Issue with building management company to change a boiler/gas pipes/get consent

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    Issue with building management company to change a boiler/gas pipes/get consent

    Hi,
    I purchased a leasehold flat (first-time buyer) knowing the boiler has to be changed (old and not working). After completion, I asked to 2 different engineers for quotations. Both said the same: gas pipes has to be changed (15mm) and a scaffolding is needed as the flat is first floor and there's no possibility to fix the flue pipe by the window. I didn't know about the pipes and scaffolding so asked for consent to the building management company.

    The first time I called the building management company was on the 6th of Sept. (we're the 22nd). They said they were understaffed and so will call me back 3 days later. They didn't. I called them back then. The person on the phone refused to give me a name to contact and told me to send an email to their generic address "info@xxxxx.co.uk", which I did, including quotations as all the work is listed + the safety check report stating the actual boiler is not working. It was on a Thursday. No news from them so the Tuesday after, I called them back. I had a guy on the phone (I think the same), never said his name. He asked me to explain the situation (aka what I wrote in the email with the quotations). The guy on the phone never seemed too concerned by his job or whatever. It sounded like I was a disturbance more than anything, and worse imo, he didn't seem to know the building at all, from the structure to who owns what. He asked me who the flat ground floor belongs to (regarding the scaffolding), what it looks like, where is my flat in the building, why can't they fix the boiler from the flat etc. I ended up telling him he should know as he's managing the building, not me. So he said he'll ask to one of his engineer, put me on hold. He then get back and explained there's no need for scaffolding to resize the hole of the flue pipe (that's what I thought my engineer had to do only so that's what I explained to him at first) and he ended up saying "no scaffolding and no gas pipes running on the wall outside. But ok for changing the gas pipes". Then he told me their office will be closed for the next 10 days (!?!) and no one will be available, but at least I can change the boiler. He sent me an email with the consent for gas pipes and asked for pics before/after (now I know his name).

    I get back to my engineer who said it's not possible to change the boiler without a scaffolding as it's not only the hole to resize but literally to fix the flue pipe from the outside, and the gas pipes are already running on the wall outside so what the building management company said doesn't make sense. Obviously I didn't know all that as I'm not an engineer. He asked me if he can call them directly and explain to them what he needs to do. I told him their office were closed for the next 10 days but there's an emergency/maintenance phone number. He called, several times. No one replied. He left a message. No one called back. I called too, I spoke to a lady on the phone, but she's just there to take the messages, that's it. I explained the situation, saying I can't move in as there's no boiler and the work can't be done. No news. I called again this morning. Same as yesterday. I told her if they don't do anything and don't have a chat with my engineer asap I will have to ask the Property Redress Scheme to solve the matter.

    Can they refuse a scaffolding if it's the only way to get a new boiler and let me with no boiler in the flat? What else can I do? For now I'm still renting a place whereas I own one, and I didn't plan to pay a rent and a mortgage at the same time, especially as I raised the matter quite early (during the purchase process with my solicitor). I'm also very unhappy with their behaviour and way to deal things (but maybe it's the normal way? I don't know).

    #2
    I would have thought that for essential maintenance they shouldn't be able to "block" the work being done .........

    Have you spoken to the person in the flat below you?

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      #3
      Just get a cherry picker for the day and sort it out before they're back from hols .

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