24. Insurance and liabilities

Several residents have queried the responsibilities for insurance. As the consequences of Wrong or no insurance are enormous I hope to clarify the responsibilities and liabilities below. See below for details on making a claim.
If you do not have proper cover there may, in exceptional circumstances, be a claim against you. The result of using cheap and incompetent contractors has given rise to instances in the block where substantial damage has been caused by water leaks to flats directly due to contractors’ errors. In some instances the contractors did not have liability insurance and the lessee did not have contents insurance. The buildings’ insurers who have met the claims are seeking to recover their losses against the lessees of the flats from where the leak originated. Some claims have been for over £6,000
Through the Service charge payments the Buildings Insurance is paid. This covers the Structure, which includes the roof, walls, foundations etc as well as the common parts contents, e.g. carpets. There is a separate engineering insurance to cover the mechanical matters with lifts and boiler plant. Residents are responsible for their own contents insurance.
The lessee of each flat is responsible for his or her own contents insurance. This includes their carpets as well as personal effects. This protects you in the event of damage to your or another property as a result of something occurring in your flat e.g. Washing machine Overflowing. If in doubt check with the office
As Sub-tenants of a leaseholder, or tenants of the freeholder, you are responsible for your own Contents i.e. those items not covered by your immediate landlord. If you are in any doubt ask your landlord or agent you rented through.

As your landlord, we are responsible for paying the insurance premium for insuring the building and the common part contents against fire, theft or accidental damage. You should be aware that this “Buildings Insurance” does not cover the contents of your flat or any damage, accidental or other, to your Landlord’s or any third party’s property or Contents due to an act by yourself, family or visiting guests.
Also, please be aware that it is your own responsibility to insure any personal belongings or possessions brought into the flat against such risks.
For example, should water damage occur to the contents of the flat below due to a tap left running or overflowing bath/washing machine, this may not be covered by any buildings or landlord’s contents insurance policy and any claim would be made against you directly which may run into many thousands of pounds.
It is advisable for you to be properly insured against all risks and if you have not already done so, you should arrange appropriate cover as a matter of urgency. An insurance company or broker will be able to advise you on the most appropriate policy.
Making a Claim
Before making a claim, please keep in mind that, as in the case with motor insurance, the premium payable this year and in future years is directly affected by the number of claims,
If you find it necessary to make a claim, please contact the Estate Office at Du Cane Court.
The excess under the buildings insurance from 24 June 2012 to 2013 has been raised by insurers to £1,000.00. This means that you will be responsible for the first £1,000 of the claim which you will be required to pay. If the cost of the works is below £1,000 then you are required to meet the cost yourself and no claim may be made.

Download the full Du Cane Court Guide for owners and tenants October 2015

23. Plumbing liabilities

    The staff plumber carries out Small works in the building on communal installations. He also finds the source of leaks when reported. His services extend to changing washers, clearing blockages and non-major pipe work repairs. Generally these services are free, but if he is working on individual pipes or cisterns, his materials and his time will be charged to the flat concerned. (Please see below INDIVIDUAL LESSEE LIABILITY). If he is undertaking work he, or the office, will advise if it is a charge to the flat. If in doubt check with the office. Any recharge made is much cheaper than if
    outside contractors are called in. Please find attached the procedure for using the in-house plumber. Make sure that your tenants are aware of this if your property is rented.
    The in-house plumber is on site Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm, if you are having any plumbing works carried out within your flat we strongly advise you to have this carried out within these hours, this way if a problem does arise the in-house plumber should be able to assist you. If you carry out plumbing works at any other time and a problem does arise or a leak develops in any part of the plumbing within your flat for which you are responsible you will be charged for the resulting emergency call out and
    We cannot guarantee that the in-house plumber will attend, you may then need to use an independent firm.
    Several residents have enquired about the fitting of thermostatic valves; this is an individual flat owner liability and not a service charge item. The fitting of this can only be undertaken and completed whilst the heating system is off. Please consult with the in-house plumber (See item. 26)
    b. COMMUNAL PIPES (Service Charge Liability)
    The building is responsible, through the service charge, to maintain the communal installations. These are the supply pipes in the ducts to the flats, which serve hot and cold water and also central heating. The waste pipes in the stack are also communal.
    Pipes individually serving one flat are the liability of that flat’s lessee. This includes waste pipes, hot and cold feed pipes from the Service duct, plus stopcocks to sinks, baths and basins, as well as the waste pipes from these fittings. Radiators and their valves are also the lessee’s individual liability and the pipe work once it leaves the main
    If in doubt ask! Immediately report all leaks/faults to the desk for the in-house plumber. If you are having plumbing works carried out please check with the office and ALWAYS have the stopcocks checked first to ensure they work. If they do not, this must be your plumber’s first job. Any requests for water shut downs must be notified to the desk at least 24 hours in advance. We always try to accommodate such requests but no guarantees can be given.
    Please ensure if you are considering changing your radiators that you are aware that the heating System here is an open system and that some radiators are not suitable.
    We would advise that you or your contractor speak to the in-house plumber prior to undertaking any plumbing works within your property.

Download the full Du Cane Court Guide for owners and tenants October 2015

22. Contractor guidelines

    Please ensure if you have any contractors undertaking works to your property that you make them aware of these guidelines.
  2. No contractors’ vehicles (apart from those employed for the maintenance of Du Cane Court) are allowed to park in the inner courtyards without the express permission of the Manager.
  3. All deliveries of materials to be made through the rear entrance where the service lift is situated.
  4. All workmen to use this same entrance. Under no circumstances may workmen use the passenger lifts.
  5. All work to be carried out during normal working hours i.e. 8.30 am – 5 pm. Monday to Friday and Saturday morning until 1 pm. Sunday and Bank Holiday working is not permitted.
  6. Any work of a noisy nature i.e. hammering, drilling, sawing etc must be kept to a minimum and neighbours above and below should be notified in advance of such works of at least 24hrs minimum notice and if at all possible noisy works should be avoided on a Saturday. Please speak to Estate Office staff with regards to notifying neighbours. Re-furbishment works are not to be carried out on a Saturday. No sawing is to be carried out in any of the courtyards or corridors. The use of a Kangoo is strictly forbidden. To save the common parts from dirt, wear and tear etc, a dustsheet must be used outside the relevant flat door during working hours and then removed each day.
  7. It is not permissible to use either the common parts bin Store areas or passages for storage or working.
  8. The playing of transistor radios so as to be heard outside the flat is not allowed.
    8. The removal of all rubble, rubbish, etc relevant to the work is the responsibility of the contractor. It must be retained in the flat until removed from site.
  9. Arrangements for individual skips should be made with the Manager.
  10. No advertising boards may be placed anywhere in the curtilage of the building

Download the full Du Cane Court Guide for owners and tenants October 2015

21. Gardens

    a) Gardens are situated within all courtyards for the pleasure of all residents. Please respect them and leave them as you would wish to find them. Do not throw rubbish down – take it back to your flat or put it down the chutes. Please do not throw cigarette ends on the ground but dispose of them within the receptacles provided.
    b) No Estate Agents’ boards may be erected in or around the grounds. Any found will
    be immediately removed.
    c) No BBQ’s are allowed to be used anywhere on the Estate.

Download the full Du Cane Court Guide for owners and tenants October 2015

20. Pest control

A contract is held with a pest control company for the standard-type pests, i.e. mice, rats, Cockroaches, common cloth moths, ants, pharaoh’s ants and bed bugs. If you experience Such problems please advise the Estate Office.
Please act quickly on the suspicion of pest infestation to avoid an unnecessary outbreak.

Download the full Du Cane Court Guide for owners and tenants October 2015

19. Boilers

    The boilers are situated in the basement and are gas fired. Constant hot water is Supplied throughout the year and heating is supplied between 1 October and 1 May as stipulated by the lease. It is occasionally necessary to carry out emergency repairs to the system in which case notice will be given to residents where possible. Disruptions are kept to a minimum but we have no control over the supply of gas or water to the boilers.
    Repairs to radiators should be carried out between May and September when the heating is off as draining down deprives other residents of heating. Please see notes on plumbing liabilities (item 23).
    If you have any problems with radiators please contact the on-site plumber. (See item 26) Repair costs for radiators and associated pipe work are the responsibility of the lessee.
    A book is held at the main reception desk to report any problems/faults for the inhouse plumber, you will be required to provide details and a contact name and number. (See item 26)

18. Service lift

    The service lift is available from 8 am to 5pm Monday to Friday for the use of lessees for transporting large items and furniture and also for workmen use. On Saturday it is available from 8am – 1pm, however we are able to allow residents only to continue to use this lift until 4pm on a Saturday for transporting furniture and large items. No Bank Holiday or Sunday use. Please do not ask staff to use the lift out of the above hours.
    Please ensure when using this lift that you close the door correctly as other people may wish to use this lift and if the bell is continually sounding to call the lift due to the doors not being shut properly it can cause a disturbance to other residents,
    Residents moving in and out of the building please be aware of these timings as out of these hours you will not be able to transport items within the passenger lifts and also you may have to move all your items by using the stairs.

Download the full Du Cane Court Guide for owners and tenants October 2015

17. Lifts

  1. LIFTS
    Attached is a plan showing where lifts are situated and the lift number they are known by. Lift number 10 is the service lift. If you experience a fault, please advise the porters immediately. Should a lift stop between floors or fail whilst you are in it, press the Emergency Call Button on the panel, which will ring in the porters’ area. Immediate steps will be taken to release you,
    The lifts are for the benefit of everyone and graffiti in them can cause offence and distress. Removal of graffiti costs money, which is paid by the service charge. Anyone found defacing the lift cars would be charged for the complete removal of all graffiti.
    Lifts 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9 are shut down each evening at around 11 pm and reopened at around 5.30 am. No furniture or items other than people and small hand luggage are to be transported in the lifts as this causes damage to the lifts and we are billed for mis-use under our maintenance contract for the lifts.

Download the full Du Cane Court Guide for owners and tenants October 2015

16. In case of fire!

du cane court fire exits and floor plan
    If you suspect there is a fire please dial 999 immediately and advise the porters/security as soon as possible only if safe to do so. Close all doors and leave your flat by the emergency stairways. DO NOT USE THE LIFTS. All flats are strongly encouraged to fit Smoke detectors and to be aware of the nearest FIRE EXIT. REMEMBER – GET OUT – STAY OUT. CALL 999
    The easiest way to protect your home and yourself is with a working smoke alarm
    • A Smoke alarm can provide an early warning of a fire and allow you to make your escape, but only if it is working. o Test your smoke alarms regularly. a Never disconnect or take the batteries out of your smoke alarm.

If you do not have a smoke alarm within your property you can make an appointment with the London Fire Brigade for a free home fire safety visit. The London Fire Brigade offers personal fire safety advice in your home and will also fit a free smoke alarm where needed. If you or someone you know wants a home fire safety visit, you can call free on: 08000284428 or email at: [email protected]

You can prevent a fire from happening by taking a few simple steps
• Do not leave cooking unattended
• Be especially vigilant when cooking with oil, Don’t overfill chip pans and
NEVER throw water on a chip fire
• Make sure cigarettes are extinguished properly, use a proper ashtray, never
throw cigarettes from flat windows
• Don’t overload electrical sockets
• Turn off appliances when not in use
• Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and away from materials
which may catch fire, never leave lit candles unattended.

Keep safe and plan your escape
• Ensure you have a smoke alarm & Make sure you are aware of where your nearest fire exit is to from your flat, do it now don’t wait until an emergency. if in doubt speak to the reception desk staff. Fire Exits are also shown on the attached floor plan. o Close doors at night especially the doors to the kitchen to prevent fire.

Download the full Du Cane Court Guide for owners and tenants October 2015

du cane court fire exits and floor plan

15. TV Aerials & Sattelite dishes

    Satellite TV can be obtained by ringing Sky directly who have a Sky Digital installation at Du Cane Court. Please contact sky forflats.com or call 08442 411823. No individual
    dishes are permitted at DCC.
    If you already have Sky installed within your property and have any issues with the system then please contact Love Digital who have the contract with Sky for the
    maintaining/maintenance and repairs of the system. The contact procedures are as follows.
    Resident issues – 0845291.2012 and follow instructions on the phone system
    System issues (this is for the main communal/system) – call 020876O7653 to get through to the team that deal with systems, please note though they cannot book service calls for individual residents as they are two separate sets of engineers and this number is if the main system is down/affected only.
    If you’re unsure if it’s a resident or system issue then call the 08452912012 number.
    Residents only need to call sky for billing enquiries or for the initial setting up of Sky
    Aerial installation is individual liability – access to the roof must be pre-arranged, once you have arranged for the installation please advise staff of the date and time and details of the company attending. Details of a company frequently used is as follows – Bruce Berry of Aerial Excellence is the contact 07986 533 649

Download the full Du Cane Court Guide for owners and tenants October 2015