Sweeping Up Reserves

(vi) In addition to the items of cost and expenditure mentioned or referred to in sub-clause (v) of this Clause 4 there shall be included in the annual maintenance cost commencing with the year ending the thirty-first day of March One thousand nine hundred and seventy such slim as the Lessor’s managing Agents or Surveyors shall reasonably consider desirable to be retained by the Lessor by way of a Reserve Fund as reasonable provision for such of the costs expenses outgoings and other matters mentioned or referred to in sub-clause (v) of this Clause as are not of a regularly recurrent annual nature PROVIDED THAT the amount standing to the credit of such Reserve Fund and being not then appropriated to meet liabilities actually Incurred nor specifically appropriated to meet the cost of periodic expenditure on redecorating the exterior of the Buildings or the common parts or an replacement of any furniture equipment or apparatus In the common parts shall be brought Into account by way of deduction In calculating the annual maintenance cost for the year ending on the Thirty-first day of March One thousand nine hundred and twenty-four and for each successive seventh year calculated therefrom.

In other words money collected for reserves must be reviewed and refunded on the following dates:
1973, 1980, 1987, 1994, 2001, 2008, 2015

via The Lease | Sussex Heights Residents Association.

The Lease | Sussex Heights Residents Association

THE Lessee HEREBY COVENANTS with the Lessor as follows: –

To pay all costs charges and expenses (Including legal costs and fees payable to the Lessor’s Surveyor) Incurred by the Lessor In or in contemplation of any proceedings under Sections 146 and 147 of the Law of Property Act 1925 in respect of the demised premises notwithstanding forfeiture Is avoided otherwise than by relief granted by the Court and also to any all costs charges and expenses Incurred by the Lessor In relation to the preparation and service of a Schedule or dilapidations at the expiration or sooner determination of the term hereby granted (including legal costs and fees payable to the Lessor’s Surveyor).

via The Lease | Sussex Heights Residents Association.

in plain English, SHBL cannot recharge its profligate expenditure on legal advice to leaseholders except when attempting to recover leases via forfeiture, and even then must have permission to do so by a court under section 168(4) of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.



Annual General Meeting (AGM)

This year’s AGM has been scheduled for Friday the 14th of November 2014 at 8:00PM. Formal notice will be sent shortly but the Board would welcome any proposals for election of Directors at the AGM.

Textbook newspeak: the board has no interest in hearing from shareholders, least of all nominations for sane directors.

Griffith Smith Farrington Webb LLP

As you may be aware, Griffith Smith Farrington Webb lLP have been working for a long time on a service charge arrears case against one of the leaseholders. Since commencing this matter back in 2010

And after four years what progress has been made?

we are told that the solicitor in this case has received and been subjected to unacceptable abuse and bullying (including death threats)

If this wasn’t so serious it would be laughable, unfortunately it is seriously libelous.

Austin Rees

The Board has received from Austin Rees a notice of intention to terminate managing services for Sussex Heights.

Losing one servant in one month is unfortunate; to lose two smacks of a careless common denominator.

However, we are told that continually, over the past four years, staff and directors at Austin Rees have received constant harassment from a small minority of residents. This has been in form of emails, telephone calls and visits to the offices, also individuals at the firm have been personally targeted and regularly slandered on various websites and forums.

While this sounds as likely as the claimed death threats, it seems like a very peculiar way to deal with what sounds like what a managing agent is routinely required to do: answer emails, telephone calls and facilitate visits to their offices! Perhaps it’s a face saving exercise to bail out before they’re found to have collected their fees illegally in contravention of s.20ZA3 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985?

Windows Drips and cills Maintenance

The most of reported damp issues around windows have been found linked to low standard windows replacement works. The metal drips and cills were supposed to be removed during windows replacements, but in many cases it has not been done.

What about the original Critall windows? You can’t blame leaseholders for the abysmal performance of these that has been exacerbated by negligent maintainence of the cills and ill-judged application of a non porous paint the prohibits breathing.

New Secure Access System

The Board is delighted to present the new secure access system based on electronic contactless key fobs.

Why not consult with leaseholders before presenting this fait à complis?

They replace the front door keys and lock that jammed from time to time and their introduction is a step in line with many other quality blocks of Flats.

This is also known as “betterment” so we don’t expect to be charged for this in our service charge: the original locks worked fine for 45 years.

Every leaseholder can receive two keys for free and purchase up to 3 additional keys. The cost of each additional key is £10 before the 1st of January 2015 and £20 after. You can still operate the old key to open the main door, but only until Jonuary 2015. So please make sure you obtain new keys by the end of the year.

It’s unclear why the sale of keys is seen as a profit centre by this board – the previous keys were also sold with commercial margins unjustified by a paid agent.

The new key fobs are much more secure as they can be deactivated remotely when a resident moves away or a key fob is lost.

What are the privacy implications of vetting individual access this way?

There is also a proposal to install a new video entry phone system with direct connection to the porter’s desk and screens so

we hope the cost of this gimickery will not be charged to long suffering leaseholders!

Volunteer Recruitment Flyer single

Carer Support Volunteers Needed

Volunteer Recruitment Flyer single

The Carers Centre for Brighton and Hove is seeking volunteers to work directly with carers, supporting their wellbeing and helping them to achieve specific goals.

Tasks: Supporting a carer to work towards pre-defined outcomes and goals.  This could be anything from supporting them to lose weight to teaching them computer skills or going for a jog with them.  Volunteers will be matched with a carer based on the carer’s needs and the volunteer’s own skills.

Managed by: the Volunteer Co-ordinator

The hours will be variable, depending on your own availability, but can be from one hour a week.

Based: work will be undertaken within the city of Brighton and Hove.

Training will be provided

Benefits of the role:  The volunteer would gain experience of working in a voluntary organisation, knowledge of unpaid carers and services available in Brighton and Hove.

Expenses including travel will be provided, along with informal support and supervision

This role will involve working with vulnerable adults, and as such an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and references will be required

For more information on this volunteering role, please contact Daniel Eichner on 01273 746222 or email [email protected]

Poynders Court Limited v GLS Property Management Ltd [2012] UKUT 339 LC | LAW AND LEASE

it is worth repeating the definition of a QLTA, contained in s.20ZA3 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985: it is “an agreement entered into, by or on behalf of the landlord or a superior landlord for a term of more than 12 months”. The LVT’s decisionIn this case, the LVT’s view was that the agreement appeared to be a rolling contract, subject to a break clause.It determined that “taking all the elements of the contract together”, the agreement was a QLTA because it was to be for a period of greater than one year.

The landlord’s appeal was dismissed.

via Poynders Court Limited v GLS Property Management Ltd [2012] UKUT 339 LC | LAW AND LEASE.

CCTV and Security

Following some very serious harassment of our caretaker and concierge by some residents and worrying incidents late last year in which the police were involved, they advised us to discontinue transmitting the CCTV footage over communal TV-system. At that time too it was thought prudent to increase the night security temporarily, though this has now reverted to having a guard only on Friday and Saturday nights from 6PM until 6AM.

One assumes that the police don’t recommend vigilantes to deal with “worrying incidents” and that they would never attempt to interfere in the internal distribution of video signals. SHBL were asked about this 6 months ago but failed to provide any reply.

Of course there is still no explanation for why we need vigilante assistance on Friday and Saturday nights from 6PM until 6AM, hopefully whatever the threat they deal with operates on the same timetable as the board’s paranoia.

Facade Project

With the assurances that the existing Joltec covering is effective and can be over-painted this requirement is not the overriding priority. The first requirement is the windows. They have to be made watertight and we need proper specifications for future replacements. In dealing with them we have to tackle the metal trims and cills at the top and bottom of the windows many of which are rusting and, incidentally, allow ‘cold- bridging’ that encourages damp in the flats.

Community Vision | Communal Satellite Installers

No idea why we have one dish pointing at Hotbird 13 – mainly garbage – instead on Astra 19.2!
We also have a feed from Astra 28.2 for Sky & Freesat, but no EU channels!!

Community Vision was established in 1993 by the working directors to design, install and maintain communal satellite and terrestrial television systems for residents who live in blocks of flats throughout London and the South East.Today we continue to specialise in the provision of the communal television services to flats for owners, residents and Managing Agents. We work with over 682 Managing Agents and are responsible for the communal television facilities for over 5,000 properties and over 100,000 flats.

Tel: 01892722887

via Community Vision | Communal Satellite Installers London and South East | Communal and commercial satellite installers.

Grants are recommended for TV services locally.