Residents 'could run Bradford's Gatehaus building'

Gatehaus Owners Association members Jamil Ashraf and Inderjit Athwal in the courtyard

Gatehaus Owners Association members Jamil Ashraf and Inderjit Athwal in the courtyard

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

Leaseholders in a “rotting” Bradford apartment block say they will bid to take over the running of the building if problems with the existing managers cannot be resolved.

Members of the Gatehaus Owners Association (GOA), who own or lease flats in the £22 million Little Germany development, are considering a ‘right to manage’ proposal to take over responsibility from the property’s managing agents, Braemar Estates, whose directors paid a visit to the Leeds Road apartments yesterday.

As exclusively reported in yesterday’s Telegraph & Argus, GOA members had contacted Braemar Estates to say they were not satisfied with the way the Gatehaus was being managed, highlighting health and safety issues and a general state of disrepair within the building.

This claim was disputed by the firm, which said the building had inherent construction problems and a “chronic service charge deficit”.

But Jamil Ashraf, a spokesman for the GOA, said: “It is their responsibility to chase any outstanding service charges, but we don’t believe that to be case for our members. We have asked for this information so we can chase up any of our members who are in arrears and help the process along.

“After nearly two years of frustration, it is difficult to offer support when you don’t see anything being done and see the building deteriorate even further. These problems need to be resolved, and this work needs to be done.”

Mr Ashraf said GOA members were looking at the right-to-manage process and become responsible for making management decisions.

In response, Braemar Estates managing director Neil Roberts, said: “We believe that they may well face the same challenges of prioritising repairs, arranging contracts and securing sufficient funding from all leaseholders.

“We have sympathy with their frustrations over the general issues currently affecting the Gatehaus and are working to remedy these problems as a matter of urgency.”

Mr Roberts added that the development had been £149,000 in service charge arrears in mid-2012, with £92,000 owed to suppliers. After pursuing the outstanding funds, Braemar Estates said it has now reduced these arrears to £84,000, with £14,000 owed to suppliers.

The company also said that structural problems in the building’s forecourt, which it says is responsible for the poor conditions of the property below ground level, will be completed in the “next few months”.

The values of flats in the building, which was hailed as one of Bradford’s flagship regeneration projects, are said to have dropped by half.

Comments (26)

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6:45am Tue 4 Feb 14

Cooperlane2 says...

"£149,000 in service charge arrears in mid-2012"

I believe service charges were quoted at up to £3000pa, so that's a lot of people not paying.
"£149,000 in service charge arrears in mid-2012" I believe service charges were quoted at up to £3000pa, so that's a lot of people not paying. Cooperlane2
  • Score: 5

6:59am Tue 4 Feb 14

allannicho says...

Let them "Get on with it" with their own funding!
Let them "Get on with it" with their own funding! allannicho
  • Score: 6

8:57am Tue 4 Feb 14

Old Peculiar says...

The building is hardly being "left to rot", its a relatively new building, and has been subject to some pretty horrendous weather over the last few months, so inevitably there are areas that are now realised as being in need of upgrading. Virtually all of the scenes shown in teh pictures and video are as a result of water damage, which Braemar say are being dealt with.
Seems the GOA's are basically a group of landlords who are unhappy because their investments and returns are not as fruitful as they thought they would be. Face up to the fact that you made a bad choice guys.........
The building is hardly being "left to rot", its a relatively new building, and has been subject to some pretty horrendous weather over the last few months, so inevitably there are areas that are now realised as being in need of upgrading. Virtually all of the scenes shown in teh pictures and video are as a result of water damage, which Braemar say are being dealt with. Seems the GOA's are basically a group of landlords who are unhappy because their investments and returns are not as fruitful as they thought they would be. Face up to the fact that you made a bad choice guys......... Old Peculiar
  • Score: 13

9:00am Tue 4 Feb 14

Bacon Bantam says...

Just another day at the Ghettohaus.
Just another day at the Ghettohaus. Bacon Bantam
  • Score: 2

9:12am Tue 4 Feb 14

alive and awake says...

Old Peculiar wrote:
The building is hardly being "left to rot", its a relatively new building, and has been subject to some pretty horrendous weather over the last few months, so inevitably there are areas that are now realised as being in need of upgrading. Virtually all of the scenes shown in teh pictures and video are as a result of water damage, which Braemar say are being dealt with.
Seems the GOA's are basically a group of landlords who are unhappy because their investments and returns are not as fruitful as they thought they would be. Face up to the fact that you made a bad choice guys.........
"rotting" is not the correct word, but you would have to have a grasp of English to know that.
I suspect most of the people not paying service charges are Landlords with the hump for loss of value, but all apartments up north have lost value, some up to 75%.
It all has to be the fault of the management company who should be chasing Owners for service charge payment, and the building owners for the works required. Poor management. I wonder how many units the Management Company own?
[quote][p][bold]Old Peculiar[/bold] wrote: The building is hardly being "left to rot", its a relatively new building, and has been subject to some pretty horrendous weather over the last few months, so inevitably there are areas that are now realised as being in need of upgrading. Virtually all of the scenes shown in teh pictures and video are as a result of water damage, which Braemar say are being dealt with. Seems the GOA's are basically a group of landlords who are unhappy because their investments and returns are not as fruitful as they thought they would be. Face up to the fact that you made a bad choice guys.........[/p][/quote]"rotting" is not the correct word, but you would have to have a grasp of English to know that. I suspect most of the people not paying service charges are Landlords with the hump for loss of value, but all apartments up north have lost value, some up to 75%. It all has to be the fault of the management company who should be chasing Owners for service charge payment, and the building owners for the works required. Poor management. I wonder how many units the Management Company own? alive and awake
  • Score: 7

9:21am Tue 4 Feb 14

Bacon Bantam says...

The owner of a 1 bedroom apartment has dropped the asking price from £75k to less than £55k in the space of about 1 and a half years.

In addition to finding the money to buy the apartments that is clearly going down in price and will be a nightmare to offload at a later date costs are quoted as,
£270 per quarter Service Charge
£200 per year Ground Rent
£900 per year Car Parking

So to own the apartment with a parking space you will have to find over £2k per year on top of any mortgage you take out. These costs no doubt are recuring and probably rise in line with inflation at the very least so will go up year on year.

Add to that the location, the fact it appears half empty and everyone is either trying to offload them or rent them out and it's in a state of disrepair due to people not paying the service charge and is it any wonder no one wil touch it with a barge pole.
The owner of a 1 bedroom apartment has dropped the asking price from £75k to less than £55k in the space of about 1 and a half years. In addition to finding the money to buy the apartments that is clearly going down in price and will be a nightmare to offload at a later date costs are quoted as, £270 per quarter Service Charge £200 per year Ground Rent £900 per year Car Parking So to own the apartment with a parking space you will have to find over £2k per year on top of any mortgage you take out. These costs no doubt are recuring and probably rise in line with inflation at the very least so will go up year on year. Add to that the location, the fact it appears half empty and everyone is either trying to offload them or rent them out and it's in a state of disrepair due to people not paying the service charge and is it any wonder no one wil touch it with a barge pole. Bacon Bantam
  • Score: 17

9:21am Tue 4 Feb 14

Cooperlane2 says...

Chasing money requires time and possibly Court Orders.
Chasing money requires time and possibly Court Orders. Cooperlane2
  • Score: 3

10:05am Tue 4 Feb 14

bcfc1903 says...

Looks a fantastic building when ever I've driven or walked past it, Little Germany is a wonderful area of Bradford, what a shame that there seems to be serious problems with the Gatehous building. Surely with Westfield now being constructed there should be a knock on effect regarding the price of the flats. The upkeep of the building should be paramount with that in mind. Glad to see the owners of the flats forming an association and pressurising the management company into hopefully some action.
Looks a fantastic building when ever I've driven or walked past it, Little Germany is a wonderful area of Bradford, what a shame that there seems to be serious problems with the Gatehous building. Surely with Westfield now being constructed there should be a knock on effect regarding the price of the flats. The upkeep of the building should be paramount with that in mind. Glad to see the owners of the flats forming an association and pressurising the management company into hopefully some action. bcfc1903
  • Score: 5

10:36am Tue 4 Feb 14

Bone_idle18 says...

REMEMBER:-
The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may not recover the amount of your original investment. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. Certain investments carry a higher degree of risk than others and are, therefore, unsuitable for some investors. It may be possible to lose all of your initial capital in certain types of investments. Before contemplating any transaction, you should consider whether you require financial advice.
REMEMBER:- The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may not recover the amount of your original investment. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. Certain investments carry a higher degree of risk than others and are, therefore, unsuitable for some investors. It may be possible to lose all of your initial capital in certain types of investments. Before contemplating any transaction, you should consider whether you require financial advice. Bone_idle18
  • Score: 9

10:49am Tue 4 Feb 14

Farsley Bantam says...

Bone_idle18 wrote:
REMEMBER:- The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may not recover the amount of your original investment. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. Certain investments carry a higher degree of risk than others and are, therefore, unsuitable for some investors. It may be possible to lose all of your initial capital in certain types of investments. Before contemplating any transaction, you should consider whether you require financial advice.
I would add that 'If you thought that the bottom of Leeds Road (or Bradford city centre generally) is a good place for property investment then you should be sectioned immediately'
[quote][p][bold]Bone_idle18[/bold] wrote: REMEMBER:- The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may not recover the amount of your original investment. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. Certain investments carry a higher degree of risk than others and are, therefore, unsuitable for some investors. It may be possible to lose all of your initial capital in certain types of investments. Before contemplating any transaction, you should consider whether you require financial advice.[/p][/quote]I would add that 'If you thought that the bottom of Leeds Road (or Bradford city centre generally) is a good place for property investment then you should be sectioned immediately' Farsley Bantam
  • Score: 8

11:48am Tue 4 Feb 14

Avro says...

Bacon Bantam wrote:
The owner of a 1 bedroom apartment has dropped the asking price from £75k to less than £55k in the space of about 1 and a half years.

In addition to finding the money to buy the apartments that is clearly going down in price and will be a nightmare to offload at a later date costs are quoted as,
£270 per quarter Service Charge
£200 per year Ground Rent
£900 per year Car Parking

So to own the apartment with a parking space you will have to find over £2k per year on top of any mortgage you take out. These costs no doubt are recuring and probably rise in line with inflation at the very least so will go up year on year.

Add to that the location, the fact it appears half empty and everyone is either trying to offload them or rent them out and it's in a state of disrepair due to people not paying the service charge and is it any wonder no one wil touch it with a barge pole.
Another of Bradford's dream projects gone sour....
[quote][p][bold]Bacon Bantam[/bold] wrote: The owner of a 1 bedroom apartment has dropped the asking price from £75k to less than £55k in the space of about 1 and a half years. In addition to finding the money to buy the apartments that is clearly going down in price and will be a nightmare to offload at a later date costs are quoted as, £270 per quarter Service Charge £200 per year Ground Rent £900 per year Car Parking So to own the apartment with a parking space you will have to find over £2k per year on top of any mortgage you take out. These costs no doubt are recuring and probably rise in line with inflation at the very least so will go up year on year. Add to that the location, the fact it appears half empty and everyone is either trying to offload them or rent them out and it's in a state of disrepair due to people not paying the service charge and is it any wonder no one wil touch it with a barge pole.[/p][/quote]Another of Bradford's dream projects gone sour.... Avro
  • Score: 5

11:53am Tue 4 Feb 14

theoutsider says...

Dont like that headline...Run It As What ? would be my question.
Dont like that headline...Run It As What ? would be my question. theoutsider
  • Score: 1

12:36pm Tue 4 Feb 14

BILLTILL says...

Same old story ,landlords not willing to pay to maintain their properties to a decent standard .They buy the property to put tenants in andmake money but are unwilling to invest in the upkeep .
There hundreds of proprties owned by similar landlords throughout Bradford that are run down and not maintained !
Same old story ,landlords not willing to pay to maintain their properties to a decent standard .They buy the property to put tenants in andmake money but are unwilling to invest in the upkeep . There hundreds of proprties owned by similar landlords throughout Bradford that are run down and not maintained ! BILLTILL
  • Score: 11

12:37pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Cooperlane2 says...

Isn't this going along the same lines as "The Fort" aka Colonade House, which also has major problems after redevelopment.
Isn't this going along the same lines as "The Fort" aka Colonade House, which also has major problems after redevelopment. Cooperlane2
  • Score: 2

2:15pm Tue 4 Feb 14

alive and awake says...

Cooperlane2 wrote:
Isn't this going along the same lines as "The Fort" aka Colonade House, which also has major problems after redevelopment.
Poor managements companies, and greedy Landlords who will let their properties out to any, Tom, Dick and Ali. They have badly let down genuine home owners.
[quote][p][bold]Cooperlane2[/bold] wrote: Isn't this going along the same lines as "The Fort" aka Colonade House, which also has major problems after redevelopment.[/p][/quote]Poor managements companies, and greedy Landlords who will let their properties out to any, Tom, Dick and Ali. They have badly let down genuine home owners. alive and awake
  • Score: 10

3:28pm Tue 4 Feb 14

MontyLeMar says...

Looking at that picture of the courtyard it looks as if the place was never even completed before the flats were sold. Either that or they have uncovered some major structural problem in which case the insurance should kick in to get it rectified. We do have insurance cover don't we? Looks like Asquith went bust before they could finish the job and left the flat owners in the lurch.
Looking at that picture of the courtyard it looks as if the place was never even completed before the flats were sold. Either that or they have uncovered some major structural problem in which case the insurance should kick in to get it rectified. We do have insurance cover don't we? Looks like Asquith went bust before they could finish the job and left the flat owners in the lurch. MontyLeMar
  • Score: 3

6:21pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Bone_idle18 says...

A someone mentioned in yesterdays story - where has the £3 billion regeneration budget been spent by BCMC?

the T&A need to do some serious investigation and get some answers. Because I don't think anyone can see £3 billion worth of regeneration!

T&A - you need to get a breakdown of this spending, including wages, consultation fees, fact finding mission costs, artist impressions costs, expenses claims etc...then you can find out what actual building/regeneratio
n projects the remaining couple of million were spent on.
A someone mentioned in yesterdays story - where has the £3 billion regeneration budget been spent by BCMC? the T&A need to do some serious investigation and get some answers. Because I don't think anyone can see £3 billion worth of regeneration! T&A - you need to get a breakdown of this spending, including wages, consultation fees, fact finding mission costs, artist impressions costs, expenses claims etc...then you can find out what actual building/regeneratio n projects the remaining couple of million were spent on. Bone_idle18
  • Score: 4

6:38pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Yorkshire Lass says...

In view of the state of the inside of the building in just a few years, why haven't the environmental health been called in to give their verdict. There are lots of quotes for this "iconic building" but in my eyes it has always been out of place for the area. Whoever gave permission for so much regeneration funding to be spent in this way?
In view of the state of the inside of the building in just a few years, why haven't the environmental health been called in to give their verdict. There are lots of quotes for this "iconic building" but in my eyes it has always been out of place for the area. Whoever gave permission for so much regeneration funding to be spent in this way? Yorkshire Lass
  • Score: 4

6:41pm Tue 4 Feb 14

allinittogether says...

Bone_idle18 wrote:
A someone mentioned in yesterdays story - where has the £3 billion regeneration budget been spent by BCMC?

the T&A need to do some serious investigation and get some answers. Because I don't think anyone can see £3 billion worth of regeneration!

T&A - you need to get a breakdown of this spending, including wages, consultation fees, fact finding mission costs, artist impressions costs, expenses claims etc...then you can find out what actual building/regeneratio

n projects the remaining couple of million were spent on.
T&A and serious investigation words seldom seen in the same sentence.
As a news group the T&A show a distinct lack of curiosity about what goes on around them.
[quote][p][bold]Bone_idle18[/bold] wrote: A someone mentioned in yesterdays story - where has the £3 billion regeneration budget been spent by BCMC? the T&A need to do some serious investigation and get some answers. Because I don't think anyone can see £3 billion worth of regeneration! T&A - you need to get a breakdown of this spending, including wages, consultation fees, fact finding mission costs, artist impressions costs, expenses claims etc...then you can find out what actual building/regeneratio n projects the remaining couple of million were spent on.[/p][/quote]T&A and serious investigation words seldom seen in the same sentence. As a news group the T&A show a distinct lack of curiosity about what goes on around them. allinittogether
  • Score: 4

6:49pm Tue 4 Feb 14

bcfc1903 says...

Avro wrote:
Bacon Bantam wrote:
The owner of a 1 bedroom apartment has dropped the asking price from £75k to less than £55k in the space of about 1 and a half years.

In addition to finding the money to buy the apartments that is clearly going down in price and will be a nightmare to offload at a later date costs are quoted as,
£270 per quarter Service Charge
£200 per year Ground Rent
£900 per year Car Parking

So to own the apartment with a parking space you will have to find over £2k per year on top of any mortgage you take out. These costs no doubt are recuring and probably rise in line with inflation at the very least so will go up year on year.

Add to that the location, the fact it appears half empty and everyone is either trying to offload them or rent them out and it's in a state of disrepair due to people not paying the service charge and is it any wonder no one wil touch it with a barge pole.
Another of Bradford's dream projects gone sour....
At least it's not a dangerous wind tunnel!!!
[quote][p][bold]Avro[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bacon Bantam[/bold] wrote: The owner of a 1 bedroom apartment has dropped the asking price from £75k to less than £55k in the space of about 1 and a half years. In addition to finding the money to buy the apartments that is clearly going down in price and will be a nightmare to offload at a later date costs are quoted as, £270 per quarter Service Charge £200 per year Ground Rent £900 per year Car Parking So to own the apartment with a parking space you will have to find over £2k per year on top of any mortgage you take out. These costs no doubt are recuring and probably rise in line with inflation at the very least so will go up year on year. Add to that the location, the fact it appears half empty and everyone is either trying to offload them or rent them out and it's in a state of disrepair due to people not paying the service charge and is it any wonder no one wil touch it with a barge pole.[/p][/quote]Another of Bradford's dream projects gone sour....[/p][/quote]At least it's not a dangerous wind tunnel!!! bcfc1903
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Tue 4 Feb 14

The Man From the Pru says...

One up to the Council, doesn't belong to them, isn't costing, we, the rate payers, so why the numerous posts about it. I agree it is an outstanding piece of architecture. But to me every time I pass, I still see the paint shop. To the poster who said Little Germany is a great area has it right. I wonder how many of you know why Little Germany, without having to look it up. Not many I bet.
One up to the Council, doesn't belong to them, isn't costing, we, the rate payers, so why the numerous posts about it. I agree it is an outstanding piece of architecture. But to me every time I pass, I still see the paint shop. To the poster who said Little Germany is a great area has it right. I wonder how many of you know why Little Germany, without having to look it up. Not many I bet. The Man From the Pru
  • Score: 0

9:09pm Tue 4 Feb 14

alive and awake says...

The Man From the Pru wrote:
One up to the Council, doesn't belong to them, isn't costing, we, the rate payers, so why the numerous posts about it. I agree it is an outstanding piece of architecture. But to me every time I pass, I still see the paint shop. To the poster who said Little Germany is a great area has it right. I wonder how many of you know why Little Germany, without having to look it up. Not many I bet.
I know all about Little Germany, I also know that this building does not compliment it.
Won't belong before we are hearing stories about Listers Mill. Strikes me a lot of the people who buy into this type of premises, don't like paying service charges, probably against their nature/culture.
[quote][p][bold]The Man From the Pru[/bold] wrote: One up to the Council, doesn't belong to them, isn't costing, we, the rate payers, so why the numerous posts about it. I agree it is an outstanding piece of architecture. But to me every time I pass, I still see the paint shop. To the poster who said Little Germany is a great area has it right. I wonder how many of you know why Little Germany, without having to look it up. Not many I bet.[/p][/quote]I know all about Little Germany, I also know that this building does not compliment it. Won't belong before we are hearing stories about Listers Mill. Strikes me a lot of the people who buy into this type of premises, don't like paying service charges, probably against their nature/culture. alive and awake
  • Score: 0

10:58pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Storck says...

Cooperlane2 wrote:
Chasing money requires time and possibly Court Orders.
And that is all part of the management companies job.

If the owners of the apartments are so upset they should call an EGM, sack the directors and appoint new ones with their main purpose being changing management company. The issue would be finding another company willing to do it and also the spare cash to balance any debt with the existing company first.
[quote][p][bold]Cooperlane2[/bold] wrote: Chasing money requires time and possibly Court Orders.[/p][/quote]And that is all part of the management companies job. If the owners of the apartments are so upset they should call an EGM, sack the directors and appoint new ones with their main purpose being changing management company. The issue would be finding another company willing to do it and also the spare cash to balance any debt with the existing company first. Storck
  • Score: 1

12:06am Wed 5 Feb 14

mister whippy says...

Storck wrote:
Cooperlane2 wrote:
Chasing money requires time and possibly Court Orders.
And that is all part of the management companies job.

If the owners of the apartments are so upset they should call an EGM, sack the directors and appoint new ones with their main purpose being changing management company. The issue would be finding another company willing to do it and also the spare cash to balance any debt with the existing company first.
I sold a flat last year (not at Gatehaus thankfully) that I had lived in for couple of years and then rented out. Braemar are the management company for that block too.
Getting them to do anything took forever and a day, Their accounts are always at least 2 year late being published. Phone calls rarely returned.
Having said all that, with such a huge shortfall in service charge payments at Gatehaus, they can hardly be blamed for not throwing money at the place.
Its always been the responsibility of the landlord/owner not the tenant to pay the service charges, which at £90 a month are about right.
If a lot of them haven't been paying,be it due to not being able to get a tenant in, or because its not in their nature/culture to pay, then they can hardly complain if remedial work is taking a long time.
Noted a comment from Braemar on Look North tonight, they stated that some of the sub-tenants left a lot to be desired.
One would imagine if you are happy enough to live at the bottom of Leeds Road, then your standards aren't exactly going to be shy high are they?
[quote][p][bold]Storck[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cooperlane2[/bold] wrote: Chasing money requires time and possibly Court Orders.[/p][/quote]And that is all part of the management companies job. If the owners of the apartments are so upset they should call an EGM, sack the directors and appoint new ones with their main purpose being changing management company. The issue would be finding another company willing to do it and also the spare cash to balance any debt with the existing company first.[/p][/quote]I sold a flat last year (not at Gatehaus thankfully) that I had lived in for couple of years and then rented out. Braemar are the management company for that block too. Getting them to do anything took forever and a day, Their accounts are always at least 2 year late being published. Phone calls rarely returned. Having said all that, with such a huge shortfall in service charge payments at Gatehaus, they can hardly be blamed for not throwing money at the place. Its always been the responsibility of the landlord/owner not the tenant to pay the service charges, which at £90 a month are about right. If a lot of them haven't been paying,be it due to not being able to get a tenant in, or because its not in their nature/culture to pay, then they can hardly complain if remedial work is taking a long time. Noted a comment from Braemar on Look North tonight, they stated that some of the sub-tenants left a lot to be desired. One would imagine if you are happy enough to live at the bottom of Leeds Road, then your standards aren't exactly going to be shy high are they? mister whippy
  • Score: 2

6:40am Wed 5 Feb 14

allannicho says...

I thought at the beginning it was a very strange location to build residential apartments.
I thought at the beginning it was a very strange location to build residential apartments. allannicho
  • Score: 1

3:14pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Andy2010 says...

theoutsider wrote:
Dont like that headline...Run It As What ? would be my question.
probably a Bazaar
[quote][p][bold]theoutsider[/bold] wrote: Dont like that headline...Run It As What ? would be my question.[/p][/quote]probably a Bazaar Andy2010
  • Score: 1

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