I would like to ask GLERA about the non possibility of opting out from window replacement at Hatfield House..
I have just spoken to Shane Howat at The Barbican Estate Office who tells me it is not possible to opt out of this. I do not want my windows replaced and also think that the amount predicted for this is unbeliveably expensive.
My windows seem fine to me and I wonder what anyone else at Hatfield House thinks on this matter?
Well Nancy - if Great Arthur House is anything to go by you've got 20 years to save up for your new windows, as that's how long it took us to finally get them!
If you were a sitting Council Tenant and bought you're place under Right-To-Buy the City will usually offer some sort of low interest rate loan for major works (dependent upon income).
If you bought the place on the open market, you probably need to sue your Surveyor and Solicitor if they didn't advise you against buying a 'planned life' expired ex-Council property [50-60 years planned life in the Estate specifications], situated on a badly maintained Council Estate where tenants are still the majority.
The City Housing Department is negligent in that the windows should have been replaced under the Decent Homes programme over 7 years ago - but no, as leaseholder you will find you have no right to "opt out" of necessary refurbishment.
All the feedback so far from the City is that no final decision has been taken yet to replace the windows in the maisonette block and they are looking at all possibilities. There are several issues including the need to replace the coloured panels under the windows, to improve thermal performance and to improve living conditions in flats where the occupants may not be able to afford much heating.
The buildings are listed and if they were built before 1900 then you would not be allowed to replace single with double glazing and it would be a requirement to keep the window frames. I am not sure why this is not the case with GLE. Great Arthur House, despite the expense, has shown that it is possible to maintain an approximation of the original frames with modern insulation standards and this approach would have to be maintained but having seen the way that this contract has been run a lot of residents would prefer to stick with what they have got.
The issues are disruption for everyone and cost for leaseholders and whether the gains will be worth this.
Thanks for the update Tim. Much appreciated.