I would like to bring to your attention the following important notices.   They concern the growing issues with the management of County Hall, the application for Section 20 dispensation, the increased and ongoing increasing service charges and a newly launched communication platform.

 

1) I have attached Paul Nicholson’s mailing to his subscribers which amplifies the current management situation. 

2) Nick Luscombe has created a “gaggle-mail” for County Hall owners to communicate CH estate issues with other owners.  If you haven't joined, please consider signing up, even at this early stage there has been great activity. I should mention that the current board of both The CH management company and the directors of the Freehold Company are not being invited to join, which has been overwhelming supported by the current subscribers.

Best wishes

Max

 

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Dear everyone, 

 

I expect that you will have received the email below regarding the application for Section 20 dispensation. It is from Naylor LLP, the law firm acting on behalf of the Management Company. 

 

This follows a direction from the First Tier Tribunal that all owners should be notified of the application, and should be given access to the application document. 

 

If you have difficulty accessing it on the County Hall portal, you can also download it here (572 pages, 100MB). I've also made a shorter version that removes a lot of detail here (49 pages, 5MB). 

 

It is a public document and there are no restrictions on sharing it. 

 

Best wishes, Nick

 

2) Two way email communication list


Concern continues to grow among leaseholders regarding the management of County Hall Apartments; particularly following the level of increase in our service charges and, for the second successive year, notice of late service charge accounts and that the management companies have potentially overspent on the budget by 20% during 2020. Equally unacceptable is that the management companies neither consulted nor sought dispensation from statutory consultation for major works to replace and upgrade the water tank and supply system until May 2021, after the work was completed and three years after one South Block water tank was detected to be leaking. That tank failed completely in July 2018 providing ample time for consultation; instead, the management company supplied water through a ‘temporary’ blue pipe for more than two years.
 
As you know, this e-mail list and similarly CHORA’s mailing list are mechanisms by which subscribers can be kept apprised of different developments. As a response to the growing dissatisfaction among leaseholders Nick Luscombe has created a two-way communication list; this provides a more open method for you to contribute to the discussions. As such, it complements this and other initiatives to provide synergies. Please see below your invitation to join the list and the guiding principles.
 
Best wishes
 

Paul

 

2) INVITATION TO JOIN COUNTY HALL OWNERS' MAILING LIST
 
Dear everyone,
 
I would like to invite you to sign up for this mailing list with the purpose of enabling County Hall owners to discuss estate issues with each other.
 
You can easily join at https://gaggle.email/join/countyhallowners@gaggle.email. It takes less than a minute to do!
 
Privacy and security are important. Gaggle mail is a reputable, secure mailing list provider which allows members to email each other (unlike one-way broadcast emails). Senders' addresses are not revealed when posting messages.
 
The list is restricted to owners and we will contact you directly when you sign up to check your flat number.
 
I have included the current guiding principles for the group below.
 
Best wishes,
 
Nick Luscombe

33 North Block
 

 
Broad guiding principles for the mailing list (updated 12 July 2021)
 
Purpose of the list
The main purpose of the list is to bring up shared issues that are relevant to us as flat owners.
 
Background to the list
The reason that I started this list is because there are important things happening in the County Hall estate which required my response, but I had great difficulty in getting any clarifying information from the Management Company or its board, and to a much lesser extent the Freehold Company. This difficulty was compounded by the fact that I was unable to contact other owners in the estate.
 
I suspect that this experience and frustration are widespread! I hope that this mailing list will contribute, in its own small way, towards allowing us to communicate with each other better, and; if necessary, coordinate our efforts. Eventually, I hope it will lead to greater trust with different stakeholders.
 
Eligibility rules
I would like to establish clear eligibility rules. We will review them from time to time.

  • Flat owners and direct family members (freehold shareholders and non-shareholders); this is because there are issues that specifically affect the fabric and management of the physical buildings.

  • No Board members or direct family members of the Freehold and Management companies; this is because we may discuss issues in which board members have a conflict of interest, and it is currently too complicated to filter specific messages for them.

Posting advice
My general advice in sending emails is to treat them like postcards that anyone can read. Although this is a private mailing list with restricted membership, your email can be forwarded to anyone.  It is particularly important that you DO NOT FORWARD LEGAL ADVICE that you receive from lawyers, as this could cause you to lose privilege.
 
Please be kind and thoughtful
There are nearly 600 owners at County Hall from a very wide variety of backgrounds. We just don't know what someone might be going through, so please be kind and thoughtful when sending a message to the list.
 
Safeguards
I put this here as a safeguard, although I don't think it will ever come to this (!).  Anyone posting offensive, abusive or inappropriate messages will receive a warning in the first instance and then removed from the list upon repetition.
 
Privacy and security
Many owners are rightly concerned about their privacy and security.

  • Gaggle stores the name and email address that you entered when signing up.

  • Your email address is hidden when you write to the mailing list.

  • There is a separate spreadsheet containing your name, email address and flat number to ensure that join requests are by owners.

  • System Admin have access to this information in order to manage the list.

  • Your information will not be shared with anyone else.

  • You can unsubscribe at any time and your information will be deleted.

To keep the list up to date, from time to time I will check the list membership against the table of "leaseholder names" available on Companies House (we are all named as shareholders of the management companies).
 
System administrators (sysadmin)
The current system administrators are Bert O'Donoghue and Nick Luscombe. Please do let me know if you'd like to become one.