The Annual General Meeting for St Benedicts (Tooting) Management Company Limited was held at 7.00 pm on Thursday 14th November 2019 in St Nicholas Church Hall, Church Lane, Tooting, London SW17 9PP.
Papers for the meeting were sent to shareholders (property owners) at least 14 days before the meeting as required by company law and links are provided below.
The 2 Directors, 8 other shareholders from 5 properties, a proxy nominee and the Rendall and Rittner senior property manager (who cannot vote) attended. 2 proxy nominations to the chairman gave voting instructions and 2 gave discretion on voting. There were apologies from one shareholder and the assistant property manager.
1. Approve Minutes
To receive and approve the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 15th November 2018.
These are available under Papers and the Directors recommended approval.
There were no comments and the resolution was approved by 12 votes to nil.
2. Adopt Report and Accounts
To receive and adopt the Report of the Directors and the Accounts for the year ended 30th June 2019.
Under current accounting standards, the Company Financial Statements now contain very little. These are available under Papers and the Directors recommend approval.
Service charges are held on trust for property owners and the main part of the information is in the Service Charge Statement. This is available under Papers and is for information.
Because the Management Company is now taking advantage of all exemptions and its accounts are no longer being audited, as approved at the 2010 AGM (PDF, 37kb), there was no resolution regarding auditors.
One issue was flagged on payments for electricity. There were no other comments and the resolution was approved by 12 votes to nil.
3. Contracts and Maintenance Report
To report on contracts for services and maintenance.
The Directors reported for information. There were no changes to contracts, while routine work during the year is listed on the maintenance pages.
The Directors reported on contracts for services and maintenance including:
- Following Council street light LED replacement, Estate street and security lights are being replaced with LED ones in stages. Remote areas with problems are being lit more brightly as a deterrent, fewer lights are needed and electricity use and costs will be reduced by 60%.
- The oak trees on Rectory Lane had dead wood removed last year and the dying protected Indian bean tree was replaced while the lime trees on Limetree Walk will receive attention this year.
- General maintenance was carried out, including Estate fences and metal security gates and flat block glazing, doors, latches, closers and lights.
- Security cameras requested at the 2018 AGM were installed.
- Sewer lining at 17-27 Carlisle Way and repairs at 21-26 Abbey Drive were carried out, with more needed after inspection of further areas now they are accessible.
- Flat block roofs were repaired and more extensive repairs needed to that of 1-71 St Benedicts Close near the cupola will be done during the periodic maintenance.
- Fire safety work following the inspection, including fire hydrant and flat door block address signs and updated notices.
- Current work including repairing uneven paving in St Benedicts Close (delayed by the contractor), fitting Mousemesh grilles that have been purchased to those remaining flat blocks that voted to pay for this and tendering work to upgrade Freeview television aerials in flat blocks which reported problems in the survey.
Owners raised two items:
- Waste remains an issue as the signs requested last year were ineffective, as expected. A new idea to enclose recycling areas will be investigated and an architect present offered sketches.
- Eepairs to uneven parking spaces in St Benedicts Close are outstanding. The Directors apologised for the delay because the contractor has withdrawn so this needs to be tendered because of the cost.
There was no vote as this item was for information.
4. Periodic Maintenance 2020
To report on and discuss the periodic maintenance and redecoration due in 2020.
The Directors reported for information:
- Periodic external repair and redecoration is being specified and tendered to be carried out in 2020 (as chosen at the 2014 AGM). The first part of the section 20 consultation with flat owners required by law is taking place. The work will be tendered by the appointed surveyor, we hope to identify a suitable contractor by January or February, then will carry out the second part of the section 20 consultation and plan to carry out the work from late April to July 2020.
- Flat block communal areas will be decorated separately later in 2020 or in 2021, once costs and time required for wall and roof repairs are known. This will avoid the internal work being rushed with quality suffering and work extending into builder holiday seasons. It may also allow smaller and local firms to tender for the internal redecoration that are not qualified to work externally at height, possibly lowering costs. If more money needed to be collected in, it would also allow time for this.
- Following flat block wall repairs in 2014-15, the recommended inspection by a structural engineer has been carried out. This found no further issue where previous repairs were carried out. Some further minor brickwork cracking thought to be due to thermal expansion will be repaired in similar way to the previous repairs during the periodic work in 2020. Unfortunately, two blocks have cracking that may be more serious. The managing agent will write to the flat owners concerned. The insurer has been put on notice and, as soon as it has decided if the Estate surveyor and structural engineer can be used or it appoints its own, further investigations will be carried out. All flats in those blocks will be inspected internally for cracking, with solicitor action taken to obtain access under the lease if not otherwise given, sewer inspections will be carried out where not already done, borehole samples will be taken to check for tree roots, cracks are likely to be monitored for a year to check if movement is continuing and the structural engineer will then recommend repairs required. We hope the cost will be covered by Estate insurance.
- Up to date information will be provided throughout the work on the maintenance pages.
An owner queried how the work was being financed and if reserves would cover it. The Directors explained that expected costs allowing for inflation were being collected into reserves in the 5 years up to the current year since the previous periodic work, including a level of contingency that previous experience had found to be suitable. Because of the particular uncertainty over costs on this occasion, it could not be guaranteed this would be sufficient but, by separating the work, costs could be spread until more money could be collected by deferring the internal redecoration if necessary.
There was no vote as this item was for guidance.
5. Payments to Small Contractors
Noting the difficulties with Rendall and Rittner paying small local supplier invoices on time, to authorise the Directors to make such payments using the Estate prepaid credit card, subject to authorisation by another Director.
Rendall and Rittner can only process invoices electronically if suppliers sign up to its online system and provide extensive information regularly to maintain their registration. Otherwise, invoices must be submitted by post and a significant proportion of these go missing. This overhead is excessive for small local suppliers, has caused several to refuse to carry out work for the Estate and has contributed to delays in getting maintenance work carried out, particularly electrical work.
The Directors hold a prepaid credit card which is used, with authorisation from another Director, to purchase small items like maintenance supplies, such as electrical fittings, signs and metal air brick grilles recently. This could be used to make payment to some small local contractors promptly once work is invoiced and approved. The Directors wished to obtain formal approval for this with appropriate control.
Owners queried the controls in place. All expenditure is visible to Rendall and Rittner, through which the card is issued, receipts are required for reimbursement and these are submitted to the accountant and checked each year. While the controls could not prevent misuse, this risk already existed, was not increased by this proposal and any misuse would be detected. The Rendall and Rittner property manager advised that the Directors had obtained significant savings by being able to buy goods on the card, such as buying remaindered LED lamps fitted in flat blocks and obtaining a volume discount on Mousemesh grilles.
The Directors offered owners an indicative vote if they wished the card to be withdrawn but nobody present felt this was necessary. The resolution allowing payment to contractors was approved by 10 votes to nil.
6. Election of Directors
To deal with the election of Directors.
Directors do not now need to retire by rotation and both Mr Ravi Joshi and Mr Kevin Herrmann were willing to continue serving as Directors. No other owners present volunteered to act as Directors.
No vote was needed on this item.
7. Any Other Business
To deal with any other business.
Owners at the meeting raised some other matters:
- Cars observed during the daytime appeared to be used for drug dealing. These have been reported to the police and anyone seeing this type of activity is encouraged to call 999 and then follow up by calling the Safer Neighbourhood Team on 020 8721 2071 asking that CCTV be fitted again temporarily. Rendall and Rittner will contact this team and the Directors will investigate options for a CCTV camera.
- The need for Rendall and Rittner to issue paper statements to those who cannot access them electronically.
- The gate bolt behind 31-36 Abbey Drive is faulty. Repair has already been ordered.
One of those present proposed a vote of thanks to the Directors, which was gratefully accepted.