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News - December 2018

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Airbrick grilles

Results of the two trials of metal grilles over flat block airbricks suggest there is benefit in reducing mouse entry. Three people reported significant improvement, one no change and five no issues before or after the trial.

Owners in other blocks with airbricks will now be asked if they wish to fit these, decided by a simple majority of those in each block voting. The cost for those blocks opting to fit grilles will be recovered through the block reserve funds by higher charges for four quarters in 2019-20.

Rendall and Rittner will write to flat owners in the blocks concerned around January 2019. You can vote by email or post or, preferably, online. You will need the security code from the letter to vote online, as this involves increased charges. The letter and web page will provide cost estimates.

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Waste and recycling

Residents are reminded that:

  • Recycling in Council sacks should be put out on Sunday evening for collection on Monday morning.
  • Waste must be put in proper tied bin liners (not carrier bags) and stored in bins with lids fitted to prevent access by foxes, rodents and flies.
  • You must arrange Council collection for large waste. It must be placed in your parking space, not left in bin stores, recycling areas or elsewhere.

Holiday waste collection

Wandsworth Council waste collections are expected as usual on Mondays 24th and 31st December. Christmas trees must be put out for collection for shredding, which is expected on Mondays 7th and 14th January, not any later.

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Tree work

Planned tree work, which was delayed for months awaiting Council response to the application for consent, was carried out in November. Lime trees in Limetree Walk will be pruned in autumn 2019, when this is easier.

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Maintenance is listed on the maintenance page. This is usually updated monthly. Current work includes:

  • A third contractor is now investigating the roof leak above the block door at 29-43 St Benedicts Close, over the letterboxes.
  • Signage will be improved as recommended by the fire inspector. Flat Fire Emergency Plan notices will be put on each landing and doors will be labelled with numbers.
  • When the second part of the section 20 consultation required by law is complete, the sewer to 17-27 Carlisle Way will be repaired, either in mid-December or in January.
  • Unevenness in the St Benedicts Close car park near spaces 87 and 88 caused by nearby tree roots will be reduced.

We are sorry that it is taking so long to get the faulty Estate street light in the St Benedicts Close car park replaced, especially as the lamp in the nearby street light has also failed.

Work needs a hoist, so we are trying to get all lights replaced together to minimise cost. It seems that the sort of efficient SON lights we have are no longer available. First generation LEDs give less light with no electricity saving and high efficiency LED lights are difficult to obtain. It is also very difficult to get qualified electricians for this, as they prefer routine and easier work.

Snow and ice

If snow falls or is forecast or it is icy, grit / salt will be put in St Benedicts Close (by the bin), Abbey Drive and Limetree Walk for residents to use.

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Annual meeting

The Annual General Meeting was held on 15th November in St Nicholas Church Hall.

The 2 Directors, 8 other shareholders from 7 properties and the Rendall and Rittner property managers attended. 1 proxy nomination gave voting instructions, 1 gave discretion on voting.

More information and the documents for the meeting are available on the AGM page.

The following matters were considered:

  • Minutes of the 2017 meeting were approved.
  • The report of the Directors and Accounts for the year ended 30th June 2017 were adopted. A Statement of Service Charges was also presented for information.
  • The Directors reported on contracts for services, maintenance and periodic work:
  • There were no further contract changes except for GDPR.
  • 5-yearly electrical testing and minor remedial work was completed. Money is being collected to replace landlord electrical installations in the early 2020s.
  • Uneven paving was levelled and fire door gaps were fitted with smoke brushes.
  • A fire safety visit advised against fire information boxes but recommended improved signage, so this will be done.
  • Several roof repairs were needed. Roofs will be inspected and walls will be checked 5 years after repairs with the next periodic maintenance.
  • Flat block latches were adjusted as some did not close securely after replacement.
  • A sewer repair was carried out under one block and another is needed for a damaged sewer in danger of collapse.
  • Planned tree work is being carried out.
  • Council street lights were replaced with an LED type. Quotes are being sought to replace Estate one with LEDs but it is proving very difficult to get quotes.
  • After Freeview channel changes in April, some flats cannot get extra HD channels. Work will only be done if this is necessary after further changes in 2019 to avoid potentially unnecessary costs.
  • Owners raised other maintenance issues.
  • Results of trials of metal grilles over flat block airbricks were presented and suggest these do reduce mice issues (see separate article).
  • The unsustainable level of insurance claims was discussed, several times the premium last year and mostly due to water leaks. This caused large premium rises, which will continue unless claims fall, or the excess will rise, or cover for water damage will be refused (leaving flat owners to pay). The Directors answered questions. Owners voted to confirm that flats with water leaks causing insurance claims or into other flats must have full plumbing inspections at the owner's cost.
  • Rendall and Rittner, the Managing Agent, has asked St Benedicts to consider changing its custom contract to an industry standard one. Owners agreed to change if there were no detriment to St Benedicts but the Directors have limited time for this, so will review once and stay on current terms if not then fixed.
  • Nobody from 105-135 St Benedicts Close attended or voted by proxy in support of the proposal to erect fencing to deter youths, which has a number of drawbacks. The proposal was rejected with most abstaining.
  • Mr Ravi Joshi and Mr Kevin Herrmann were willing to continue serving as Directors, there were no objections and no other volunteers.
  • Increased waste dumping, fly tipping and the costs of its removal monthly as now or weekly was discussed. Owner suggestions were considered and some new ones will be tried, although others are impractical (see separate article reminding residents how to dispose of waste and recycling properly).
  • Owners thanked the Directors for their work.

Christmas and New Year

The Directors and Managing Agent wish all owners and residents a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Previous News

Previous newsletters can be found on the Documents page.

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© St Benedicts (Tooting) Management Company Limited - 20 December 2018