Month: November 2009

Magnolia pruned by mistake

As you may have seen, we’ve had the tree surgeons in to cutback the volume of foliage in the garden. This is partly to help the trees grow but also to let more sunglight into the garden which the humans will appreciate too.

Last week, the tree surgeons (a different contractor to the gardeners) pruned the Hornbeam as requested but also cut back the Magnolia. We’d asked them to do this in the summer, which is the time you are supposed to prune Magnolias, and specifically asked them not to do it on this visit. We’ll be watching the tree closely to see how it recovers and will seek compensation if necessary.


Notice of Intention to Carry out Works (Section 20)

As you know, we are planning to redecorate the Elgin Avenue frontage next Spring. This is the first stage of a four year plan to refurbish the whole estate.

We have consulted with flat owners at the AGM and at another meeting in July. SHW, our surveyors, have drawn up a detailed statement of works and we propose to ask a number of contractors to tender for the work.

Flat owners are welcome to make written observations in relation to the proposed works directly to kfh. This formal consultation period ends on Monday 21st December. Flat owners are invited to propose contractors from whom we could obtain an estimate. Please note that any contractor needs to be able to comply with the project particulars and be able to manage the complete statement of works. These documents are available on the download page.

Summary of October Board Meeting



A professional landlord, owner of four flats, is in arrears. Following letters from our solicitors he has made proposals to clear the debt by the end of the quarter. It was agreed that, should any payment be missed, formal action for recovery would begin.  

Water mains 

The contractor tasked with drawing schematics of each flat to assist with the changeover has returned 33 drawings although a number contain errors. It was agreed that the work fell short of what was necessary to give flat owners the required information to allow them to brief their own contractors.

It was agreed that kfh would revert to Morrish & Co (the original engineers who designed the system) for certain additional information. Then, detailed FAQ’s could be sent to flat owners which would give them the outline of what was entailed.  


Tree Surgeons have been instructed to prune the trees according to the requirements of Westminster Council including ensuring that the magnolia tree was attended to by the end of September at the latest.  Unfortunately they have let us down and did not attend but a new date was set for late October to start the rest of the pruning and to remove two of the cherry trees. The Magnolia will be pruned next year.

The garden contractors have been asked to take away the old cuttings and not to leave them on display in the garden.Daron has been asked to keep a closer eye on the gardeners particularly relating to shrub cutting to ensure that shrubs don’t become too overgrown.

A contractor has been asked to remove the old lighting in the garden.   

A sample of the proposed lights for the garden was discussed, and it was agreed to go ahead with the quotation as previously agreed. The board agreed to include power points to be put into the system so that additional lighting or tools could be plugged in at a later date. The new garden lights will be operated on a timer.

General maintenance

Daron has completed painting the main entrance doors.  A quotation to paint the frames is expected shortly.  Tony Bendetti is quoting to paint the white frames.

A light fitting has broken outside of the main entrance door to one of the blocks on Grantully Road.  DB Electrical is trying to source a replacement. 

The water tanks were cleaned and chlorinated in September.

Individual flats

One flat owner has submitted plans to alter the layout of the flat so that a kitchen would be directly above a bedroom in the flat below. The board has a policy of encouraging flat owners to upgrade their properties but knows (often from personal experience) the annoyance caused if hard kitchen flooring is placed above living areas. With regret, permission was therefore refused. 

We have also noticed recently that we have not received Notices of Transfer following sales of some of the flats.  This has come to light in particular with two flats for which we still have not received Notice.  We would like to remind new flat owners to chase their solicitors to ensure that the necessary paperwork is done. Otherwise, there can be significant delay some years later when flat owners wish to sell.

External Refurbishment

SHW, the surveyors engaged to deliver the refurbishment of the estate, attended the meeting to discuss the detail of their specification of work. The first phase of the work will be the Elgin Avenue frontage. 

The surveyors answered a number of detailed questions and it was agreed to increase the penalty for late finishing to £1000 per week. In addition to the works included in the maintenance plan which we circulated earlier this year, it was also agreed to obtain prices to clean down all of the brickwork (not just that which his obviously decayed) and to chemically clean off the all the paintwork on the external window prior to repainting. 

Once the tender is prepared, a section 20 notice will be issued to flat owners which will allow them to nominate contractors. Once tenders have been received, the board will evaluate them with advice from SHW, agree the exact statement of works and choose a contractor. There will be another consultation with flat owners at this point and prior to signing the contract.

We expect to begin the work in the spring of 2010.

















































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