We are responsible for the maintenance of the communal and structural parts of the building and communal areas (shared areas) of estates such as roads, communal gardens and parking areas.
The upkeep and repair of these areas is our responsibility as the freeholder.
The cost of maintaining a building varies according to its age and structure. From time to time it will be necessary for us to undertake items of major works to improve or repair the communal and structural parts of the building. These will usually be one-off works.
If the cost of the repair or improvement is likely to result in a service charge bill of more than £250, then it is referred to as a major work. We also use the term ‘major works’ to include external decorations and associated repairs.
Major works can include
- fitting fire safety doors
- renewing windows
- renewing roofs
- doing structural work
- redecorating shared areas such as hallways and on the outside of your building
- improving shared area in sheltered housing for older residents
- creating new homes from disused buildings
Who to contact
During the consultation period, we will give you the name of one of our officers to contact about any issues or concerns you may have.
You can find information about major works which are in progress on the My Lewisham Homes portal. If you’re having work done to your building or estate at the moment, you can find contact details for the contractor and our staff on the contact sheet given to you before work started.
Please report day to day repairs which may be needed to your home, such as work needed to fix your windows, on My Lewisham Homes.
What should I expect when works are carried out to my home?
Improvements carried out on your home can require short-term disruption, so it is important to know what to expect from us, how you can prepare for the works and what will happen. We have prepared a set of guides so you can find out more about what to expect with different kinds of works to your home.
We are committed to consulting with our residents, including leaseholders at all stages of a major works project.
As a leaseholder, if you have concerns about the work, you should raise these as soon as possible so we can deal with them. Do not wait until you receive your bill. It is much easier to sort out disputes with contractors when they are still on-site.
The type of consultation will depend on the works that we plan to do. For example, if we are planning a lot of work with major changes then we will organise meetings and give more information to residents than if we are carrying out regular external decorations to your building.
Where work is going to cost more than £250 per leasehold flat, you have to be consulted about the work before the work begins in accordance with Section 151 of the Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
You will receive a Notice of Intention outlining the works that we intend to carry out.
You can respond to this notice within 30 days, with your comments on the scope of the intended work and in some circumstances you will have the right to nominate a contractor.
Following this, if we still intend to carry out the work, a further notification will be sent containing details of the estimated costs.
You will then have a further 30 days to give us your comments. We will look carefully at your comments and will have regard to them. You cannot refuse permission for the works to go ahead. We have responsibility under the lease to repair and maintain the building and common parts of the estate.
Frequently asked questions on major works
What works are covered under External and Communal works?
The works may include repair/renewal to external building components such as windows, roofs and doors. Works may also include various other communal and external improvements.
What work is covered under Internal works?
Internal improvements work may include upgrading kitchens, bathrooms, heating and wiring upgrades. However, all works are subject to survey.
How do I know when my kitchen/bathroom will be replaced?
If your property is on a renewal programme, you will be contacted by our contractor with at least two weeks’ notice to arrange a convenient date for a survey to take place. Following the survey’s outcome, our contractors will give you a date for the work to start and advise you of what you need to do in advance of the work.
Please note that we must prioritise essential safety work from time to time, which means we have to put pre-planned work to your building or estate on hold. We will keep you updated about any changes to work to your building or in your area.
Who do I contact about works to my home?
Our contractors employ specialist Resident Liaison Officers (RLO) whose role is to support you when major works are carried out to your home.
Your RLO will set up appointments, handle access and contractor concerns, and investigate complaints as your first point of contact. Before they begin working, they will provide you with a contact sheet with their contact details.
How do you determine what works will be carried out to my property?
Every block/property due to benefit from improvement works is surveyed before the commencement of any works.
For external works, this involves looking at the condition of your building from ground level, followed by a more detailed survey, if necessary.
The outcome of these surveys will determine what work is required. We'll write to you to tell you what works you can expect to receive.
Is the Council guaranteeing that works will be carried out in the programmed year
There are some circumstances in which published dates may change; for example:
- contractor validations surveys indicate that the condition of components is different from what the stock condition showed – this mainly happens because the contracts can undertake a close-up survey as opposed to the visual nature of the stock condition surveys
- we've had to prioritise essential health and safety work within the available budget
When will any of the work identified in my home be started and completed?
The programme of works is based on prioritising the worst properties. In addition, we have committed to ensuring that all Decent Homes-related work will be completed as soon as possible within the financial year. (Decent Homes is the Government’s technical standard for housing).
Will I be expected to pay for the work?
For tenants, rent includes an allowance for upgrading their homes, so they will not be required to pay anything else. Leaseholders will be asked to contribute to the works as provided under the terms of their lease.
Will I have the opportunity to see the specification and samples of what contractors will install, and will I have any choice?
The Council, supported by the contractor for your area, will undertake statutory and non-statutory consultation before works commence. Where your block/property set-up allows it and weather permits, we will also launch a roadshow event where samples of components will be provided.
Separately, residents will be able to exercise come choice on some programme, eg. on the design on kitchens and in determining colour schemes in communal areas. For communal work, options will be decided on a majority basis.
Paying for major works
If you have a question that is not covered here, please contact us and we can talk through any concerns that you may have regarding payment of major works charges.
When should I pay my major works charge?
Payment is due within 21 days of the invoice date. If full payment is not made within 21 days, then you must complete the online payment options form.
- if your bill is below £3,000, you can pay in up to 24 monthly instalments
- if your bill is over £3,000, you can pay in up to 36 monthly instalments
- if your bill is over £10,000, you can pay in up to 60 monthly instalments
To set up a direct debit, you will need to agree on a monthly repayment plan with us and then complete the online major works direct debit form.
You can ask your bank to pay the service charge by standing order, usually on a monthly basis. If you set up a bank standing order with your bank, we still require you to complete and return a payment options form and return it to Home Ownership Services so that we can update our system. Please quote your 10 digit major works account number when paying by this method.
Credit or debit card
Call our 24 hour automated card payment service on 020 8690 8707, or email Home Ownership Services. You will need your 10 digit major works account number. If you use a credit card to make your payment a surcharge will be added to the amount you pay.
Payments can be made online using a credit or debit card. If you use a credit card to make your payment, a surcharge will be added to the amount you pay. There is no surcharge for debit card payments.
Apply for a major works payment card. This can be used at any Post Office. You can also use the card to pay by cash at a Pay Point outlet.
Planned Maintenance Major Works Policy