Statutory Notice 06/00980. To see the original Statutory Notice Invoice click here.
19 Goldenacre Terrace, Edinburgh EH3 5QP
Notice description: “Hack off loose/spalling render finishes to open gable and re render to match existing. Repair or renew isolated areas of spalling/weathered masonry to open gable repointing open masonry joints.”
Initially the owners arranged a quote from another company which quoted for all the work a total of £2,600 (Thomson Masonry) but the owners could not all agree on accepting this quote so CEC organized a quote (via external consultant Davis Langdon) for £42,692.74 with Action Building Contracts, a Non Framework Contractor, who are now facing charges of fraud, money laundering and inappropriate hospitality at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
Action Building Contracts were awarded the work and the Final Account was as above: £42,692.74 issued on 05/08/10. My share as one of eight owners was £6277.16.
All owners paid (in good faith) their Bills as presented by CEC. Following a forensic audit by Quantus QS it was decided to pursue recovery for wrongful overcharges via the small claims court. After going to the small claims court three times I achieved three refunds for wrongful overcharge for water (the Watergate case), stone, lead and render and finally mesh.
£521.13 refunded by City of Edinburgh Council on 14 May 2014
£1,738.68 refunded by City of Edinburgh Council on 4 June 2014
£2,400.00 refunded by City of Edinburgh Council on 21 April 2015
Total refunded = £4,659.81 (of the £6,277.16)
Action of course were paid in full for the work they carried out. This was the same for many of the cases city-wide that Action was involved in. CEC made payment to the contractor, despite serious issues being evident.
In conclusion I have spent the best part of 3 years fighting to have these 3 overcharges overturned and reimbursed and have managed to reduce the original Bill by a massive 74%.
I would not like to put a figure on the abortive time spent by CEC staff and their legal advisers in contesting my 3 claims but it is certain that Action have incorrectly been paid in excess of £30,000 within their Final Account on this one single project.
This represents a brief summary of my battles and tribulations with CEC which you will not be surprised to learn are ongoing.
I am currently contesting a Final Bill on my late mother’s property in Dundonald Street. Would you believe that CEC can produce no original Tender / No tender report /No signed Final Account. Yet they claim that Deloitte have carried out a robust check on a “summary” Final Account of unknown origin! (Yes this has been admitted by CEC) – So you can be sure I am looking forward to clashing swords on this one.
INCIDENTALLY THERE REMAINS AN ISSUE OF STAINING WHICH HAS EMERGED ON THE REPLACEMENT GABLE RENDER AND TO DATE CEC HAVE COMMISSIONED 2 INDEPENDENT REPORTS TO CONVINCE OWNERS THAT THE PRODUCT IS FIT FOR PURPOSE – HOWEVER THIS DOES NOT ANSWER THE QUESTIONS – Who instructed a different render specification? Why was a mesh based application reliant on mechanical fixings to a gable used? Why was a coloured render system introduced?
So perhaps there are other areas of reimbursement to be explored by me or one of my neighbours.