The refusal to repay Mrs Wheeler’s deposit is being attributed damage to the wooden terrace of Flat 109 The Heart, by plant pots is unfair and incorrect.
Substandard design, poor workmanship and a lack of maintenance made it inevitable the wooden decking would rot.
The following Videos are submitted as supporting evidence.
– Video 1 https://youtu.be/Y4lCfDu2lqw
– Vidoe 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDDLYm4GFK0
The videos can also be seen at the bottom of the page.
Water Table above terrace
The grassed area in the common parts of the garden on the ground floor is raised. The grassed area is higher than the ground floor terrace. The water table is raised beneath the common parts of the garden on the ground floor. This causes the water to drain down and accumulate on the terrace.
Inevitably, excess water will accumulate beneath the terraced decking and the terraces exterior wall (video 2 0 to 30 seconds and 53 to 219 seconds; video 1 2:20 seconds to 2:51) causing constant water seepage under and onto the decking.
The amount of water coming onto the terrace is causing rising damp (video 2 37 seconds). Which further evidence that the decking is saturated.
A further contribution to the state of the wooden terrace is the lack of maintenance. It is the managing agents’ responsibility to perform high-pressure cleaning, repairing and painting regularly. None of these were done during Mrs Wheeler’s tenancy. Long-standing residents of The Heart have informed us there has been only very limited maintenance of decking since installation 11 years ago.
Rotten decking throughout the complex
The Rotten area beneath the decking is not limited to placement of plant pots (Video 2, 30 to 50 seconds).
The adjacent ground floor terraces to 109 and others are also suffering from r0tt (Video 1 6:32 & 6:32).
Mrs Wheeler and other tenants have seen the managing agent replacing rotten planks.
The terrace decking is placed directly: on a wooden beam 1.5 inches deep by 3.5 inches wide, fixed to a wooden frame embedded in saturated stone chips. This does not allow for evaporation of water (Video 2, 40 to 90 seconds)
The edges of the decking are sealed which mean evaporation cannot happen (Video 1 1:16)
The materials under the decking never dry as they are saturated (video 1 1:56)
The decking is sealed. This prevents any ventilation and traps water. This alone would cause rot. The ventilation should be 5mm (Video 1: 3:00 to 3:26 & 5:13 & 530 & 5:52 to 6:32)
Wood should not be used in a location where there is no sunlight.
Tennant and Owners Responsibility
Mrs Wheeler’s tenancy extended from the front door of 109 to the threshold of the rear door of the apartment. This is the same area covered by the owner/landlord’s lease and therefore the area managed by the letting agent, James Neave.
Mrs Wheeler’s tenancy gave her right of access to the adjoining terrace, which is the property of O & H Walton Residential Ltd (OHWR). It is OHWR’s responsibility to maintain, repair or replace it the terrace. They did not carry out sufficient maintenance so any costs should be bourn by OHWR.
Failure to Notify
Furthermore, James Neave did not inform Mrs Wheeler there was a prohibition on plant pots on the terrace.
For these reasons, the deposit should be returned to Mrs Wheeler in full.
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