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Friday 6 July 2007 10.18am is! The outside temperature bears no relation to the inside. As we speak, it is 24.7 in my bedroom, with the window open! I wear shorts almost 8 months of the year, lol.

The law was amended in October 2005, regarding airflow, and it has been changed again, I'm told, to ensure proper airflow - ie. front and back windows for future developments.

We're all different - I'd rather be in charge of my home comfort instead of being dictated to. 25 years ago, in a brand new local authority flat [Kensington] it was fine. One had a choice. I was always comfortable. If it ain't broke.......
Thursday 22 January 2009 3.42pm

I am looking to buy flat in City Walk. Can anyone tell what are the service charges for 2 bed flat?

Friday 23 January 2009 9.22pm
Hi Lalit,

A one bed is approx 1200 a year including ground rent. Looking at the plans the two beds are at about twice the size. I believe the service charge is based upon square footage.

The current service charges paid are all estimates. No accounts have yet been finalised and signed off by the auditors. The first year is apparently being reviewed now. The remaining years will then follow.

It is possible that any charge paid is either too much or not enough. If you buy you assume responsibility for any underpayment.
Monday 26 January 2009 12.05pm
MiltonF wrote:
The current service charges paid are all estimates. No accounts have yet been finalised and signed off by the auditors. The first year is apparently being reviewed now. The remaining years will then follow.

Is this legal or just bad practice - does anyone know?. It really annoys me that its taking them so long.
Monday 26 January 2009 2.21pm
For the first few years of a building's life the developer usually "manages" it before formally handing it over to the residents (owners). It depends on how the leases are set up what happens then but these days most buildings are governed by leases allowing for a management company, formed of owners (shareholders)who then run the building. This is most ofetn sub-contracted out to a Managing Agent for the day to day stuff. The accounts should be fully audited before handover and it is almost without doubt that service charge levels will be too low to be viable into the future. The accounts should be checked in detail and all expenses fully accounted for as the charges should only be used for maintaing the building and you must ensure the developer hasn't used monies for more "structural" works and snagging issues that should be paid for by them. The larger the development the slower the process will be, but it should not drag on for maore than a couple of years, and the proposed timescale should have been explained during the purchase.
Monday 26 January 2009 5.08pm
Thanks Urbanite - I have been in my flat for about 18months but I think the development has been there at least 4years, so my thinking is that they should have got their act into gear by now!

The freehold has recently been sold to a a new owner too. It used to be owned by a company owned by Galliard the developer (I think it must have been set up for the purpose of owning the freehold).

So, am I within my rights to ask to see the accounts and question where they are why they haven't been audited?
Monday 26 January 2009 5.52pm
Go to this site to research the whole legal background and your rights:
Wednesday 28 January 2009 9.29am
There are rules about the freehold but basically it should be offered to the leaseholders first if it is for sale. They have to match any other offer on the table and there have to be a large percentage willing to participate to make it work. However, there is a bit of a loophole as I think you have spotted. If the company that owns the freehold is sold rather than the freehold itself then the above does not apply and the deveopler is free to sell to whoever he wishes.

4 years seems like a long time to me but there also seems to be quite a lot of ongoing work to the part of the development facing onto Long Lane so i guess its not fully complete yet....and the other part of the development was finished much more recently too so maybe that is a factor in delaying the handover.
Wednesday 28 January 2009 2.07pm
The Long Lane part isn't connected with the residential development and is being done up by Sunlight Projects for use as serviced apartments.
Wednesday 28 January 2009 2.28pm
Then its a long time for a handover me thinks.
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