A resident of Block 15 contacted the Residents Association when the buyer of his flat failed to get a mortgage approved. The buyer could not get a mortgage due to the building not being certified as fire safe.
25th September 2019
Notting Hill Genesis produced a letter confirming the building was safe and compliant to all required standards.
7th November 2019
After many emails back and forth, Notting Hill Genesis had a visual survey carried out on the block to determine if further surveys would be needed. We then received correspondence, which stated ‘no immediate concerns’ but further surveys needed.
22nd November 2019
Notting Hill Genesis send over the BRE report for the type of cladding at Zenith to try and use this to satisfy lenders, rather than carrying out the intrusive survey. This document was publicly available for over four years at the time of their email and shows that if installed properly, the type of cladding used at Zenith was compliant to required standards.
However, it was a general report for the manufacturer and not specific to Zenith, so it was never going to be acceptable to lenders.
2nd December 2019
The pack of information provided on 22nd November was not satisfactory for lenders, which brought us back to needing an intrusive survey to be carried out.
15th January 2020
NHG continued to try and get the EWS form signed without undertaking an intrusive survey, but their surveyors' insurers were not happy with the liability this created. The conclusion of this was again that the intrusive survey needed to be carried out.
4th February 2020
An email was received from NHG with a variety of excuses, stating no timescales still for intrusive survey, but that potentially they would be able to start on this in 6+ months.
19th February 2020
BBC and Times articles published. NHG provided statement to the Times stating that the survey was scheduled for March, before informing any residents of this. After the Residents Association read the article and asked NHG about it, NHG confirmed to us that the intrusive survey would actually be carried out on 26th February.
26th February 2020
Intrusive survey carried out.
19th March 2020
NHG confirmed some issues were found by the survey, but no further details were disclosed.
1st May 2020
We were told that NHG is now in discussions with Hill (the developer of the building) regarding the first survey’s findings.
7th May 2020
Second intrusive survey took place.
2nd June 2020
Residents still had not been told what the issues with the building were. Following being chased for an update, NHG promised info by the end of that day or the next day (3rd June). NHG failed to deliver any update to the residents and subsequently promised to send out info on 4th June, on 5th June and on 10th June, before finally sending it over on 24th. The final delay was caused by NHG deciding to consult with a fire engineer on the surveys' findings, to assess what safety measures were appropriate to take.
24th June 2020
NHG delivered the information to residents on the faults uncovered in the building. Residents are told it could be 42 months to rectify the issues, during which time the flats are not sellable, and the cost of rectifying this could be passed on to them.
A waking watch was simultaneously put in place at this point – five wardens at any one time 24/7. NHG refused to confirm the costs of this to residents.
NHG then sent out an EWS1 form for residents to use to remortgage, which certified the building was unsafe. NHG themselves noted that this form was very unlikely to be accepted by lenders.
14th July 2020
NHG served Section 20 notices on residents to allow NHG to recover the cost of new fire alarms (£1,162 per flat). The Section 20 notices referenced the wrong building, were dated wrongly, and had the wrong person to reply to.
21st July 2020
NHG served Section 20 notices on residents to allow NHG to recover the cost of the waking watch, which was revealed to be £5,711 per flat per year. This will remain chargable indefinitely until NHG remove the waking watch. The Section 20 notices again referenced the wrong building, were dated wrongly, and had the wrong person to reply to.