Summary of December 2007 Board Meeting

 Caretakers report

Bicycles – It was agreed KFH would write to residents asking them to claim and remove bicycles that appeared to be abandoned in the various store rooms and boiler room beneath the block. Residents will be given one month to claim them and then they will be disposed of.

Illegal parking – a motor scooter that had recently been parked at the front of the building had now been removed. It was agreed to erect 2 signs for the areas that could possibly be used for motorbikes/scooters etc.

Routine maintenance

Pigeons – the work to add chicken wire to all 50 high-level rain water hoppers is complete and will deter both pigeon nests and other blockages (see individual flat items below).  Estimates of £3K – £5K have been received to install drop netting and other pest control paraphernalia on the Elgin Avenue side of block one. It was agreed not to go ahead with more netting for the time being, as this will not solve the problem for the whole building. It was agreed to look at the situation again next spring when the pigeons are nesting, with the possibility of using a hawk to deter them.

Drains repairs – we are still awaiting response to the tender

Fire safety – following a general risk and fire assessment, the inspectors strongly recommended that the electrical intake doors be secured. This work will be carried out at a cost of £1,435 plus VAT. We have also begun testing the general electrical system.

Garden Gates – it was agreed to modify the 4 garden gates so that they can take mortice locks, the existing ones being old and unreliable.  In addition, it was agreed that the gate by the boiler house should have a lock that can be accessed by the Fire Brigade if necessary. The cost for this including 100 keys is £1,285 plus VAT.

Interior redecorations – it was noted that the final account was now paid less £1,000 still held as a retention. The manufacturers of the internal emergency lighting will meet with the electrician who installed them to try to resolve the problems.

Block one exterior – KFH will ask the structural engineers to draw up a specification of minor repairs necessary.

Block five roof – the high level coping stones have become quite worn.  A quote of £485 had been obtained to repair them. It was felt that this problem might be affecting other areas of the estate and should be dealt with as part of more comprehensive set of repairs following the forthcoming full survey of the estate.  

Company business

Following the end of the financial year, the accounts have been consolidated and a meeting with the auditor scheduled for early December.

It was agreed to write to Freshwater to see whether the caretaker’s flat would be for sale. Note that we are investigating the possibility of purchase and that no decision has been taken. In any event, we cannot proceed to purchase without consulting the flat owners.

It was agreed to hold a special board meeting to decide the way forward regarding lease extensions and the sale of shares to flat owners who do not have one

Mains water

In preparation for the installation of the break tanks and pumps, three storage vessels have been relocated within the boiler room and the necessary permissions from Freshwater (who own the lease on the boiler room) obtained.

A meeting was held 3rd October with the selected contractor (BTU Heating), the consulting engineer, project manger, managing agent and two board members. It was agreed to proceed to contract with BTU and to write to flat owners to this effect.

Central heating

Problems have been encountered after the heating system was re-commissioned after the summer drain down etc; initially with air pressure where the system had been drained down then an intermittent fault to the pressurisation/pump unit and, now recently, a possible fault with the compensator.

The equipment installed in the boiler is straightforward, uncomplicated and should be easy to maintain. The fact that the system was drained down will not help and, naturally, in very cold spells the fabric of the properties has to warm and this can take some time to be achieved.  On the basis that one or two flats may report a drop in temperature with the system, the managing agents suggested that all those on the communal heating system are written to obtain their views if the heating is reduced and or problematic. It would also be sensible to check whether any illegal alterations have been carried out to the system which may have affected the flow etc.

Individual flats

  • Works to temporarily fill cracks in one flat were authorised
  • Reports of plaster cracking in another flat are to be investigated
  • One flat has been subject to unauthorised alternations predating the acquisition of Ashworth Mansions freehold in 1991.  The owner is to be asked for a guarantee that it will deal with any problems ensuing, if necessary.
  • A license to alter various non structural items within one flat was finalised against a £1000 deposit for damages
  • One flat owner has made an application to change a bathroom layout and remove a small wall. This will be considered alongside a report from our structural engineers
  • An application to alter the layout of another flat has been made. This was agreed subject to license. Since the flat is on the ground floor, no additional nuisance would be caused
  • One flat owner has made a preliminary proposal to join two flats together. This was agreed, in principle, subject to before and after plans and a structural engineers report
  • An ex gratia payment was made to one flat owner following significant water damage from an overflowing rainwater hopper
  • One flat has reported a water leak from the flat above. The flat owners are dealing with the issue themselves
  • A top floor flat has suffered from a leak (again from a hopper). A quote for repair and re-decoration has been received.
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