A History Of Du Cane Court

It has featured in property programmes on television; and has benefited from a wide compass of residents and visitors, who, in the fullness of time, have spread the news about what it is like to live there.

The building was erected between 1935 and 1938, and has pleasing curves and metal window-frames, similar to those designed by Walter Crittall to replace the wooden sash variety, – although the old frames are now being slowly replaced. The design also included a stylish restaurant, a bar, and a club with extensive facilities. Originally, there were also plans for squash courts and a children’s crèche area, as well as roof gardens. Indeed, people remember sunbathing on the roof. The building has changed a lot over the years, but it still has a beautiful foyer and attractive Japanese gardens, landscaped by Seyemon Kusumoto; and, at the time of its completion, it had the distinction of being probably the largest block of privately-owned flats under one roof in Europe. All of the companies involved in its construction were researched for the book, and an account is given as to how this edifice – encompassing around 676 flats – reflected a period of architectural history.

Read more at Time & Leisure

Big in Balham

Inside Du Cane Court, an art deco gem in London’s Balham and the property manager who keeps the iconic 1930’s block running smoothly in the modern world.
Read the full article at Flat Living

Du Cane Court on Wikipedia

According to Wikipedia Du Cane Court was a popular place to live for many music hall stars in the 1930s and 1940s and boasted a social club, on the top floor, before the area was converted into flats. Past residents have included the comedian Tommy Trinder. Currently comedian and writer Arthur Smith, the self-styled ‘Bard of Balham’, is a resident.

Read more at wikipedia

Arthur Smith on Balham – Time Out

Comedian, star of TV’s Grumpy Old Men and Balham’s most famous resident, Arthur Smith has graced SW12 with his presence for over 20 years. In July 2008, he recorded a series of comedy and music shows, ‘Arthur Smith’s Balham Bash’, from his flat for BBC Radio 4

Read more at Time Out

29. Water hygiene

Water Hygiene
The water hygiene at DCC is of a good standard and we are keen to keep it that way, as
part of our water management as we are on an open system it is important that residents also understand the importance of carrying out simple water hygiene maintenance within their properties. Please see the steps below that you need to follow,
o Make Sure that all your taps and showers are used at least weekly. If any tap or shower is not used for a week or more (for instances when you are on holiday) then please run these gently for 3 or 4 minutes when you return. Also remember to clean your shower heads.
o Heated towel rails should be left permanently on with the valve fully open at all times, including the Summer. Although this may not be convenient on hot days, leaving the valve open means that hot water flows through the towel rail and prevents any growth of bacteria.
oThermostatic Mixing Valves (TMVs) typically found in modern shower
appliances should be serviced at least annually,
Finally we hope that you will enjoy living at Du Cane Court and please remember that all these arrangements have been made for the benefit of all residents and your cooperation is vital.
Download the full Du Cane Court Guide for owners and tenants October 2015

28. Additional information (council tax, water rates, electricity supply, etc)

Residents are responsible for paying Council Tax, Electricity (for your own use within your flat) & Water Rates. These are not service charge items.
Council Tax-Contact Wandsworth Council directly who will assist you with regards to payments for your council tax.
Tel: O208871 6000 Wandsworth Council The Town Hall Wandsworth High Street London
Electricity Supplier – you are able to choose your own electricity Supplier to provide you with electricity within your own flat. Should you require a meter reading and your meter is not located within your property please speak to reception desk staff who will be able to assist you.
Water Rates – Savings can be achieved on water rates by contacting Thames Water and tell them you want to be transferred to the Assessed Household Charge Tariff.
This is the tariff for people living in properties where they cannot install a meter; it is not possible for individual meters to be installed at Du cane Court.
They will probably send an inspector to see you and he will confirm that a meter cannot be installed. Thames water will then transfer you to the Assessed Household Charge tariff. You may also be able to get a further reduced rate if you are single occupier’.
Contact details for Thames Water Email: [email protected]
By phone 08459200 800, weekdays 8am to 8pm and Saturday 8am to 1pm (Minicom: O84572.00899)
By post: Assessed Household Charge, Thames Water, PO Box 436, Swindon SN38 1TU
Download the full Du Cane Court Guide for owners and tenants October 2015

26. In-house plumber

The in-house plumber carries out Small works in the building on communal installations and also finds sources 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 an individual pipe or cistern then his materials and time will be charged by the Estate Office to the flat concerned. Any re-charge is then immediately reimbursed to the service charge account.
Individual liability – Pipes Serving one flat are the liability of the 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.
If you are having any plumbing Works carried out please check with the office and ALWAYS have the stopcocks checked first to ensure they work. Any requests for water shut downs must be notified to the office at least 24hrs in advance. We always try to accommodate requests but no guarantees can be given and there is a charge payable in advance for this service. £15 to shut off one supply either hot or cold or £25 for both hot
& cold.

Radiators Residents should be aware if they are planning to replace their radiators that we are on an open system and that we would advise that you speak with the in-house plumber for advice before changing radiators.
Thermostatic valves can be fitted to radiators undertaken by the in-house plumber only during the period when the heating is shut down, for further advice please contact the
in-house plumber.
In the Event of a leak/Fault
1. You must supply brief details of the fault and your flat number
2. A contact number for yourself-This is very important in case we need to
speak to you directly.
3. Access details – Are you going to be at the property if not then we require you
to complete a key permission slip allowing the plumber access.
4. If you are a tenant of the property you must ensure that you have made your landlord/letting agent aware of the problem and please also Supply us with a contact number for them also – without this works can be delayed as we in Some instances require the landlords authority to undertake works if a cost is involved.
Remember we need all the details otherwise failure to supply us with this can greatly delay us being able to assist you quickly.

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

25. Freeholder policy on rent collection

    Dorrington’s policy is to act as a responsible landlord and to deal fairly with our tenants. Your rent will be requested as defined by your tenancy agreement or rent registration, usually on a calendar month basis in advance. Some rents are payable quarterly. Some rents are paid by standing order.
    We ask our managing agents to submit an initial request for payment, as far as practical, at least ten days before it is due. If rent is unpaid on that date you will be sent a reminder. If your rent is paid by Housing Benefit you must instruct the Housing Benefit Department to pay your rent directly to our managing agents.
    What you need to do – Be aware of the date that your rent is requested and how much you have to pay, and ensure that you pay the rent due to the managing agents. Many tenants find it easier to arrange payments by standing order and we encourage this method.
    Please do not ignore our initial request, the reminder or letters advising you that we intend to take recovery action. Do not arbitrarily withhold your rental payments. If you have a query about your account, raise it in writing with our managing agents, but your payment must be made.
    Non-payment of rent – If your rent is not paid on time we will have to take action. After the managing agents have requested your rent and reminded you of your obligations to pay, you may then be issued with a Statutory Notice advising you of our intention to begin legal proceedings for the recovery of the rent and repossession of your home.
    The Courts can oblige a tenant to pay not only the unpaid rent but also costs in relation to the legal proceedings and interest on the unpaid amount. A court judgement can adversely affect your ability to get credit.
    If you would like to know more about your rights as a residential tenant you can obtain a free leaflet published by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions from DETR Free Literature, PO Box 236, Wetherby LS23 7NB – Tel: 0870 1226 236 Fax 087O 1226 537.
    If you wish to make a complaint or comment on this procedure please write to The Managing Director, Dorrington Belgravia Limited 14 Hans Road London SW3. 1RT Fax 0207.7537611 – Email: [email protected]

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

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