Project | FFT Building & Quantity Surveying Case Study Phoenix Housing Randlesdown Road

Phoenix Community Homes

Options Appraisal at Randlesdown Road, Lewisham

FFT were appointed in October 2021 to conduct an Options Appraisal to assist Phoenix Community Housing to consider investment requirements at one of their owned flats in the London Borough of Lewisham. The flat in question had been subject to water penetration, and neighbouring properties of similar age and construction which may potentially be affected in the same way were also to be taken into account.

The Client 

Phoenix Community Housing is a not-for-profit resident-led housing association based in South London and a long term client of FFT.

Services Provided

  • Quantity Surveying
  • Building Surveying
  • Valuation

The Project

Following an issue with water penetration at 14 Randlesdown Road, a flat owned and managed by Phoenix Community Housing (PCH), the client wished to ascertain the true nature and condition of the existing roof coverings serving the flat, as well as its neighbouring owned and managed flats at numbers 16, 20 and 24, so that any need for works could be determined.

Our Role

We were instructed as Consultant to conduct an Options Appraisal to consider investment requirements at number 14, potentially extending to number 16, and possibly to also incorporate numbers 20 and 24, taking into account existing commercial leases and Party Wall legislation.

Our Building Surveying and Quantity Surveying teams collaborated to conduct an external survey on the properties in question to ascertain the condition of the existing roof coverings. Following this, we produced an instructive, cohesive report of our findings, providing a range of options, with our Quantity Surveyors collating the associated costs for the suggested works.

Because each of the four properties involved had its own individual lease and varying lease requirements which would impact the responsibilities and services we would be permitted to instruct, our Head of Agency and Valuation was drafted in to conduct a full review of each lease.

The Challenges

 Of the four properties owned by PCH, access was only available to flats 14 and 24. It was not possible to access numbers 16 and 20. There were also privately owned properties adjoining these at numbers 18 and 22 which had to be taken into consideration.

A further challenge lay in the fact that, whilst a contract encompassing works to all four properties plus the two privately owned properties would have provided the ideal scenario, given the potential for delays involving shared costs, this approach would be likely to result in delays due to the involvement of additional stakeholders. As such, we decided that the extended programme would not be a viable option, given the urgent need to bring flat 14 back into a habitable condition as soon as possible for the benefit of the tenant.

Even more challenges arose in terms of limited access for inspections. We were limited to views from ground level and nearby accessible areas, but were at least able to conduct an aerial survey.

However, due to the limitations, it was anticipated that additional works may become apparent following more detailed inspections of the building fabric.

Finally, following a desktop study, it came to light that the parade of properties was situated close to the Culverley Green Conservation Area. Whilst the subject property did not lie within the area itself and should in theory not be bound by the associated restrictions, we were aware that it is not uncommon for planning departments to stipulate special conditions given the proximity. Heritage related aspects are always a key consideration in our work.

The Outcome

In terms of limited access, owing to all the properties in question being of similar age and construction, it was agreed that our recommendations would be based on the findings and observations relating to flat 14. This allowed us to progress with the works without delay, and ensure that the report was produced in a timely manner.

In terms of the proximity to the Conservation Area, we advised that confirmation would need to be sought before undertaking any significant works.

This would ensure that appropriate materials were used so as to satisfy any associated requirements.

Finally, the issue around the potential for additional works due to the access limitations during the survey was overcome by ensuring that all client communication was 100% transparent throughout in order to create a true reflection of the different options associated with the scope of works, and to create a two way sense of trust and honesty.

Restoring the properties back to a habitable condition and providing reassurance for the tenants and the client that the homes would be safe and livable for years to come was an important driving force for the project in terms of social value.