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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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How can I get my Management Co to give priority and act to

Customer Question

How can I get my Management Co to give priority and act to get my gas supply restored urgently?
I live in purpose built block of flats on 999 year lease, built in 1984 - I have top floor penthouse above 6 other flats, which are half the total building. Management Co is Underleasor, formed to manage building and lease and each of the total 14 flat owners are equal shareholders in co.
After many years of multiple gas boiler failures and a new boiler we fitted in 2003 by Brit Gas, Brit Gas now say our top floor input gas pressure is legally too low and unsafe, and have disconnected our boiler. They claim (after many engineer and senior party visits) that the only remedy is to re lay the main supply pipe at much larger diameter from our meter on ground floor to our boiler in penthouse.
It transpires all the West side services (gas pipes and water pies and electric cables) run from ground floor to top floor up a dedicated service void which abuts the common stair well which is also a fire escape construction. Each pipe is a dedicated supply for each flat but they run up a common void in a common part od the building, for which we have had to get Management Co approval to open and inspect.
We have been without gas now for 32 days and have no obvious prospect of being reconnected as the Man Co seem only interested in who will pay for what and what reports are needed for their external experts review before they will give any authorisations for work or before we can make independent authorisations. They are not giving our urgent case any form of priority or emphasis and I believe are just trying to avoid any company based expenses. Problem is made much worse now since Brit Gas have found many installation issues with common void in terms of current standards of safety and fire suppression, all of which they say must be corrected before they can install a new supply pipe for us. All communications to Man Co come from us and we receive nothing back as to their actions, plans or progress
Hep!!!
David Barker
How can we push things along urgently. Man Co clearly do not believe Brit Gas reporsts but are not doing anything to clarify situation.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Why won't British Gas just reconnect you please?
Customer:

My initial question gave this info. Brit Gas will not re pipe as to our needs UNTIL the common void is brought up to current standards of fire and gas safety. This requires air vents to base and external top of void fitting, air vents fire proofed on each void landing, fire stop floor inserts on each void floor space, and new longer life fire resistant void sealing panels into stair well and common fire escape. When all this is done, they will re pipe and re supply gas. But all this is in general fabric of building and must be a responsibility of Management Co

Alex Watts : Why won't the management co do this?
Customer:

I think there are many reasons. First, they prefer not to spend any money if it can be avoided. Second, the needed works would be very disruptive and messy for all in the west side of the building. Third, they keep saying if we (Brit Gas) open the void for any reason - we have caused the issue and are fully liable for all repair and upgrade costs and this is clearly not true. Fourth, they do appear to be very non believing of anything British Gas report and see it as BG looking for business. Fifth, they say they will get their own reports both engineering/surveying/ and legal on the issue but are not engaging any parties to do this and we are left in the middle

Alex Watts :

You need to get a surveyor round to say whose the problem is and produce a report. Then you know who you need to sue, but I agree its likely to be the Landlord.

Alex Watts :

You then need to get a number of quotes for doing the work and putting it right - this forms your loss

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a payment or the work done within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.

Alex Watts :

If they do not then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.

Alex Watts :

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

Alex Watts :

If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

no thanks. I think you have indicated our pathway. Clearly there will be no "quick fix" on this but at least I can see what I mist do.

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