Thanks to all Metropolitan residents who came to the general meeting on 23rd April. Here’s what happened
- 10 residents
- Cllr Adrian Garden (Labour, Brixton Hill)
- Karla Powell – Housing Services Officer
- S Hussain – Housing Services Manager
- Angie Banton – Head of Housing
- Elly Farthing – Complaints Manager
- Desmond Vincent – Head of planned maintenance
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Plans for the Estate
Before the merger Metropolitan had a five year plan for the estate which residents were consulted on in the general meeting on Thursday 18th October 2018.
Desmond Vincent said he would not be proceeding with that plan. In answer to Saleha Jaffer’s question he said the surveys carried out by the old organisation only covered some aspects of the estate. He didn’t want to just survey kitchens and bathrooms, he wanted to survey all aspects of the estate. Surveys have already been done on internals and the majority of the electricals. Surveys have yet to be done on externals. There is no estimated date for completion.
Desmond said there will be a survey of affected blocks. No date for when. Chris to send Karla and Desmond details of the blocks where the TRA knows there are lots of complaints about damp.
Desmond said there had been no formal consultation with the other landlords on the estate.
Access the Resident Properties
FFT consultancy is doing stock condition work for Metropolitan. The surveyor from FFT should carry out a comprehensive survey. No other visits from surveyors should be required, with the possible exception of a specialist asbestos survey. Dennis said he was visited by several surveyors, this should not have been necessary
We know there is a problem with missed appointments. Dennis Jones has a problem with missed appointments from Breyer Group contractors (i.e. not surveyors). This meant work that should have taken seven days took fifteen Rita Forrest said she was given a date that wasn’t convenient in January and now, in late April, Metropolitan still have not been able to find a convenient date for her.
In Dennis’ property a mixer tap was fitted with a thermostatic control. This was not appropriate for his property and left him without hot water for ten days. Karla said the plumber should have identified it was not appropriate at the time.
Desmond said what happened Rita & Dennis should not happen. Karla agreed to refer the issue to the compliance team. [Secretary’s note: If anyone else has encountered situations like this please please email email@example.com, and copy in StMartinsResidentsLambeth@gmail.com]
Dennis asked for Metropolitan works liaison officer with dedicated phone number. This makes complaints more personal than going via firstname.lastname@example.org. Desmond to investigate.
Dennis Jones said it can take 40 minutes for a response to 020 3535 3535. Annalisa Premoli and Yvette says it can take months to get a response to email@example.com . Nobody present at the meeting could explain why this was. Angie, the head of housing, will ask the customer service team in Nottingham for an explanation
Some discussion as to whether it would be good for the housing officers to hold regular surgeries on the estate. Karla said she did surgeries in 2015 and 2016 but attendance was low. Chris thought that was because they were not well advertised, he was TRA secretary then and did not hear about them. Karla and Angie said they would be reluctant to reinstate surgeries unless it was shown there was a need. They did not say what would prove to them there was a need.
Until 2016 Metropolitan resold water to tenants on behalf of Thames Water. They got a discount for this from Thames Water but did not pass this on A court recently ruled Southwark Council should have passed the discount on. Stephen asked if Metropolitan planned to do the same. [secretary’s note: Background to this case is here].
Angie said there is a further test case underway with Kingston Council. The outcome is expected later this year. Metropolitan will not be making any decision until the outcome of this test case
Dennis urged all residents who live on their own to apply for a water meter. Even if Thames Water can’t fit a meter they will still give the resident a discount.
A light on a path linking Roupell Road with Kynaston and Gwynne House had been broken for a very long time due to problems with power supply problems. It was only recently fixed. No explanation as to why it took so long.
Other street lights on Gaywood Close are out due to power supply problems. Karla to investigate and give feedback,
Some leaseholders have had big increases in their service charges. Evetten Iles said in Nicholl Court person’s case past service charges in the past have included charges for a lift when there was no lift. In both cases the TRA encourages leaseholders to email firstname.lastname@example.org and copy in StMartinsResidentsLambeth@gmail.com . Residents should receive a response within a month. If not they should make a formal complaint by emailing email@example.com
Any Other Business
Kynaston House and Sheppard House has problems with pipe corrosion. Angie to write to the compliance team.
Saleha said sometimes work reported as done when that simply means the job is closed by the repair is not complete. S Hussain, the Housing Manager, said there can be a problem with unclear communication with residents on this subject. He will write to the TRA with his plans for improvements.
There are special staff in Metropolitan for dealing with cases where multiple residents have made the same complaint. Elly Farthing is one of these members of staff.
Saleha had a problem there was a leak from her upstairs neighbour flat that affects her flat. Karla confirmed in that case Metropolitan should have communicated with her upstairs neighbour. This applies regardless of whether either person is a leaseholder or a tenant.
Desmond will contact Stephen (our chair) by 2nd May to agree a date to meet with him.
Chris to send emails in draft form to everybody present and ask them to correct any errors or omissions. After a week he will distribute minutes to all Metropolitan residents on the estate.
Chris to email everyone who came to ask if they were satisfied with the response. If they are not he will email Cllr Adrian Garden and Cllr Mary Atkins to discuss how we can escalate the issue.