Standard costs

PUBLISHED: 10:09 11 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 06 May 2010

SIR, — I see the residents of the St Paul s Place block of flats are upset at the proposed cost of roof repairs (Herts Advertiser, December 4). I wonder how many of the leaseholders actually have a copy of the lease or have read the tenants repairing cov

SIR, - I see the residents of the St Paul's Place block of flats are upset at the proposed cost of roof repairs (Herts Advertiser, December 4). I wonder how many of the leaseholders actually have a copy of the lease or have read the tenants' repairing covenants?

I do not mean to sound unsympathetic but these sort of repairs are standard, albeit unwelcome, costs for leaseholders in blocks of flats. They or their solicitors should be aware of such predicted costs prior to purchase and either adjust purchase price or budget for it.

I would assume the roof is 20-25 years old and as such this is the average life span for a traditional flat roof.

As regards dealing with the issue earlier to lessen cost, flat roofs degrade. They then need re-building. There are no cost-effective interim steps you can take that will avoid this situation. You can patch repair them but you only delay the inevitable and spend more long term.

It is unlikely that the solar panels will need additional support. Flat roofs are designed to take a fair amount of weight. Think about the weight of six inches of snow on the roof for instance.

Do ask to see specification of work and breakdown of costs if you are concerned. It is perfectly normal for a freeholder to provide costs to leaseholders. This should isolate any costs associated with the solar panels.

If necessary use a Chartered QS to look at the costs if you need a professional expert opinion. This will not force the freeholder to review their plans but may add weight to your argument on costs

My gut feeling regarding the cost is that in broad terms it is not extortionate once you properly consider all the costs involved - labour, materials, access scaffolds, project management, CDM, insurance.

Finally I just redid a flat roof - and put a new boiler in - on a property I own and I wish I had been given five years interest free to pay!

Nic Trevillion,

Douglas Road, Harpenden.


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