We have re-tendered the gas contract and have accepted Southern Electric at 1.966 p/kWh for a one year contract commencing 1st November 2007. This represents are unit price reduction of 23%. The annual gas bill, of course, depends on both the price we pay and the volume we use. Let’s hope for a mild Winter.
The 2007/8 budget was agreed and has been the subject of a separate communication with flat owners. It was decided to hold a special flat owners’ meeting to discuss the budget.
We have received financial advice concerning the renegotiation of the lease for the caretaker’s flat. We will be considering the matter during the course of this financial year. No action can or will be taken without consultation with the flat owners.
We have received a revised valuation report concerning lease extensions. The board agreed to bring forward plans to offer these to the flat owners.
Following a detailed inspection by one of the directors, there were concerns that not all snagging items had been concluded. In order to resolve matters it was agreed to speak to Manilva to get a long stop date when all items would be concluded and to agree a further retention.
The second consultation on the mains water concluded on 7 September. One flat owner asked for assurances that there would be no noise nuisance from the proposed pump installation since the pumps proposed by the preferred contractor differed from those specified. We are working with the consulting engineers and the contractor to satisfy the flat owner concerns.
- Stack pipes – it was agreed to proceed with the cleaning of the Biddulph Road pipes outside Block 6 elevation
- Water tanks – the tanks have been checked, cleaned and chlorinated satisfactorily
- Asbestos – the works to conclude the removal of asbestos from the bike store were concluded on 23 August. One flat owner was obliged to move out of their flat for the duration of the works and it was agreed that Ashworth Mansions should reimburse legitimate out of pocket expenses. We are in ongoing discussions with Freshwater regarding recouping funds for asbestos removal to this area
- Trees – the plane trees on the Elgin Avenue side will be pollarded w/c 5 November. This work was postponed from the Spring due to insufficient funds
- Garden lighting – it was agreed to hold a demonstration of garden lighting options in November
- Pest control – it was agreed to upgrade the netting outside Flat 6 and to fit chicken wire to all 50 high-level rain water hoppers
Central heating and hot water
We have agreed settlement with the previous contractor and have engaged Heatserve to maintain the system. The fuel supplier, Data Energy Management, has agreed to rebate us £1,135.40 following over-charging. The fuel contract expires on 31 October and will be retendered.
Health and Safety
The estate has been inspected for risk and fire safety. The report concluded that there were no urgent issues requiring attention. However, there were some minor ones and the managing agents were asked to bring forward an action plan to the next meeting. Residents are strictly forbidden from entering the roof spaces and it was agreed to circulate a safety document concerning the use of loft ladders.
- One flat is suspected of having carried out unauthorised building work which may be causing some cracking in the flat beneath. The flat was inspected by our consulting engineers in July and it was agreed that his recommendations should be enforced.
- We are still awaiting a second competitive estimate for damp proofing in one ground floor flat.
- One flat owner bought a lease to part of the communal space in 2002 and incorporated it into his flat. The deed of variation and service charges due, dating back to 2002 were never finalised by the previous agents. The flat owner has agreed to pay all service charges owing, once the paperwork is finalised.
- One flat has a cistern in the roof space. This alternation was not finalised by the previous owner nor managing agents in 1999. Ashworth Mansions operates a strict policy of not permitting encroachment into the lofts. However, given the works were carried out be the previous owner, it was agreed to grant a personal license in this case. This means that the works can remain in place but will need to be removed if the flat is sold.
- Another flat was granted a license to alter and the flat owner has deposited of £1000 against damage.
- In one flat, an application is being considered for a change to a bathroom layout and removal of a small wall.
- We received a letter of complaint from two flats about the alleged consequences of building work in third flat. After considerable discussion, it was agreed that this was not a matter for the landlord and that this should be communicated to the complainants.
- The managing agents provided responses to three specific issues raised in the recent Flat Owners’ survey concerning individual flats.
- It was agreed to settle a claim by one flat owner for £540 following a long-standing dispute dating back to the major works in 2001/2.
Flat owners have the opportunity to discuss the Ashworth Mansions budget for 2007/8 on Monday 8 October at 20.00 in the Garden Room. This will be an informal meeting with Devika Malik who is the director leading on financial matters.
We will pollard our plane trees in the week commencing 5 November. These trees are those situated behind our retaining wall on the Elgin Avenue side.
As you may have noticed, the central heating is not all it should be. The new pressurisation pump unit which did so much to improve the heating system following its installation in February has developed an intermittent fault. It is not always providing adequate pressure to maintain heat in all the flats. The unit is still under guarantee and the managing agents are organising the necessary repair work.