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Weekly estate bulletin - 24 September 2021

Please find attached this weeks' estate bulletin.See More
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Christine Clifford posted a discussion

Furniture

Made.Com Sofa/Daybed - this unfolds to a low King size double bed. Good condition £50FREERetro Armchair   Bad cat damage at the back and underneath. Might suit someone with recovering skills. Of just staple the back and put a throw over it. See More
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Patricia O'Connor replied to Richard's discussion TV Signal
" Begs the question - what caused a seemingly estate wide power surge? "
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Christine Clifford replied to Richard's discussion TV Signal
"It sounds like it happened all over the estate. It was very shortlived. Our TV had no signal and our oven stopped working until be reset the clock. TV was fine next day"
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Please see this notice of cancellation of an upcoming meeting:

resident-event-flyer-cancellation-notice.pdf

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Still no news on likely costs to leaseholders at https://www.studiopartington.co.uk/glewindows.  

Is it true that Great Arthur costs were/are £40K per flat?

Iain, information about the costs should be provided by the end of March 2021.

Originally, it should have been provided by the end of September 2020 (Stage 3):

However, due to the pandemic there was a six-month delay:

You can find more information about GLE Windows here:

Many thanks for the update.

Is it true that Great Arthur costs were/are £40K per flat?

The total cost of new windows for Great Arthur House was £4,742,567.

The approximate cost per flat is around £87,815.

A breakdown of works and costs are attached: 

Great Arthur House - Summary of Final Works Costs.pdf

OMG- is that £87,815  billed to Leaseholders with 3 years to pay?

.....and an interesting 

TOTALS: FINAL ACCOUNT of exactly...£10,000,000

The City of London recognises that it can be difficult for some leaseholders to pay for the cost of major works to their property in one go. We therefore have a number of ways to support you with this.

Spreading the cost

The terms of your lease allow you to spread the cost of “major items” over a ten year period paying interest over the payment period at the standard national variable rate (currently 3.13%). A major item is any repair work carried out within the same financial year and which costs at least 2.5% of the market value of your home. This option is available to any leaseholder, regardless of whether they live at the property or not, but you must not be in arrears with your service charges or be in breach of your lease in any other way.

 

Mandatory Service Charge Loan Scheme

Leaseholders who have bought their home under Right to Buy legislation in the last ten years, and their successors, are statutorily entitled to a loan of between £2,863.00* and £38,171.00* for major works or repairs where the service charge exceeds £954.00. The loan is for up to ten years. The total service charge repairs cost to the leaseholder for the relevant year (including any estimated costs) must be more than £954.00 and you must apply for the loan within six weeks of the date of the service charge demand. Any loan offer made must be accepted within four weeks. Interest is payable at the standard national variable rate (currently 3.13%). The loan can be for any amount exceeding the first £954.00 of the service charge demand, which must be met by you. The thresholds in the regulations are adjusted by increases in the Retail Price Index for the preceding year. Revised limits are published in April each year. You must provide us with details of any existing mortgage or charge on your property. The loan is secured by way of a mortgage on your home. A statutory administrative fee of £100.00 is charged and may be added to the loan if you wish.

Interest-free periods for owner-occupiers

If you are an owner-occupier, and the property is your main home, the City can offer you an interest-free period on major works costs over £5,000. The interest-free periods are as follows:

Any amount over £72,500 will be subject to interest. At the end of the interest-free period, interest will be payable at the standard national variable rate (currently 3.13%). To qualify, you must be resident, must not have arrears, or be in breach of your lease. You must have a good credit history. The loan will be secured by a legal charge on your home, similar to a mortgage. A loan can only be made for the major works charges billed in one financial year, but you can take out a further loan in subsequent years. Interest will only be payable on the first £5000 of the initial loan – anything you add subsequently will be interest-free for 1-3 years, up to an overall total of £72,500. There is a charge for administration and legal fees for each loan. This will be a total maximum of £500 and can be added to your loan.subsequently will be interest-free for 1-3 years, up to an overall total of £72,500. There is a charge for administration and legal fees for each loan. This will be a total maximum of £500 and can be added to your loan.

Severe Hardship

If you are an owner-occupier in severe hardship, cannot repay a loan and are not able to extend your existing mortgage or get equity release on your property, then we may be able to offer further support. Please contact us on the number below.

Further information and guidance

This leaflet is simply outlining the options available, and you will need more details to help you decide what to do next. If you are interested in applying for a loan, the next step is for you to talk to a member of our Home Ownership Team. They will tell you exactly what is available to you, explain all the terms and conditions and guide you through the next steps. You can do this by phone or in person. Please contact the team on 020 7332 3013 to talk to someone or make an appointment to see us.

Important information

A service charge loan from the City may not always be the best option for you, as you may be able to get a lower rate of interest elsewhere. You should always look at the secured loan rates offered by banks or building societies before choosing to take a loan with us. You may also seek independent financial and/or legal advice before taking out a loan.

You can find more information about Leaseholder Payments here:

Paying for major repairs to your property.pdf

Wasn't the cost challenged over the active neglect of the estate being a major factor in the costs. Windows and external renovations have been talked about for 25 years.

Hi Christine,

The challenge was over the nature of the replacement as "structural" repairs. The City has lost on this three times and are currently considering taking an appeal to the Supreme Court.

I am not sure where this would apply to the maisonette blocks. We would probably need to talk to the GAH leaseholder lawyers.

They’re trying to squeeze every penny out of us

Residents in what was once England’s tallest tower block reveal impact of cladding bills saga

09 April, 2021 — By Calum Fraser

The 16-storey Great Arthur House on the Golden Lane Estate, where residents are fighting £70k repair bills.

LEASEHOLDERS in what was once England’s tallest tower block are locked in a legal battle with the City of London Corporation over cladding works.

Residents in the Grade II-listed Great Arthur House, on the Golden Lane Estate, face a bill of around £8million – more than £70,000 per flat – for the replacement of cladding and structural repair work.

And they told the Tribune that this was only the latest in a series of issues they have with the City as a landlord, and the eye-watering bill would be devastating for many.

Leaseholder Jayne O’Connel, who lives in a one-bedroom flat with her 14-year-old daughter, said: “The City has absolutely zero time for its residents, we are treated with complete disregard.

“When I think about our situation I almost cry. It’s just one problem after another.”

The 16-storey block was briefly the tallest building in the country when it was completed in 1959 as part of the post-war effort to regenerate the Barbican area after it was flattened by bombs.

It was initially all council homes but around 50 per cent of the flats in Great Arthur House have now become privately owned through “Right To Buy”.

The block, which has 120 flats, was listed by Historic England in 1997, but a report in 2002 came to some damning conclusions about the condition of the building.

The standard of construction of its aluminium framework was “poor at a significant number of locations” and no allowance had been made for “thermal movement” – when hot and cold weather causes building fabrics to expand and contract.

The block has suffered from links and over the years this caused the framework to “deform” which then led the cladding to leak and windows to become unsealed, allowing rain to enter the flats.

Regeneration work costing around £8m was completed in 2018 and it was at this point that a group of leaseholders cobbled together legal fees to contest the bill that the City had shifted on to them.

In a tribunal, the leaseholders argued that it was the landlord’s responsibility to fix the problem as the issues stem from structural faults that were inherent from the original work. A judge ruled in favour of the leaseholders. The City then took them to an Upper Tribunal which ruled against the Corporation in 2019.

City lawyers then took the case to the Court of Appeal and a ruling was published last month where a judge again rejected the Corporation’s argument.

Now, a City spokeswoman has confirmed that lawyers have applied for the case to be heard at the Supreme Court.

Dr Clive Egan, who has lived in Great Arthur House for more than two decades, said: “I think the City is probably the richest local authority in the world and yet they try to squeeze every penny they can out of their residents.

“It’s pretty shocking stuff really.”

The Golden Lane Estate sits right on the border of the City of London and Islington Council along with the Barbican. The City is extending the estate over the border into Islington with the construction of a new tower block and an academy school.

A City of London Corporation spokeswoman said: “After carefully considering the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the City of London Corporation will now apply to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal the judgment.”

http://islingtontribune.com/article/theyre-trying-to-squeeze-every-...

Thanks to Alex for:

new windows for Great Arthur House ...... The approximate cost per flat is around £87,815."

so rather amazed that only £27,112 for Window Replacement in Crescent's ESTIMATED SERVICE CHARGE AT CURRENT PRICES.  Surely Crescent has far more glass per flat than Arthur?....especially those huge top panes under the barrel vault roofs!

http://www.goldenlaneestate.org/forum/topics/50k-future-major-works...

Does anyone have links to the Courts' decisions?  Is the issue about whether the windows are 'structural'?  ...or is it about faulty initial construction before leaseholders bought the flats?  .....or something else entirely/ as well?



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