Kingsway gardens

Frequently Asked Questions

Our FAQ section includes information about the planned works, explanations of the repairs being undertaken and guidance on payment options.

If you have a specific query which isn’t answered here, please fill in the contact form below and a member of the project team will respond to you.

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Why are the works necessary?

Remedial work in Kingsway Gardens is essential in order to maintain the buildings in the long term.

Certain parts of the building have reached the end of their life and work is required to repair concrete, wing walls, windows, fascias and soffits etc.

We undertake periodic repairs and general maintenance on all buildings in Kingsway Gardens.

After a review of all five buildings the requirement for a programme of major works was identified which will ensure the buildings can be maintained for the long term.

Work done now will mean less impact and lower costs to leaseholders in the future. 

No, our buildings insurance covers accidents only.

We arranged for structural engineers to carry out extensive inspections and produce a specification to remedy the defects which had been identified.

We used this specification to invite tenders for the works and these tenders are a reflection of the current market costs to address the defects identified.

£3.4 million

Yes. Our preferred contractor has provided us with the lowest cost estimate.

The total cost of the works, exclusive of VAT and management fees, is £3.4 million.

We will be responsible for a proportion of these costs relating to the flats owned by us.

The management fee covers the cost of our management of the programme of repairs. This is a large programme of works and requires a significant amount of resource and expertise from us to ensure the programme is successfully delivered on time, to the right standard and according to the agreed terms with the appointed contractor.

The 15% is in accordance with the industry standard.

We have made an application to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) which will enable leaseholders to raise any queries that they may have.

Work to be undertaken  

Work started on Saxon Court in April 2017. This will be followed by Atholl Court, York Court, Tudor Court and Stuart Court

We expect the works to take between 12 – 16 weeks to complete each block and approximately 60 weeks to complete all work on all blocks.

The works in the schedule includes:

  • Concrete repairs
  • Wing wall replacement
  • Flat doors which are not current fire doors replaced
  • Balustrading to walkways and stairwells replaced
  • Replacement fascias and soffits (programmed to take place within five years)
  • Replacement rainwater goods
  • Complete redecoration

Following detailed investigation, it was found that the steel reinforcement used in the construction of your block is, in many places, only 10mm below the surface of the concrete. This is common in buildings constructed at the time your block was built.


Because of this, the steel reinforcement is more susceptible to corrosion. Today, steel in reinforced concrete is normally located 40mm or so below the surface.


The worst affected areas have already been repaired but some additional repairs are necessary. Once these repairs are completed, an additional protective coating, known as a fairing coat, will be applied to the concrete. The fairing coat provides an additional weatherproof coating over the existing concrete.

In order provide a complete solution for the building, we have identified that the balustrading will need to be repaired or, in some instances, replaced. While we may be able to refit some of the existing ones, we anticipate others will need to be replaced.

The wing walls are the walls that are formed between you and your neighbours balcony. During our investigations, we have identified that these areas may be contributing to moisture ingress through a combination of cold bridging and inadequate weather tightness. We have also identified the compression fill used in the construction of these walls has failed.

To prevent this from re-occurring, we plan to remove the existing failed compression fill and rebuild the wing walls incorporating modern compressive materials. We also plan to improve the weather tightness of the walls by providing additional protection.

We do not plan to replace all of the asphalt found on the balconies and walkways. We have sought independent, specialist advice to determine what work needs to be done. The specialists have recommended that we use a proprietary liquid coating rather than replace all of the asphalt. Replacing the asphalt would be a more expensive option.


The product that we plan to use has been designed specifically for this type of work. It comes with a 30 year product guarantee and is considerably cheaper and easier to install than replacement asphalt.


However, where the asphalt is damaged and beyond economic repair, it will need to be replaced.

During our investigations, we have come to the conclusion that all of the rainwater goods have now come to the end of their original design life.


Over the last few years, we have carried out a lot of repairs as well as replacing most of the joints. We intend to replace the gutters and downpipes and when doing so will take advantage of modern materials and construction detailing.

Yes. Over the last few decades, the cement mortar used in the construction of the masonry walls has weathered. Exposure to the elements over a prolonged period of time means that the brickwork now needs to be repointed. This will help to keep the building wind and water tight in the years to come.

During periods of extreme weather, particularly during the winter of 2013, wind driven rain entered the fabric of the building. As a consequence, the polystyrene beads used as cavity insulation allowed the rain water to migrate across the cavity into interior walls.

We believe the cavity insulation also acted like a sponge, retaining moisture within the cavity. Therefore, there was little opportunity for the cavity material to dry out in-situ and, as a consequence, we made the decision to remove the material. As a result, we have seen a marked improvement in moisture readings across all blocks.

We continued to monitor the moisture readings over the preceeding six months and have considered a range of options aimed at replacing the cavity insulation and improving the thermal efficiency of the buildings.

Rain has been blowing onto the walkways and running down the stairs making the stairs slippery. In a few places there are glazed screens reducing the amount of rain being blown into these areas. We intend putting some more of these screens up.

The anti-slip plates on the stairs and some of the walkways are wearing out. We have already replaced some of them, and we will be replacing the others. This, along with the screens should solve the problem.

The ones that were fitted at the time of the conversion are close to the end of their original design life and are due for replacement. It is the landlord’s responsibility to replace these.

Rather than replacing them in a couple of years’ time, it makes sense and is more cost effective to replace them now when the other major works are being done. In addition, it is possible that some patio doors will need to be removed as part of the other works being undertaken. Rather than refit a door that will be replaced very soon anyway, it will be far more cost effective to fit a new one now.

As many of you know, we have been investigating the problems with these buildings for some time. During that period, we have looked at all reported issues, some of which whilst having the same symptoms were discovered to have different causes.

In the process of our investigations we have considered a wide range of symptoms and associated solutions. We have monitored the buildings over a considerable period of time and have worked closely with our independent construction
consultants.

We believe the technical solutions to be carried out will resolve the issues at Kingsway Gardens.

Payment arrangements

Payment options

The following information covers the options available to leaseholders for paying for major works.

Discretionary Payment Application

To apply to make a discretionary payment, download this form and return a copy to us at kingswaygardens@aster.co.uk or post it to: Imogen Nicoll, senior homeownership officer, Sarsen Court, Horton Avenue, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 2AZ

How much will I be charged for the works?

This varies depending on the block. Your individual contribution will have been outlined to you in our recent letter.

We pay our service charges and into a sinking fund each year, why do we need to pay more?

Money received via service charges pays for delivery of day to day services such as grounds maintenance. Some blocks do have a sinking fund, however the funds available in these sinking funds are not sufficient to complete the works required. Leaseholders were consulted on the level of sinking fund contribution and opted to collect sufficient monies to cover cyclical decoration only.

What happens if I can't pay?

The work due to be carried out is necessary to maintain the buildings for the long term. All leaseholders have a legal obligation to pay proportional costs and this forms part of their lease. We understand that this is a significant amount of money and will work with residents on an individual basis to resolve any issues they may have with payment.

How do I set up a direct debit with you?

Please contact us and we will set up your direct debit for you.

I have set up a direct debit, when will the first payment be taken?

You will now have received an invoice from us detailing the amount you owe. If you have opted to set up a direct debit, this will be collected at the same time each month.

How much will the first direct debit be?

This will depend on the total amount you owe. Please refer to your individual payment terms.

What happens if there isn't enough money in my account to pay you?

We strongly advise you to contact us to make alternative payment arrangements if there are insufficient funds available at the time the direct debit is collected. A late payment and returned direct debit charge will be applied should there be insufficient funds available.

I don't want to pay by direct debit. How else can I pay you?

Please contact us to make alternative payment arrangements.

First Tier Tribunal

We have made an application to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) which will enable leaseholders to raise any queries that they may have.

The purpose of the legal application is to ensure complete transparency by having an independent and expert panel examine what we are doing and the charges we are proposing.

The outcome of the First Tier Tribunal will determine if the planned works are firstly necessary and reasonable and secondly if the estimated costs are reasonable and comparable to the work required.

The application to the Tribunal provides a single forum for homeowners to challenge and raise any issues and is the most efficient and transparent way for us to proceed

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