YOUR BLOCK

Ball games

Unfortunately ball games are not permitted on any site that we manage as these can contribute to noise disturbance and can cause damage to property.

Bicycle storage and motorbikes

Please ensure that bicycles are only stored in appropriate areas: a bike store or inside your property.  Please note that:

  • Bicycles cannot to be stored in communal areas such as along communal corridors, harnessed to banisters, on your balcony, in meter cupboards, or in any other communal cupboard/area. This compromises health and safety regulations at the development, may invalidate the building insurance policy and will cause the condition of the internal decorations to deteriorate.
  • Bike stores are only to be used for the storage of bikes, not motorbikes or any other item.
  • Motorbikes and bicycles should not be parked across a parking bay.
  • Due to the number of entrances to the site, the day-to-day movements of residents and the persistence of unauthorised persons, it is impossible to guarantee that intruders cannot gain access to the common areas. They may target the bike storage area. All items in the parking area or on cycle racks are left at the risk of the owner.
  • Please report all thefts to the police and this office. If you witness any suspicious persons at the development please report them to the police. Your local Police Neighbourhood Officers should be contacted. In an emergency dial 999.
  • Be aware of the allowing any persons without a fob (contractors or otherwise) into the development. Security is also your personal responsibility.
  • Ensure that no unauthorised persons follow you into the development via the front doors or via the vehicle gate.
  • Please secure your property and possessions as best as it possible given the facilities provided. Obtain contents/bicycle insurance as required. For bicycles, the following websites provide useful recommendations:

www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/988.aspx

www.bikeforall.net/

www.immobilise.com/

www.soldsecure.com/

Contractors

Cleaning contractors generally attend at the blocks we manage on a weekly basis. Cleaning specifications vary on a block by block basis dependent on the requirement or feedback from property owners. The cleaners tend to the communal areas; the corridors, stairs, lobbies and hallways, etc. They cannot clean within your property, terrace or balcony.

Window cleaners may also be around your site on a monthly basis and will generally clean all accessible windows using the purified water jet pole system.

Gardeners tend to a site on a weekly or fortnightly basis (apart from the winter period, when they may visit less frequently). It is the responsibility of the gardeners to tend to the communal grounds. They are not responsible for any individually demised gardens that are part of your own property. Please check your lease or transfer to confirm the legal boundary of your flat or house.

Other contractors may also be onsite from time to time for general maintenance. We ensure that contractors have the required skills for the job and hold appropriate insurance. We will take recommendations from residents as regards which contractor to use based on this criterion. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 8370 4810 or estate@iangibbs.com.

 

Damage and repair

Your lease will state that all residents should not tamper with any communal service installations, fire equipment (smoke alarms, windows, etc), electronic gates or doors, aerials, etc. In addition, no items should be brought into the premises that could cause excessive damage to the floors, walls, stairs, banisters, ceilings or other surface or structure in the building. Furthermore, residents are generally not permitted to open up floors, walls or ceilings (in communal areas) with the aim of checking/altering wires, pipes or any such conduit.

If repair work is necessary a lease will normally state that the landlord, managing agent, workmen or other contractors, should be allowed to enter the building to commence repairs. Advance notice will be given about the time and location of where the work will take place.  Please ensure that you do not prevent this necessary repair work from taking place. Costs for the work undertaken could be passed onto responsible parties – the landlords or residents (as part of the service charge).

Lifts

We put in place maintenance contracts for all the passenger lifts that we manage and also hold engineering insurance for sudden and unforeseen failure. In the unfortunate instance that you become stuck in a lift, please hold down the HELP or BELL button within the lift for 20 seconds. This will contact the emergency control centre of the lift maintenance contractor who will be able to arrange assistance. If, for any reason, this function is not operating, please call the fire brigade, a neighbour or this office for assistance. If you notice any problems with the lift(s) at any time please contact our office immediately to report them on tel: 020 8370 4810 or estate@iangibbs.com.

Lighting

We conduct site inspections for all of the developments that we manage. As part of our inspections we check for broken lights, light fittings and used light bulbs in the communal areas including the external areas, car park (if applicable) and stores. However, we always appreciate the help of residents in reporting lighting faults so that they can quickly be rectified. Please do report any issues regarding lighting to our office tel: 020 8370 4810 or estate@iangibbs.com, stating where the problem has arisen.

Noise and anti-social behaviour

When living in a shared building or complex, it is inevitable that you will experience some level of noise at times. However, there are clauses within all leases around the level of noise that is acceptable.

  • The lease will generally state that there should be no loud use of appliances such as a television, radio, digital equipment or speakers between certain hours of the day. This prohibition also extends to loud conversations, singing, musical instruments, mechanical noises or any other sound producing apparatus or form. If this guidance is not adhered to, then the property owner may be subject to administration charges on their service charge account or be referred to solicitors in relation to this lease transgression. If you are a tenant your rental deposit may be affected by the behaviour in which you engage.
  • We always recommend that those suffering from persistent ASB/noise inform the local council’s noise abatement team so that their statutory powers can also be brought to bear on the culprits. Consider keeping a diary of when the disturbance occurs so that this can be used as evidence.

Living in a block of flats means living as part of a community. Please consider your neighbours and as a courtesy let them know if you are planning a celebration or party whereby there will be an increased level of noise for a short time period.

Parking

Where requested by lessees, this office organises permit controlled parking regimes to ensure that the parking facilities are not abused by outsiders and that the parking covenants within your lease or transfer are adhered to by residents. Where we implement a permit controlled regime, we generally follow the guidance below:

  • Parking is only permitted in the approved and designated bays within the development.
  • Please refer to the site parking signage for all the rules and regulations of a parking regime.
  • Please note the number of your parking bay does not always correspond with your address (number of your flat/house). Please refer to your lease or transfer to ascertain the exact location of your parking bay where applicable.
  • Permits must be displayed at all times. If you have just moved into a development, obtain a permit from this office, your landlord or letting agent. Do not assume that you will not receive a Penalty Charge Notice.
  • Where there is a parking permit system in operation, please ensure that your residents parking permit is displayed at all times and is valid for your allocated parking bay.
  • Display of parking permits is monitored by a fully licensed contractor. Please refer to the site signage or the Penalty Charge Notice for your rights and how to appeal against a ticket.
  • If you have lost your resident parking permit, a replacement can be issued by contacting our office at tel: 0208 370 4810 or estate@iangibbs.com. Please note we can only issue resident parking permits (new or replacement ones) to the landlord of the property. If you are a tenant please ensure you contact your landlord first to request a replacement and they will forward the request onto us.
  • If you see any abandoned cars you can report them to our office at tel: 0208 370 4810 or estate@iangibbs.com. This office will contact the DVLA to find out the registered keeper of the vehicle though this process does take up to four weeks to complete. Due to recent changes in legislation, only the Police or an appropriate authority can remove a vehicle from a development.

Play areas (if applicable)

Play areas are independently inspected further to guidance from the equipment manufacturers and the HSE. Please ensure that pets are not allowed in any play area to prevent any soiling of the area. If you need to report an issue regarding the play area please contact our office on 020 8370 4810 or estate@iangibbs.com.

Refuse

To ensure refuse does not build up in the common areas or bin stores please consider the following advice:

  • Please ensure that no rubbish bags are left outside of your front door in the communal areas or on the floor of the bin stores. This can be a health and safety hazard to all residents and may also attract unwanted animals/vermin (such as rats, foxes, maggots and mice).
  • All rubbish bags must be securely fastened and placed in the bins provided. If all of the bins in a particular store are full, please use an alternative bin store to dispose of your waste. If there are no bins available please call us on 0208 370 4810. Only refuse placed in the bins will be removed by the council’s refuse collection team.
  • Please do not dispose of bulky items such as beds, tables, chairs, mattresses, televisions, ironing boards, wardrobes, cabinets, etc (any large household items). The refuse stores can only be used for items that can be places in the bins. If large household items are left by the bin store, your service charge will likely increase, as an external contractor will need to be employed to remove the items. This office and contracted cleaners regularly search dumped refuse in an attempt to identify those residents dumping items so that any collection costs can be recovered from the owner of the property concerned.

Reporting problems

Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0208 370 4810 or estate@iangibbs.com should any communal problem arise at your block. We endeavour to deal with all queries as soon as possible. Please remember that you are responsible for repairs within the demise of your property. You should always check your lease which will define your legal demise. Often, issues with which we deal are due to lease transgressions by other residents. If your grievance is regarding a fellow neighbour, please be assured that you will remain anonymous. It is important however that we act on behalf of all residents and within the covenants of your lease and current legislation. Should you wish to make a complaint, we operate a complaints handling procedure. Please contact this office and ask for a copy.

Wildlife

Please ensure that you do not feed wildlife on your development (such as birds, ducks, foxes) as this will result in the communal becoming difficult to manage and may result in:

  • Animal excrement being left on the estate which can cause damage and generally leave the estate looking untidy.
  • Damage being caused by the congregation of wildlife on the estate may lead to an additional expense on the service charge.
  • Additional rubbish on the floor can attract other animals such as rats, maggots and other vermin which are a health and safety hazard to all residents.

 

YOUR FLAT

Aerials /Satellite Dishes and Cable TV

A communal Sky dish is generally provided at developments that we manage to which everyone can connect with a set top box from Sky. Please note:

  • Sky+ or HD is not always supported on older blocks.
  • Individual satellite dishes linked directly to your property are generally not permitted in accordance with the estate lease.  If an illegal aerial is erected on the building, we will act to remove it and the cost incurred to do this could be added to your service charge. If in doubt, please contact us for clarification on 0208 370 4810 or estate@iangibbs.com.

Buildings insurance

The buildings insurance for your development/complex is undertaken in accordance with the terms of your lease. If you need to make a claim against the buildings insurance please contact Ian Gibbs Estate Management on tel: 0208 370 4810 or estate@iangibbs.com and we will assist you with your claim. Please note: if you are in breach of the clause regarding leaving objects/items in the communal areas you are at risk of invalidating the buildings insurance.

Condensation

Condensation is a common problem in many houses and flats.  If it is not kept under control, it can lead to the creation of black mould on a variety of surfaces and materials including walls, furniture, clothes and curtains. Condensation is caused by moisture in warm air meeting a cold surface, this vapour then transforms to a liquid (known as condensation). Condensation can be harmful to your health and also causes damage to plasterwork and timber windows. To help you keep on top of this, here are some ways to prevent condensation occurring:

  • Cover pots and pans whilst cooking
  • Dry your wet clothes and washing in one room which has the doors and windows slightly open.
  • Keep your bathrooms and kitchens ventilated and their doors closed.
  • Insulate and keep your home warm. A warm home reduces the risk of condensation (as condensation is produced when warm moisture reaches a cold surface).

Hard wood floors

Hard wood floors can only be put down within your property if this if permitted under the terms of your lease. If you are thinking of installing hard wood flooring in your home, a good acoustic underlay is an essential requirement to help prevent noise and help insulation.

Maintenance of plumbing and drainage

It is the responsibility of lessees/residents/letting agents to frequently inspect the plumbing within your property. Please heed the following advice:

  • If a leak from your property causes damage to a communal area, then the cost to repair this can be added to your service charge if not recoverable via the buildings insurance policy.
  • If a leak from your property damages the property of a fellow resident’s property and repairs will need to be undertaken, you should handle all negotiations in relation to the costs of these works if they are not recoverable via the buildings insurance policy (i.e. the excess).
  • By regularly checking your plumbing and fittings through a rolling maintenance programme, this can ensure that any leaks are identified as early as possible to reduce damage and any additional charges.

Drains – please ensure that no items or materials are disguarded down the drain that may cause damage or a blockage. Please note:

  • Only toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet (not wipes, nappies, sanitary towels or tampons – these must be wrapped up and disposed of in the general rubbish).
  • Cooking oils and fats should NOT be thrown down the sink or toilet as this will cause damage.  Dispose of these materials into a container so they can solidify and then can be wrapped up and disposed of in the general rubbish.

Pets

Pets may or may not be permitted dependent on the terms of your lease. Please ensure that you contact Ian Gibbs Estate Management (tel: 0208 370 4810 or estate@iangibbs.com) to inform us that you wish to care for a pet. We will check the stipulations in your lease and revert back with written consent if applicable. Please ensure that:

  • Pets are not a source of loud noise or that they foul in the communal areas.
  • Pets do not present a nuisance to any other residents, otherwise you may be asked to re-house your pet.
  • Dogs are not left unattended within the property at any time.

Smells

Please ensure that you keep your home correctly ventilated to ensure essential circulation of fresh air which will reduce and help clear any smells (cooking, smoke, etc). Please note:

  • No items should be left in the communal area that may create an unwanted smell (shoes, dead plants, rubbish, etc).
  • Please do not use plug-in air fresheners in the communal area as they present a fire risk.

YOUR SAFETY

Balcony usage

Please note that residents are not permitted to use the balcony as a storage area, to dry washing or to have a barbeque (as recommended by the Fire Brigade). Using your balcony in this way contravenes your lease. In the lease it will generally state that balconies should be kept clean, tidy, properly maintained and free of any unsightly possessions.

Cigarettes

Smoking is not permitted in the internal communal areas. Please note:

  • If you wish to smoke in your own home, please ensure that your home is sufficiently ventilated.
  • If you smoke in the external communal areas please ensure that you do not throw cigarette butts onto the ground, but place them in the cigarette containers provided. If a cigarette container is full, please find a substitute cigarette container or dis-guard of the cigarette with your household rubbish.
  • Please do not thrown cigarette butts out of your window or balcony.

Entrance doors and codes

Please ensure that:

  •  The main entrance door to your site is always closed and not wedged open with stones, sticks, wood or any other material. This ensures that the site remains secure and that no-one can gain access without a key or a fob.
  • Only buzz people into the building if you know who they are or if they have shown relevant identification
  • Codes to access bike stores, bin stores, gates, doors, gyms and other facilities are ONLY held by residents of the property and do not share this information with anyone else as this makes the building less secure.

Fire

On discovering a fire, please call the fire brigade immediately. If required, go to the nearest exit. Otherwise stay in your apartment and await instructions from the fire brigade. Do not use any of the lifts. As required, use the communal stairs to exit the building. Always follow the instructions of the fire brigade once in attendance.

It is the responsibility of all flat owners to install smoke alarms within properties and to test them regularly (ideally at least once a week). In the communal areas there are often smoke sensors linked to automatic opening vents and emergency lighting. As advised by the fire brigade, fire alarms and extinguishers are not present in the communal areas.

Fire exits should always be kept closed and only used in the event of a fire. Fire exits should not be used as an alternative entrance/exit to the building or wedged open or left ajar.

Please contact us on 020 8370 4810 or estate@iangibbs.com if you have any concerns.

 

Fobs

If your fob has been lost or stolen, please contact our office regarding a replacement with your building reference and block details. Tel: 020 8370 4810 or estate@iangibbs.com. We will always ask for proof of residence when issuing a building fob.

Keys

If you experience any problems with your keys not working or you lose them, please let us know.

  • We do not keep keys for the front door of your own property/flat/house; however, we can recommend a reliable lock smith.
  • We can help with issues or lost keys in regards communal doors, locks, main entrances and bin stores etc. Please contact our office at tel: 020 8370 4810 or estate@iangibbs.com to inform us of any issues or lost keys.

Letterbox theft

There has recently been an increase in letterbox theft and no site is immune from this crime. Intruders gain access to the common areas and steal items from letterboxes. In this way, these persons may also then be able to order credit cards in the name of the resident, return to the development to collect further mail and commit fraud and identity theft. We would remind residents of the following:

  • When using the entrance to and from blocks and the parking areas please ensure that the doors close properly behind you. Please report any faulty door closers to our office.
  • Be aware of the allowing any persons without a key fob (contractors or otherwise) into the development. Ensure that no persons follow you into the block via the external gate or via the electric vehicle gates into the basement parking areas.
  • Do not buzz anyone into the common areas using your entryphone system unless you have invited them or they have provided official identification.
  • Prevent any build up of mail in letterboxes that may indicate that you are absent from your apartment. Be aware of over-filling letterboxes unnecessarily with plastic bags or other items. Report any letterbox theft to the police and make sure that the lock to your letterbox is operational.
  • We would recommend that you install deadlocks on your front door and do not just rely on the latch lock provided.
  • Finally, be vigilant at all times. In the event of an emergency always dial 999, for all other calls to the Metropolitan Police please dial 101.

For more information on how to prevent Britain’s fastest growing crime, please refer to: http://www.met.police.uk/fraudalert/identity_fraud.htm

 

Obstructions in the communal areas

Please ensure that you keep communal areas clear of any items as they can present a number of health, safety and fire hazards and can also invalidate the building insurance policy. This is due to the fact that:

  • Accidents such as trips and falls could occur.
  • In the event of a fire, items left unattended could impede access or may block a fire escape route, therefore making it more difficult for help to be provided by Fire and Rescue teams.

If items are found in communal areas they will be removed as part of the lease agreement for the property. Written warnings will be issued regarding the removal of any items.