Leaseholders ready to take council repair bill dispute to tribunal (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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leaseholders in Avenue Court in Claybury Broadway, Clayhall, taking case against Redbridge Homes to tribunal
A group of 13 leaseholders are going to a tribunal to secure refunds for ‘shoddy’ repair works carried out on a housing estate.
Redbridge Council took back responsibility for its housing stock last year from arms length management organisation Redbridge Homes.
But leaseholders in Avenue Court in Claybury Broadway, Clayhall, say the council should refund bills of up to £2,000 for work which Redbridge Homes started on the estate back in 2009.
Paul Lexton, 63, set up the Avenue Court Action Group after the work began.
He said: “They did not consult all leaseholders on these works which they have a legal obligation to do.
“The first I knew of it was when the scaffolding went up. We asked for more information but we never received it.
“The work itself has been diabolical and it’s still not finished.
“They haven’t rubbed any surfaces down properly, they painted over window sills, and they botched the cladding. The list goes on.”
The leaseholders employed Wanstead based surveyors Johal Regan to assess the works in November and their report is damning.
In it they say: “The quality of the decoration work within the common parts is generally of a poor standard and does not appear to comply with the costed specification prepared by Morrisons (the contractors) prior to commencement.”
The report also says that bills should be revised to omit costs for works that have not been carried out and reduce costs for those completed to a poor standard.
Leaseholder Gaby Laws, 50, said: “This whole business has been extremely stressful and time consuming.
“We would have been happy to pay for work if we had been consulted and it had been carried out to a high standard, but it has not.
“If they are not going to do the work properly then we want a discount.”
A preliminary hearing ahead of a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal has been set for March.
Mr Lexton added: “We believe we have a very strong case for a refund and I am convinced we will win.”
A spokeswoman for the council insisted that residents in Avenue Court were fully consulted before work was carried out in 2009.
She added: “Consultation letters were sent to all residents in July, they included estimated costs.
“Very few objections were received from residents. Further letters were sent to residents to advise them of the work progression, and all inquiries regarding the work were responded to.
“Following discussions and meetings with the residents of Avenue Court, we commissioned an independent survey on the works.
“The faults identified in the survey were rectified at no cost to the residents.
“As a result of the review a reduction of approximately 11 per cent was also made to residents’ bills. “We will be represented at the tribunal.”
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