Section 20 notice | GLERA response

Section 20 notice | GLERA response

8 MAY 2024
Statutory Section 20 notices were recently issued to Leaseholders giving notice of the City’s intention to enter into a long term agreement for:

General repairs and maintenance on City residential estates other than the Barbican
Reason: because the current contract with Wates Property Services Ltd for general repairs and maintenance ends on 31 March 2025.


Balcony and roof waterproofing works on the Barbican Estate and Golden Lane Estate
Reason: because of the volume of specialist repairs needed for waterproofing various roofs and balconies currently being channelled through a general repairs contract without warranties or requiring quoted works.

See update with more info two new contracts proposed

GLERA response

Home Ownership Team
City of London

12 June 2024

Dear Nazia,

Please find below the Golden Lane Estate Residents’ Association response to the consultation on the proposed HRA contract for repairs and maintenance and the GLE/Barbican contract for waterproofing works.

1. One of the main issues with the current contract is that it is for “responsive repairs” and does not include regular maintenance. This has led to regular flooding on the Estate including the recent sewage floods and also electrical fires. One of the recommendations from Historic England for the ownership of listed buildings is that a plan is produced for cyclical maintenance and this is followed with the works carried out recorded. We would ask that this be included in the contract. This is urgent as the lack of regular maintenance has led to the decaying state of the Estate today and increased bills for residents. We would also note that the lack of regular maintenance has escalated works to the point where they become major works items which means disruption for residents and extra cost with residents in effect paying twice for work.

2. An issue with the current contract is that the contractors do not have “as built” drawings and specifications or apparently any historical information which has led to inappropriate repairs, residents being blamed for leaks etc. in communal areas and the wrong type of operative being sent for repair jobs. Proper records of the layout and construction are also required by the Health and Safety Executive and the Building Safety Act. We would suggest that the drawings and records of the Estate be digitised and kept in an accessible archive and that they form part of the tender pack.

3. Over the years much maintenance has taken place that does not match or respect the listed building fabric. A good case in point are paving replacements where cheap paving stones have been used which do not match the originals and which have significantly changed the appearance of the landscaping. These type of changes require listed buildings approval but it appears that this has not been applied for and granted. What guarantees will be in the contract that works to listed buildings will be carried out in an appropriate manner and that the necessary approvals will be obtained when changes are proposed? It should also be reinforced that the landscape is listed and that works to Crescent House, being Grade2* listed, will need consultation with Historic England.

4. We have not seen evidence that the current contract allows for proper record keeping of repairs and that maintenance reports are prepared. These are necessary to allow the contract to be monitored and that knowledge of what has gone before is kept for future work. We would ask that a system is put in place.

5. Emergency repairs. At present the out of hours repairs telephone line does not always connect and has been known to be routed to a security guard in the Guildhall. A proper system needs to be put in place, calls logged and recorded and each case monitored from the initial call to a satisfactory completion of the repair.

6. There needs to be a system in place to manage situations where the maintenance and waterproofing contracts overlap. A case in point recently occurred in Bowater House where a cracked communal soil pipe caused leaks but also involved general building work to rectify.

7. We are still of the opinion that it makes more sense to couple the Barbican and GLE contracts due to the proximity, listing and nature of the Estates. We understand the reasons given for not doing this but these seem to be administrative rather than practical and would observe that if it can be made to work for the waterproofing contract why cannot it work for repairs and maintenance as well?

8. We welcome the proposal in the contract that a worker be assigned to regularly visit estates to carry out maintenance tasks.

We would be grateful if these comments can be taken on board and the tender documentation modified accordingly.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Godsmark

Chair Golden Lane Estate Residents’ Association