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  Frequently Asked Questions    
       
  Bins / rubbish:    
  Q: Who collects the rubbish and what should I do with bulky items?  
  A: The communal bin building in the car park is emptied weekly by Merton Council.
!Please do not leave any items on the floor as this is a hazard!
Large / Bulky items:
If you have bulky items such as mattresses or furniture that need collection, please would you:
i) arrange and pay for this yourself (see contact details below)
ii) do not put these in the bin store as there is no room. Please leave items outside the bin store on the day you have arranged for it to be collected
iii) Why not share the cost? - If your neighbours also have goods to be collected you could both benefit. The more there is, the cheaper it will be
Charges
The charge is £20 for up to five items, with an additional charge of £4 for each subsequent item. For those people receiving benefits or aged over 60 and not in full time employment, there is a discount on the charge. This is £10 for up to five items then £4 per additional item.
Please note this service is non-refundable.
Merton Council can also collect fridges and freezers from the front of your property. There is a separate charge of £12.50 per item for this service.
Merton Waste Services Tel: 020 8274 4902

B: Collection day For flats, this is Monday – There was some confusion as Merton Council’s advertising stated this was Friday; however Friday is for collection from houses and not flats
 
     
  Cleaning / gardening:   
  Q: Who does this and how often?  
  A: We have a trusted contractor who attends to the gardening and also the cleaning of all the communal indoor and outdoor areas. He comes weekly and carries out gardening tasks as per seasonal requirements.  
     
  Directors Expenses:   
  Q: Do the Directors receive payment?  
  A: The Directors choose not to charge for the time they dedicate to Summerhill Residents Association and provide this on a voluntary basis. They do make claims for expenses they personally incur on behalf of the Residents Association, for example postage, stationary, light bulbs, cleaning products etc. When the Directors need to use their own cars for the Residents Association, for each trip they will claim £5 or 40 pence per mile, whichever is greater; also any other associated costs, for example if they are involved in an accident they will be entitled to claim other costs incurred such as Excess and increase in premiums if the no-claims bonus is affected.  
     
  Ecology:    
  Q: Is our block ‘green’?  
  A: Yes, we are delighted to confirm that 100% of our communal electricity is supplied by www.ecotricity.co.uk All the communal light bulbs are low energy (excluding the two flood lights in the car park). All lights come on automatically whenever it is dark and turn off again when it is light.  
     
  Ground Rent   
  Q: Who pays this, how much is it and how is it paid?  
  A: There are two types of ground rent, one is for the communal areas of our buildings and grounds and the other is for each of the 18 individual flats. Both are paid direct to the Freeholder, Sinclair Gardens Investments (Kensington) Ltd (see above for their contact details). The Communal ground rent is £18 per year and is paid from the communal funds of Summerhill Residents Association. These funds come entirely from the Service Charges which each leaseholder pays to the Residents Association. See page 2 of the Main Lease for details. The Individual ground rents are £75 per year for two bedroom flats and £65 a year for one bedroom flats. It is the responsibility of each leaseholder to pay this directly to the Freeholder every six months. The Freeholder sends out written reminders in January and July. See either your own lease for details or page 5 of the Example flat lease on our web site, which is for a one bedroom flat. It is extremely important this is paid on time in order to avoid incurring penalty fees. As this would be in breach of the lease, this could also result in forfeiture of the lease, which would pass back to the freeholder.  
     
  Information   
  Q: Who can access the associaitons files and what is available?  
  A: The central principals of the Residents Association are as follows:
i) to maintain the communal parts of the grounds and building for the benefit of the leaseholders
ii) to be open and transparent
iii) to respect and maintain confidentiality as appropriate
iv) to remain a not-for-profit organisation

We have created this website as a tool to assist us with the above and our aim is that it contains a comprehensive, up-to-date, easily accessible source of information related to Summerhill Residents Association Ltd. Anyone with internet access will have access to the residents web site. As from July 2010 there is also a Secure Area - Leaseholders can logon and download a wealth of documents. Confidentiality Much of the information published is already available in the public domain, some however is confidential and therefore only accessible by Leaseholders. Rest assured, we will not include any documents confidential to an individual leaseholder such as individual Service Charge accounts. We do not plan to have an on-line system to allow individual flats to make service charge payments or view their service charge history.

For further information, do feel free to contact the Directors of the Residents Association; we will be happy to help.
 
     
  Leases:   
  Q: Why is there more than one lease?  
  A: The main lease originates from 28th April 1988, when the freeholder handed over the grounds and communal areas of the new building to Summerhill Residents Association Ltd. Each flat also has their own lease with the Freeholder which is completely separate from the Residents Association. See the tab The Association – Legal Documents for copies of the leases and other legal documents  
     
  Noise / Good neighbours:    
  Q: What is expected of me and what should I expect of others?  
  A: We all share these flats and they are our homes. We rightly expect them to be safe, peaceful and clean. Consideration and respect for others is the key. Please ensure you keep any noise to a minimum, particularly between 10:00pm and 8:00am. See the lease for full details.  
     
  Organisation:    
  Q: Who is in charge? How can I have a say?  
  A: When our flats were built, the freeholder (currently Sinclair Gardens Investments Ltd) handed over responsibility for the running of the communal areas of the building and grounds to Summerhill Residents Association Ltd. If you own the lease to your flat (there are 18 flats), then you are automatically a member of the association. Any of the leaseholders can stand for election at the AGM.

From 1st August 2010 the Residents Association will be employing a managing agent, RNW Services. They will attend to all day-to-day tasks and will be the main point of contact. Details as follows:
RNW Services
5 Heathfield Court,
4 Cedar Gardens
Sutton
SM2 5EQ
E-Mail: enquiries@summerhillresidents.co.uk
Tel: 020 3287 1696
Mobile: 07790 884 160
Emergencies: 07666 870 187 (Pager)

The rules for how the Residents Association operate are formally set out in two documents:
a) Articles of Association
b) Memorandum of Association
See the Tab The Association – Legal Documents for copies of these documents. You can download them freely from this web site.

You can formally feed back your opinions and vote at the AGMs. Or informally and on an ongoing basis you can contact the Directors with your comments or enquires at any time by e-mail - see the link at the bottom of each page or go to the Contact Us tab. If you really want to make a difference and decide how the flats and grounds are maintained, then you are warmly encouraged to become a Director. You can have as much or as little involvement as you wish and you would be most welcome. Why not contact the Directors for an informal chat.
 
     
  Problems / feedback:    
  Q: Who do I contact if I have a problem related to our flats?  
  A: For problems or feedback related to the COMMUNAL AREAS only, please contact our managing agent RNW Services, details as below:
Anything affecting areas that are not communal, such as inside the individual flats themselves will need to be dealt with by the affected leaseholders themselves. Please note however that you will need to contact our managing agent if you wish to make a claim against the buildings insurance.
RNW Services
PO Box 416
Sutton
SM1 9JL
E-Mail: enquiries@summerhillresidents.co.uk
Tel: 020 3287 1696
Emergency pager: 07666 870187

For urgent problems where (in the unlikely situation that it is not possible to make immediate contact with the Directors or our managing agent), such as fire, flood damage or damage to the roof please contact either of the following, but please also inform the Directors / managing agent of any contact you make…..Thank you

Freeholder:
Sinclair Gardens Investments (Kensington) Ltd
PO Box 65, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 5UP
Tel: 01243 869911

Buildings Insurance:
Princess Insurance Agencies
16 The Precinct, West Meads, Bognor Regis, PO21 5SB
Tel: 01243 867474
 
     
  Satellite dishes - Satellite TV:   
  Q: Can I install my own satellite dish?  
  A: No, as this is not allowed under the lease; multiple dishes would be aesthetically unpleasant. However, we can install one communal satellite dish. SKY will install this free of charge as long as at least 4 flats subscribe with SKY. See the SKY web site Shared Dish for further details.

Over the last few years we have asked if anyone living in our flats was interested, but there has been insufficient interest so far. We’re always willing to re-visit this, so why not let us know what you think by contacting the Directors. If we can confirm that a minimum of four flats are seriously committed to a SKY subscription, then we can request SKY begin procedures to install the shared dish.
 
     
  Service charges [Part 1 of 2]   
  Q: Why do I have to pay service charges and who decides the amount?  
  A: All the costs involved in the upkeep of the communal parts of the flats and grounds are funded through the Service Charge. These include: Cleaning, Gardening, Insurance, Communal Electric, Ground rent (for communal areas), Repairs, Decoration, Managing Agent

Some of these costs we could ask you to pay at the time they are due, such as decorating or replacing the windows etc. However, this would mean a sudden and substantial one-off payment. We have therefore chosen to continue the process of budgeting for the foreseeable costs and collecting these in instalments through the Service Charge. The money that is not for immediate use (known as the Reserve Fund) is kept in a deposit account, ready for when it is needed. The level of the Service Charge is set by the Directors annually and agreed by the members at the AGM. Each of the 18 flats pays the same amount, though there are alternative arrangements with regards external decoration; some leaseholders have installed double glazing and therefore will receive a refund directly related to the amount it would have cost to decorate their windows externally (for further details please contact the Directors). The budget for the next year is also agreed at this meeting

Our aim is to keep the service charge to a minimum. As of July 2010 the Service Charges have remained at the 2004 rate of £1,097 per year.
 
     
  Service charges [Part 2 of 2]   
  Q: What happens if I pay the Service Charge late or not at all?  
  A: Most leaseholders pay their service charges in good time which benefits us all and is the fairest and most responsible method. The negative affects to us all for late or non payment are considerable and result in delays to planned works, as the monies need to be in place before works can begin. We therefore propose to enforce a late payment procedure and as in all areas, are keen that this is open and clear, thus the information is published here on our web-site, along with other useful information. We trust you will agree this is the most responsible system to ensure the best outcomes for our Residents Association:

Standing orders:
a) We will send you a reminder at least 14 days before the new financial year, so by mid December, with any new amount payable; please respond to confirm your payment method
b) After a month, if we have not received your monthly payment we will send you a reminder notice
c) After two months, if we have not received your payments due we will send you a notification and remind you of the financial penalty, which is daily interest charged at 3% above the Bank of England Base Rate.
d) After three months, if we have not received your payments we will send you a final notice, confirming that unless we receive the service charges you owe in full within seven working days, we will instruct an independent debt collector on our behalf to collect the service charges due. They will also seek their own fees in full directly from you.

Six monthly payments in advance:
a) We will send you a reminder at least 14 days before the payment is due, with any new amount payable.
b) A month after the due date, if we have not received your payment we will send you a reminder notice
c) Two months after the due date, if we have not received your payment due we will send you a notification and remind you of the financial penalty, which is daily interest charged at 3% above the Bank of England Base Rate.
d) Three months after the due date, if we have not received your payments we will send you a final notice, confirming that unless we receive the service charges you owe in full within seven working days, we will instruct an independent debt collector on our behalf to collect the service charges due. They will also seek their own fees in full directly from you.
 
     
     
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  Email: enquiries@summerhillresidents.co.uk