Attendees: 14 Home owners, John Paul Maytum (JMB Chair), Andy Bates (JMB Manager), Anne Timeyin (JMB Deputy Manager), Ruth Matthews (Houising Officer), Paul Halpin, Louise Turf, Gulam Dudhia (Southwark Homeownership Unit).
Apologies: Sue Wemys.
Introductions: JPM introduced himself and thanked everyone for attending the meeting, and spoke about the JMB being in the first year of self-financing. Home owners will be informed about cost they will incur in advance to allow for budgeting. Simon Pearce has been employed by the JMB as the Resident Liaison Officer. Simon will be working on the major works programme.
AB introduced himself and spoke about the services the JMB will provide, these services will be repairs, and groundwork. AB informed the meeting that the services charges are based on the service that is provided. If home owners are not satisfied with the services they need to report this to AB.
Service charges are portioned out so that we do not charge more than Southwark Council. The JMB was able to keep the 2012 and 2013 service charge below Southwark Council’s service charge. The JMB services charges were less than Southwark Council’s in 2012 and 2013.
Major Works: AB External decoration and entry phone system are being installed on some of the JMB estates. The whole of the JMB will have security doors. The security doors are there to protect not only you, but also your neighbour.
Home owners will have to pay for their doors and it is mandatory, the cost of the security doors is about £1000. Mr Gurer “The fire safety project is exaggerated, Symington house leaseholders are being penalised due to fires that have occurred elsewhere”. AB The fire safety recommendation was from the Coroners Court and evaluations were carried out. Taller and complex blocks were targeted for works. A team of leaseholders sat with consultants and asked questions about fire safety and, how essential the works are. JPM Any block higher than 5 storeys is classed as high rise. The fire consultants have instructed us about the requirements for fire safety. Residents will be asked if they are aware of what to do in the event of a fire.
Mr Rodriguez The fire doors are not put in properly JPM In the past there were problems with the doors, but the JMB are now managing the contract so the services are have improved.
Service Charges: Mr Tiff felt that money shouldn’t be spent on plant pots, especially when leaseholders weren’t consulted about them being purchased, the money should be spent on other things.
JPM If you are not happy with something that is resident ran, you can have your say and it can be rethought, a lot of the projects are paid for via bidding. Leaseholders only pay for what is covered by their lease, so they only pay their share that is calculated by leaseholders to tenants.
District Heating: Mr Rodriguez would like to know how he can claim compensation when his district heating doesn’t work, and if he can opt out of the service. He believes it is cheaper to have individual heating rather than district heating.
AB It is not possible to opt out of this service. GD It is cheaper to heat a 3 bedroom flat via communal heating than individual heating. The charges include the gas supply, maintenance, repairs and parts to the boiler. LT Southwark Council buy gas in bulk which enables our gas to be cheaper, we always look for the best price so our communal heating works out at a better cost. Mrs Tiff had a gas increase of £500 last year. Mr Rodriguez would like a breakdown of costs. JPM asked GD how long it would take to get a breakdown of the heating charges. GD there is a problem with the system at the moment so he was not able to say.
AB Homeowners Council is available to homeowners. If you feel that your heating charges are too high, please leave your comments in the office and we will pass them to Sue Wemys.
Warning Letters: Karen McLachlan received a final warning letter. However, she did not receive any previous notifications for the bill in question and did not like the tone of the letter. PH explained that sometimes the post is lost due to Royal Mail. However, the tone of the letters has been addressed and recommendations are being adhered to, including mailing being clear and contact details of Homeownership Officers being available on the letters.