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Forest Croft
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Jo.R


Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #1
06-04-2008 04:21 PM

I'm currently in the process of buying a flat in the Forest Croft Mansion block, however I'm quite sceptical about the maintenace fee and when and if they will ever do the repair work for inside the building. All I know is that they have just raised the maintenace fee and that they have a new management. If anyone has any information about this buliding and this situation it would help my decision greatly.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #2
06-04-2008 06:10 PM

Which is Forest Croft Mansion Block.??

Not sure which mansion block it is but beware of service and other charges

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Jo.R


Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #3
06-04-2008 06:46 PM

Sorry for not being clear, its the art deco building on Taymount Rise.

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Jimboy


Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #4
06-04-2008 08:15 PM

Hello, my daughter is buying a flat in Forest Croft, Taymount Rise, is anyone knows any progress of the building? She is a first time buyer and will be new in FH. If anyone knows who lives in that building and could give more information is very much appreciated.

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hilltopgeneral


Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2004
Post: #5
06-04-2008 09:41 PM

brian Wrote:
Which is Forest Croft Mansion Block.??

Not sure which mansion block it is but beware of service and other charges


Brian, how long have you lived in Forest Hill?!

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Jimboy


Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #6
07-04-2008 12:39 AM

Hi Brian, I've read some of your threads and it seems you are very helpful and concern to your FH community, well done.
My daughhter Jo R is buying a flat in Taymount Rise, Forest Croft, it's an Art Deco Building but seems it needs a lot of work to preserve the beauty of it. Do you know if there will be work to be done on that building please? What I only know from the Estate Agent, they have new management but don't know when the work will be done. Also if you know any other charges aside from the service charge please kindly advise, your help is very much appreciated.

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BT


Posts: 162
Joined: Jul 2003
Post: #7
07-04-2008 07:42 AM

Jimboy

I lived in Forest Croft for many years until I retired in 2005.
I was paying about ?100 a month in Service Charge and we were hit by a bill of about ?3000 per flat just before I left, for re decoration and repairs of the outside of the building.

The biggest problem that I saw was that the only people who took any interest in the building were mainly the long term residents. There are quite a lot of the flats rented out by the owners who have little interest in the building or who they rent to.
The other group are the people who buy but don't stay there very long so there is a fairly significant transient population who again have little interest in the building.

I hope the new management are better than the old one who were appointed because of the promise of better service but who turned out to be pretty useless and expensive. Its a shame that things deteriorated so much over the years mainly due to poor management companies. The building could be very nice but as you say it needs money spent on it and the only source is the leaseholders.

Sorry to be so negative but make sure you get all the information you can about future plans and charges as you may end up with a money pit.

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soulrider


Posts: 37
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
07-04-2008 08:43 AM

Hi I live in forest croft and have recently moved there and yes they have put the maintenance charges up. Im not sure why the charges are so high so i am going to challenge them, i wouldnt mind if there was a swimming pool and gym! that would reflect a high service charge. I do remember in all the papers etc i got through the solicitor they were going to redecorate the interior in the next few years thats possibly why the cost has gone up. On the other side it is a very nice place to live, its very quiet and looked lovely with the snow yesterday!

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Jimboy


Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #9
07-04-2008 11:30 AM

Hi Bt, it's nice to know that who had stayed very long in the building and know more knowledge about the history of it. I bet you are enjoying your retirement time now.

I'm very greatful for your opinion regarding service charge as you can compare now and before. I know inflation is up but today's maintenance charge is really up, I hope this will contribute towards the new face of the building. Is there a group of all home owners to voice out any arising problems during your time?

My daughter loves the art deco building and there is a character, that is why she is buying a flat in Forest Croft but the painful to know is the high service charge and I don't know if I'm convince for this.

I know, new generations are very different now a days and difficult to compare on the olden days. I bet people moves around to seek pastures and to find a comfortable please to stay.

Is there any more charges to pay aside from service charge you know please? Just a thought only.

Thank you for information and very much appreciated.

Have a good day.

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Jimboy


Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #10
07-04-2008 11:47 AM

Hi soulrider, thank you for reply I'm a bit worried about the service charge that my daughter will face once she moved to Forest Croft.
Anymore other charges you know aside from service charge? The estate agent did not mentioned what is included in the service charge, I probably talk to the right person like you as you are living in there already. I agree with you, I love the place too, green and quiet how about in the evening is it safe to walk? She will be new in FH and as you just moved recently, wants to know more about the community in Taymount Rise please.

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Horseface


Posts: 15
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #11
07-04-2008 12:50 PM

I've lived in Forest Croft for nearly 3 years and yes, the maintenance charge has recently increased (from ?117 to ?143 per month for my 2-bed flat). On the plus side, the new managing agent seems far more competent and interested in looking after the block than KFH, the previous agent. (The new agent is a small, local company.) A sum of ?3000 was levied from each flat owner about 3-4 years ago, for the repainting of the exterior. My understanding is that this job was botched in that the building was repainted but not all the external repairs were made. I have heard that the directors unwisely chose the cheapest quote; and by the time problems had been discovered with the work, the company contracted had gone out of business.

I think that at some point in the future, flat owners will be levied once more to complete the external repairs and make good the tatty interior, particularly the stairwells. I will be happy to pay this for several reasons: 1) I didn't have to fork out ?3000 a few years ago; 2) I have much more confidence in the new managing agent than the old one; 3) I love living there - my flat is very peaceful, with wonderful views over Docklands and east London; when friends visit, they stand agape at my living room window; 4) from what I can tell by looking in estate agent windows, the value of the flats in Forest Croft has increased by far more than the local average over the last few years; 5) a one-off levy on flat owners would in my opinion be offset by a jump in the value of the flats (assuming the work were to be carried out effectively of course!).

So, plenty of plus points, with the proviso that you may face a one-off bill in the future and that ultimately all decisions lie with the directors, who have made mistakes in the past...

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Jimboy


Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #12
07-04-2008 02:30 PM

Hi Horseface, thanks for info very much appreciated. It's nice you have a terrace to look out there to see beautiful sceneries, lucky you that will fork a fortune in few years time, actually the one she's buying have none but still good as the surrounding is greeneery.
How about walking from London Road up to Forest Croft in the evening, is it fairly safe? We haven't check the area in the evening yet.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #13
07-04-2008 02:48 PM

It's safe and well lit, Jimboy.

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soulrider


Posts: 37
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #14
07-04-2008 02:55 PM

That confuses me horseface, i would expect the high maintenance charges per month was like a sinking fund for a pot that is used to carry out such big repairs, this is the case in many share of freehold properties. If this is the case where you have to pay extra money for repairs im not sure what the high service charge is for? There is one handy man in the building who i see cleaning occasionally and possibly a gardener, and i suppose communal lights are another cost.

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Jo.R


Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #15
07-04-2008 04:28 PM

Thanks to all of you for providing much needed information. I love this buliding and fell in love with the area, so with that in thought and your info I've gone ahead and gone for it!

If anyone has anything more to add please feel free! I'm sure there's alot of people in Forest Croft who would like this type of information shared!

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Jimboy


Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #16
07-04-2008 04:31 PM

Hi Nevermoderm, thank you! that's relieves me. She will be new in FH and will join your community if things goes well, this is just a matter of concern.

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Horseface


Posts: 15
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #17
07-04-2008 05:00 PM

Hi soulrider - yes, the maintenance charge does go into a sink fund, from which the buildings insurance, communal bills and wages of the cleaner/gardener are paid (he works 5 mornings a week I think). You'll get a set of accounts later in the year that show how much each of these elements has cost. Ideally the maintenance fund should be enough to cover all repairs, but I get the impression that the block was neglected very badly for a couple of decades (either through lack of money or poor management), to such an extent that a one-off levy was required to put things right. It's horrible that we might face that again, but a pill that must be swallowed I feel.

As for the fee, I've never lived in a large block of flats before, so cannot say whether this is high or not. When I was buying my flat 3 years ago, however, I heard that the maintenance charge at Taymount Grange next door was about ?150 per month - perhaps that explains why the block looks so swish!

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soulrider


Posts: 37
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #18
07-04-2008 05:05 PM

Jo.R Wrote:
Thanks to all of you for providing much needed information. I love this buliding and fell in love with the area, so with that in thought and your info I've gone ahead and gone for it!

If anyone has anything more to add please feel free! I'm sure there's alot of people in Forest Croft who would like this type of information shared!


Welcome to forest croft! i think taymount rise is a safe place to walk although my girlfriend always insists on taxis but i thinks thats cause shes lazy! anyways i'm always free for a beer and social event, maybe a forest croft bbqin the garden!

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Jo.R


Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #19
07-04-2008 10:01 PM

That'll be good, especially if there's a BBQ party during the summer for all residence!

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toby


Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #20
17-04-2008 06:46 PM

Hi all (my first post on this forum) - I have lived in Forest Croft for nearly two years. I've had quite a lot of interaction with the new managing agents (MH Associates, of Herne Hill I think) and old (KFH, from West London), due to damp problems in my flat.

From what I have been able to gather, the block has been appalingly mis-managed for at least the last 15 years, and there are crucial structural issues which have not been sorted out - the roof, poor rendering (leading to penetrating damp), drains, some balconies, and rising damp due to a defective damp-proof course in certain areas. Then there are more cosmetic issues like the garages, internal hallways and lifts, tarmac at the back etc.

I think the major problem with the last set of major works, which cost residents about ?3000 each, was that none of these structural issues were addressed, and the directors (who seem to have made a number of very poor decisions over the years) opted primarily for an external paint-job, which looked reasonable enough but which should never have been done until the more important stuff had been dealt with.

On the positive side, I think there is enormous potential in the block; Forest Croft, along with Taymount Rise, is relatively rare in style, in a quiet area, and I have been told by various estate agents that interest is always high from people who want something 'period' but who cannot afford a Victorian converion of the same size.

I understand that there is something in the region of ?500-600K work required and not much of a sinking-fund currently in existence (though the recent 20% rise in annual service charge should slowly build one). There can be no doubt that if the major works are to be completed all flat owners will need to spend up to about ?10K each over the next 5 years or so, but I think that once structurally sound and cosmetically smart the increase in property values should make this back two or three times over.

The company which owns about 2/3 of the garages, Dudrich Holdings, are keen to sort these out (as they are a huge mess) and I understand they are hopeful work can commence sometime during the summer.

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