On average £10,000 each. With same again in June. And next year the same.
Property manager Savills quits on April 6
Directors issue plea for help to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, but are ‘considering resigning on mass’
Some leaseholders down with Covid-19 and face uncertain futures over jobs
Leaseholders at self-governing Islington Gates in Birmingham face evacuation if directors resign and £10,000 each cladding bills are not paid on April 1.
In addition, property manager Savills has told the directors of the residents’ management company that it is quitting and leaves on April 6 – sooner than its three month notice period, for which LKP is informed it is paying a consideration to the RMC.
Islington Gates, which has 141 apartments and four commercial units, faces cladding remediation bills that leaseholders have been told will amount to £8.2 million.
Jim and Katie downsized to their flat in Birmingham a number of years ago. They used the money they made from their previous house sale, to support one of their sons move into the same building. Now they are faced with trying to find crippling service charge fees to fund waking watches, and remove and replace cladding on their building.
The RMC directors today have written to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick:
“If we don’t collect this money, remedial works cannot start. If we haven’t started remedial works by November 2020 we will lose our insurance cover. If we lose our insurance cover our mortgages will be in default and we will lose our homes.”
A building with no insurance in these circumstances would almost certainly be evacuated.
The cladding disaster has seen insurance costs rise from £36,379 to £191,681.
With many flats in Islington Gates in lockdown owing to Corvid-19, and leaseholders facing uncertain future employment prospects, the position could not be more bleak.
In presenting the service charge demand, Savills says:
“A budget of £3,000,000 has been entered which will go towards the major fire safety works which is required at Islington Gates. It is important to note that this amount will not be for the full and final cost for these works. [LKP emphasis]“
The payment demand for April 1 will be repeated in June, with two more similar sized demands next year.
“On average, leaseholders will be paying £10,345 per 6-month charge towards the 3 million budget. However, what you will pay as an individual property owner will depend on the size of your property compared to others on the development, this is in line with the lease.”
Brian Simpson, an RMC director and the owner of a £400,000 flat at Islington Gates, which was built in 2006, said:
“I’ll be paying £37,375.68 this year and probably the same or more next year. A minimum of £75K. And even then that might not be the end of it: we haven’t even gone to tender yet.
“And this doesn’t include what we’ve already paid out on waking watch and similar.”
Waking watch is itemised as costing £134,000 by Savills for 2020.
Flats at the site range in value from £150,000 to £500,000.
A further massive concern is that the six directors at the site have had their directors and officers insurance cover withdrawn and cannot obtain an alternative.
One has to question whether the RCM directors could – or should – actually continue in these circumstances. An alternative would be to ask for a section 24 court appointed manager as a matter of urgency and suspend the RCM.
The directors are informing Mr Jenrick that they are “considering resigning on mass”.
Two weeks ago Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that £1 billion would be made available to remediate apartment blocks caught up in the cladding scandal.