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The Benefits of an Observant Lessee

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Published: 07/12/2016   Last Updated: 07/12/2016 11:07:52   Author: P. Martin    Tags: The Benefits Of An Observant Lessee

All leaseholders are keen to obtain the best value for money from the service charges they pay. Repairs and Maintenance often makes up a sizeable percentage of any service charge budget. By being observant occupiers and reporting faults they spot to their managing agent, often repairs can be dealt with before they have the opportunity to get worse or cause extensive consequential damage. Some items that all occupiers should be mindful of are listed below.

Overflows.
An overflows acts as a ‘safety device’ that indicates if there is an issue with a water tank, toilet cistern, boiler etc. They show that a repair to the offending item needs to be carried out. However if left unchecked, overflows can cause massive consequential damage to any surface the overflow water makes contact with e.g. penetrating brickwork, damage to decorated timber surfaces and damage to the timber itself etc. This type of water penetration can the often lead extensive internal damage. Also if the repair is not carried out to the item the overflow is stemming from, then the affected item may suffer further ongoing damage resulting in internal leaks to the building. Overflows maybe constant or intermittent, they should be reported even if they seem to have stopped a few hours later. Any observed discharging overflow should be reported immediately to the managing agent.

Gutters and Downpipes.
These perform the essential task or removing the vast volumes of water that collects on roofs during rainfall and removing this water without causing damage to the building by running down vertical surfaces. Much in the same way as an overflow can cause damage due to water penetration blocked of defective gutters can do the same. Often defective gutters are not so easy to spot as the fault will only be evident during rain and is therefore intermittent, however if possible all occupiers should try to view the gutters and downpipes to their property especially during prolonged or heavy rain and report any issues to the managing agent.

Waste Water Pipes.
These pipes carry waste kitchen and bathroom water to the main water downpipes. Again any leak left unchecked will cause similar damage as mentioned above. By nature these leaks are generally intermittent and should be reported on discovery to the managing agent.

Blocked Drains.
The drainage system is there to remove all waste water away from the building. Any form of surface water that does not drain away indicates that there is a problem with the drainage system that requires further investigation and probable remedial action. Again if this is not dealt with resulting issues may include water backing up within flat or damp issues due to penetrating damp.

In Summary
When reporting these defects, the best way is to e-mail your property manager with a brief description as to where and what the issue is. Any photos you can take and include within your e-mail will be very beneficial.

By reporting the issues mentioned above or any other issue that you are concerned about your property manager can investigate and arrange for the correct remedial action or responsible party to be notified thus reducing the damage caused and costs involved. This equates to cheaper service charges and a building in better condition.

For any further advice on this subject or anything related, please get in touch with our Building Surveying department or Block Management department:

Paul Martin
Project Management Surveyor, BSc (Hons)
Block Management
DDI: 020 8222 9925
Email: paul.martin@willmotts.com