale value). I have now been told that:
    1. Flats in the Rowley Way estate are insured for an average of £9,164 per flat;
    2. Flats in the Whittington Estate are insured for an average of £7,065 per flat; and
    3. Properties in the Maiden Lane estate are insured for an average of £3,572 each.
    These figures are clearly absurd, and presumably wrong. If they’re not wrong, then very many of Camden’s leasehold properties are massively under-insured.
    Our leases generally give us the right to a copy of the insurance documents for our properties. This would normally include a schedule of all of the properties covered. Camden however is unwilling to provide me with a copy of this schedule. Does anyone else have a copy? It doesn’t need to be this years’s version – any from the last ten years or so would be enough to work with.

    in reply to: Installation of the HIU #4144
    GerryMcLean
    Participant

    You could try to have the internal works done separately, but it may not be worth the trouble. I live in the Brunswick Centre and our heating/hot water system was replaced in 2009. The internal work wasn’t done to a great standard, but it was all right. The problem was in the main boilers or the distribution system (we have never worked out which, and Camden has not volunteered the information even when the issue was before the LVT). The system has broken down hundreds of times (literally) since installation, although not every breakdown affected every flat, and only on a couple of occasions was the problem something inside our flat.

    Gerry

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