As well as responsibility for repairs to individual properties, Gateway is responsible for some repairs to communal areas both inside blocks of flats and outside on estates, as well as association owned garages and parking bays.
If you notice a repair is needed in any of the communal areas of your block, it is your responsibility to report it to us.
This could include:
- broken entry system or door
- no communal lighting
- worn carpets
- damaged cupboard doors
- blocked guttering, pipes and drains
- bulk rubbish in the bin store.
Please let us know by calling our customer service team on 020 8709 4300 or emailing us.
We have a planned programme of maintenance works for all our schemes.
This is for communal internal and external decorations and is based on our stock condition survey.
It is done on a five to six year rolling programme and is covered by the sinking fund which is part of your service charge.
You will be consulted on the scope of the works before they begin in your block.
Paying for major works if you are a Shared Owner of a house or a Leaseholder of a flat where there is no sinking fund.
Shared Owners of Houses
Under the terms of the shared ownership lease of houses, it is the lessee who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the property. Should the lessee fail to comply with their obligations then they are in breach of covenant. In these circumstances it is open to the Association to serve a schedule of dilapidations on the lessee requiring then to carry out the remedial works.
This is the formal legal position, but one that is not the path that the Association would want to pursue.
Under the terms of the lease, leaseholders are responsible for some repairs to their home; mainly internal ones. Gateway is also responsible for some repairs to leasehold homes; generally external and shared areas. Gateway retains responsibility for maintaining the structure and exterior of leasehold blocks/properties and all shared areas in and around them.
Leaseholders contribute towards the cost of Gateway repairing and maintaining the building through their annual leasehold service charge bill. The percentage that each individual leaseholder contributes towards repairing and maintaining the building is set out in the lease. The lease explains which repairs Gateway carries out and which areas of repairs the leaseholder is responsible for in greater detail.
The leaseholder handbook provides a summary of those repairing responsibilities but is not a substitute for the lease. Gateway must normally consult leaseholders about work that it may be proposing, but only when the likely contribution to an individual leaseholder is going to be more than £250. The rules on leaseholder consultations are contained in section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and section 151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
Leaseholders of flats where there is no reserve fund
Leaseholders who have purchased their homes through the Right to Acquire or Right to Buy schemes may encounter similar problems in saving sufficient funds to carry out their obligations towards major works to the block. These leases do not provide for the collection of a reserve fund (sinking fund) to pay for future major works. In these circumstances you may wish to consider options 2 to 5 below:
In a bid to provide assistance to our lessees the following options might be available to you to ensure that your home is maintained in accordance with the terms of the lease.
- Downward Staircasing. This might be available where the lessee is in financial difficulty and owns more than the minimum 25% share, but less than 100%. It is a means of releasing funds from the equity held by the owner to pay for essential major repairs. A full financial assessment will be carried out prior to the Association agreeing to buy back shares.
- Re-mortgage. Lessees could approach their existing lenders or consult with an Independent Financial Advisor to see whether they can extend their existing loan to cover the cost of the works. Re-mortgaging with a new lender might benefit the lessee if for instance a lower interest rate was obtainable.
- Personal Loan. An expensive option if it was not possible to re-mortgage, but might be a shorter term option.
- Sale of Property. As a last resort this can be a good option for those lessees who are in a position to downsize their housing needs to reduce outgoings. The Association will be able to assist you in selling your property and to locate a suitable alternative shared ownership home.
- Houseproud Grant. This is could be available from the Home Improvement Trust and further information and eligibility can be obtained from the Councils Private Housing Improvement Team on 020 7364 7014.
Financial health check
In the majority of the above situations we will need to arrange independent financial verification of the personal circumstances of each lessee requesting assistance.
Further information can be obtained by emailing Gateway sales or call on 020 8709 4300.