Consultation about cyclical and planned maintenance

 

By law we must consult you if the cost of the planned work will be more than £250 per household. The only exception to this is in the event of an emergency. We’ll

  • tell you what we intend to do, and ask for your comments
  • ask you for details of any contractors you would like to tender for the work (unless the work is being procured under a long term contract)
  • give you details of the work that we’ll be carrying out, estimates from at least two contractors to undertake the work and ask for your comments
  • give you our reasons for entering into a contract and reply to any comments you’ve made.

We’re happy to arrange and attend residents’ meetings to discuss the work in more detail. Where possible we’ll ensure that a representative from the contractor or a surveyor is there to answer your more technical questions.

Making comments on the proposed work

During the consultation period there are two opportunities for you to comment on the proposed work, before and after the works are tendered. It’s very important that you make any comments to us in writing during this consultation period.

We’re happy to receive any comments about work that you feel needs to be done to the property.

Telling you about work that is due

A Notice of Intention tells you that your property is due for repair, renewal or maintenance work and that the work will be done in the near future. This gives you 30 days to comment on the proposed work. We’ll make sure that the deadline for your comments is clearly printed on the Notice.

We’ll send you a letter in response to any comments you make within 21 days. This will tell you we’re able to do in response to any requests, or explain why we can’t. We’ll send a summary of all the comments we have received to every leaseholder at the next stage of the consultation process.

Recommending a contractor

You can suggest a contractor that you want us to invite to tender for the work. We can’t guarantee that your preferred contractor will get the job, but we’ll send them a tender pack to complete.

(This will not apply where we intend to appoint any long-term contractor)

Getting an estimate for the work

At the end of the initial 30-day consultation period, we’ll consider all the comments we have received. And then we’ll instruct a surveyor to produce a specification for the work.

The specification will cover internal and external decoration, scaffolding and any repairs needed. The specification will also include a sum of money set aside for any smaller repairs that are not important enough to list separately e.g. a small area of re-pointing.

Once the specification has been completed, the surveyor will send it to at least three contractors from our approved list. We’ll also send it to any contractor that you have said we should ask to tender.

To ensure this process is fair, we operate a ‘closed tender’ process. This means that we receive the estimates from contractors in sealed envelopes by a deadline. We open them all at the same time and record the different estimates.

We must have at least two estimates before we can offer the work to a contractor. We’ll usually give the contract to the contractor who has given us the lowest estimate. If we don’t choose the lowest quotation, we’ll tell you why.

It can take up to 16 weeks to get an estimate for the work.

Telling you about the total cost for the work

We’ll then send you a Notice of Proposals. This contains:

  • a comparison of at least two of the estimates
  • information about how to view and inspect all the estimates
  • a summary of all comments received, and a summary of our response
  • an invitation for you to give us written comments about the estimate within 30 days.

To issue a Notice of Proposals, we need at least two estimates from contractors. If the estimated prices are significantly different by more than £10,000, we’ll consider re-tendering.

The Notice of Proposals says how much the work will cost per flat, and how much is in the sinking fund. The sinking fund is our reserve fund which you contribute to through your service charge.

We make every effort to ensure the sinking fund covers the cost of all work. But this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes you will have to pay an extra amount. If this happens we’ll let you know the amount when we send you your end-of-year accounts, usually in September.

Telling you why we have used a particular contractor

If we don’t award the contract to the lowest bidder we will issue a Notice of Reasons within 21 days of entering into the contract. The Notice of Reasons:

  • tells you which contractor has been awarded the work
  • outlines the reasons for this, and
  • summarises residents’ observations and our response to them.

Starting the work

Once the contract has been awarded, a pre-contract meeting is held at our offices. This will include the contractors’ hours of work and any items the contractor will need to leave at the property. For example, a port-a-loo or site hut, or heavy machinery that may need to be left overnight. This is also when a start date will be agreed.

You will receive letters from the contractor and the surveyor at least 14 days before the work starts, giving the start date and their contact details if there are any problems.

Inspecting the work

Once the work has been completed the surveyor will inspect the work. If there is any work outstanding or something is not up to standard, the contractor will be asked to put this right. Once this has been done, we will get a bill for the full cost of the work.

Paying for the work

Once the work has been completed, our surveyor will inspect the work. If there is any work outstanding or something is not up to standard, the contractor will be asked to put this right. Once this has been done, we will get a bill for the full cost of the work.

The cost of the work is usually paid from the sinking fund. If the sinking fund is not enough, you will have to pay the shortfall. During the consultation period, we will say how much this is likely to be.

We will send you a bill for any shortfall with your end-of-year accounts, in September. Sometimes, if the bill is large, we will bill you when the works are completed so you can pay by monthly installments.

We cannot add the shortfall to your rent account. It will be shown separately and will be considered as an individual debt.

It is a service-charge debt. If you don’t pay it, we will use our normal procedures for recovering service-charge arrears.