Highlights of OCRA's Sept 2022 Newsletter
MAJOR WORKS 2022/2023
Freshwater are retendering for the works on the bay beams for all 6 flats at the same time, and this has caused further delays. Retendering had to be done because Flat 99 was not included by Freshwater in the original tender. OCRA believes this project has been mismanaged by Freshwater. It will be difficult to get all 6 flats to agree to have this work carried out at the same time and meanwhile prices have increased yet again. Only one flat – 188 - has had work done so far. Flats 99, 100 115, 116, 131, 132 are to be done around September time. Later this year flats 179 and 180 are supposed to be done and flats 74 and 84A to be done next year. Flats 146, 148, 163 and 164 are the last to be done.
The delay caused by the retendering of the bay beams means the external works will not be carried out before 2024. Our building insurance company will not accept the delay and as a result has already introduced a £250,000 excess with a 50% co-insurance clause on the property owner’s liability exceeding this amount. As Freshwater is responsible for the delay, they must bear the increased excess and not pass it on to the Leaseholders of Oakwood Court. OCRA’s Chairman Kazi Ariff is fighting Freshwater on this and is holding very firm.
Bridge and Entrance Ways Project
Blocks 9, 10, 11 and 12 have been selected for this work first. Prices are now out to tender. This will be a 2023 project, spring of next year likely earliest. OCRA believes that prices are likely to rise and that there will be delays for materials, impacting the mosaic tiles, in particular. This work involves dismantling the existing bridge structure and support and surface covering and rebuilding it with new materials and resurfacing with suitable mosaic. The Block 12 works simply involves removing and resurfacing the existing entrance mosaic tiles. An essential element of the job will be designing alternate access arrangement for each Block while the works are in progress.
External Metal Staircases
A condition report has been received by Freshwater in compliance with fire regulations. Repairs needed are minor – repainting, some rusting, etc. However, the two initial tender prices received are very high and Freshwater is, therefore, investigating this further. To try to keep costs down, Freshwater was initially suggesting that this work be carried out in conjunction with the bay beams project so that scaffolding is not erected twice. OCRA Chairman Kazi Ariff is following up with Freshwater on tenders for this project.
Fire Safety Works in Communal Areas
Based on the recommendations of Todd Associates, Freshwater is at the tender stage for works that must be done to comply with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea fire safety regulations OCRA has expressed concern that the recommendations of Todd Associates is “over the top” and a second opinion regarding proposed solutions is needed. Freshwater has assured us that the project will not begin until OCRA is able to vet the prices and decide whether a second opinion is indeed needed on these recommendations.
Service Charge Reserve Fund
We have an agreement in principle that the Reserve fund will be capped at £400,000. Major works, those exceeding £400,000 will be billed and collected through Section 20 demands.
What is a Section 20? This guide will help you understand
Block 11 Lift
After more than 15 months with no working lift, Freshwater is finally proceeding with the modernisation at a cost of £138,666. This should be completed by the end of the year. OCRA has fought long and hard to support the wishes of the residents of Block 11 for a new lift, but Freshwater, despite an independent consultation report, objected at the last minute by deeming the replacement as an improvement, thereby requiring the approval of ALL leaseholders. Had this objection been raised at the beginning the suffering of the residents would have been greatly minimised. This is another example of Freshwater's poor management.
Porter's Lodge Update
Freshwater intends to use the two storage rooms behind boiler House 2 for the porter's lounge area, kitchen and toilets. In addition they plan to convert garages 15 and 16 to create an office where managers will sit. This will incorporate the video entry and fire alarm systems as well as space for safekeeping of keys. The cost of relocating is being borne Freshwater. OCRA continues to have concerns about the level of service provided and visibility of security once the porters are relocated.
You can join OCRA and make a donation
By bank transfer:
Account Name: OCRA
Sort Code 20-47-34
Account Number 60598720
Please reference using your flat number and surname.
Cheques should be made payable to "OCRA" and sent to Kate Cullinan at 25 Oakwood Court. Please write your full name, flat number and email address on the reverse of your cheque.
Residents are politely reminded to follow the communal garden by-laws and regulations.
Rubbish collection times
Rubbish and recycling must ONLY be put outside residents' front doors during the collections times listed below. Residents who are found disregarding these rules continuously may be fined.
Monday - Saturday (6:30am-9:30am)
PLEASE flatten and break down your boxes. By doing this we can help the porters clear the rubbish more quickly.
Items left in common parts
Residents are reminded that NO ITEMS should be left outside their front doors, including shoes, pushchairs, bikes, scooters and umbrellas. They are a safety hazard and impede cleaning of common areas. Residents found ignoring this may be fined and the items may be removed without notice.
Respect the garden
The garden got a lot of use over the past few summers with Covid19 and the warmer weather. Please let's celebrate this wonderful space by respecting the flower beds and taking out everything that is brought in to the garden. There are no trash bins. We are all responsible for tidying up after ourselves.
By becoming a member of OCRA you are strengthening the residents' collective voice with our managing agents.