CityWest Homes is committed to involving you in the planning and delivery of major works to your property.
What are major works?
Major works may involve:
- Repairs to the structure of the building (for example, concrete repairs and roof timbers)
- Replacing items that are old (for example, windows and heating systems)
- Maintenance (for example, painting the outside of the building)
- Improvements (for example, fitting a door-entry system and landscaping)
Due to the cost or type of work involved, projects like this have to be carefully planned.
Who is involved in major works?
- Tenants and Leaseholders - as the major works affect your home and general environment.
- Housing Service Providers and some TMOs - are responsible for some aspects of major works consultation
- Building contractors - carry out the work to a standard that has been agreed with providers, residents and CityWest Homes
CityWest Homes manage major works and approves the funding for schemes. The following teams in CityWest Homes are involved in major works.
- Asset strategy set the plan for maintaining and improving your block and advises on procurement
- Capital programme delivery team will manage the major works project affecting your home
- Lessee services issue statutory notification of works and bills to leaseholders
The five key steps to the major works process
- Deciding what works are carried out and when
- Consulting with residents, including statutory lessee consultation
- Carrying out the works
- When the works have finished
- Major works bills and payment options
STEP 1: Deciding what works are carried out and when
In order to produce a five year major works programme, we regularly carry out stock condition surveys, hold estate inspections with resident representatives, and analyse reoccurring trends in maintenance issues or repairs in order to determine the works necessary to keep Westminster City Council’s properties in good condition. The programme usually covers a period of two to five years and is formally approved by Westminster City Council. The agreed programme is published on our website and is available at each estate office.
You will be updated on how you can find out more about forthcoming works programmes through our local newsletters. If there are works planned for your area, we will provide you with opportunities to discuss the works and what they will mean to you.
Depending on the type of work planned, we may need to undertake a full survey of your block or estate to help us plan the work in detail. At this stage we may write to you to arrange access to your home to determine the full extent of the work needed and to help us plan how best to carry it out. When the surveys are finished we will inform you of the results and seek your views, along with those of everyone who is affected by the scheme, before deciding on the scope of the scheme.
STEP 2: Consulting with residents, including statutory lessee consultation
When the works have been specified, we will write to you explaining how you can find out more about our plans. We will also invite you to a drop in session to give you the opportunity to discuss the works with our surveyors.
At this time we will also issue you with the first formal consultation notice required under section 20 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, as amended by section 151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
This formal consultation notice is served where we are proposing to carry out works that we estimate will cost more that £250 per lessee. The consultation requirements differ depending on the overall value of the works and the length of the contract.
Most of our major works programmes are carried out under individual contracts of less than 12 months. If the cost of the works means that any individual lessee in your block will have to pay more than £250, you will receive a formal notice giving the following details:
A description of the works (or the address and opening hours of a place at which a description of the proposed works may be inspected)
The reasons for considering it necessary to carry out the works
An invitation to nominate a person from whom we should try to obtain an estimate
The name and address where any written comments about the works may be sent
The date by which any comments must be received.
You will have 30 days from the date of the notice to give your comments and observations on the proposed works. It is very important that you give your views at this stage as it helps us to fine-tune the final specification before contractors are invited to tender for the works.
The next stage is to invite a number of carefully selected contractors to bid for the works. The bids, or tenderer's, will be assessed on cost and quality to make sure that we get ‘value for money’. We will invite you to be involved in the evaluation of tenders for work to your block. This is not part of the statutory process but is an important part of our process.
When the tenders have been returned, you will receive the second formal notice known as the Notice of Landlord’s Proposals. This notice sets out the details of the contractors who have submitted tenders, their costs for the works and the name of the company we recommend awarding the contract to. Again, you will have 30 days in which to make any observations.
We will report our recommendations for award of contract to Westminster City Council. This includes any lessee observations in the report so that the Council can taken them into account when making their decision.
We will then award the contract. If we award the contract to a company that did not submit the lowest tender we will write to you again to let you know.
STEP 3: Carrying out the works
Shortly before works start we shall write to you to provide information about the upcoming works and invite you to meet the contractor. We will advise you in advance if scaffolding is going up and to remind you to advise your home contents insurance company. The information will contain a summary of the work that we intend to do and approximately how long it will take. We will also let you know what inconvenience the work may cause you, so that you can prepare for it.
As the works progress we will send you updates on a regular basis. If your estate has a residents’ association or residents’ panel we will keep in regular contact with them. We will also provide regular reports to your area management committee (made up of residents from your area) on progress of the work.
If you experience any problems throughout the work, please let your resident relations team member know.
STEP 4: When the works have finished
When the works finish we will write to you and ask you if there are any issues that need to be resolved. You will also be asked to complete a satisfaction survey.
We hold back part of the contract payment for a period of time to make sure that any incomplete or faulty work is sorted out. This period is called the ‘defects period’. Depending on the nature of the work, we may need to inspect your home to check the quality of the work.
Please take the time to tell us if you are not completely satisfied with the work. It is important that you return the survey form as it helps us to learn from any issues and to remedy any problems before the contractor leaves site.
Approximately one year after the works are complete, we will contact you to carry out a defects inspection. We will try to inspect all homes to check that all of the work has been done.
STEP 5: Major works bills and payment options
We know that most lessees will want to budget for the cost of major works. We will try to help you to do this by giving you as much notice as possible of proposed works and by providing a range of payment options.
For more information on major works bills and payment options, please click here