There is currently a consultation about the future of the communal heating system because it is nearing the end of its design life. Whatever changes are agreed upon will not take effect until summer 2018 at the earliest: this is the current position. See also the topic on Heating.
The cost of the heating is recharged to leaseholders in their service charges (currently c. £900 per year). There is annual servicing for the heat exchanger and booster fan system over the summer months.
The whole block has a communal heating system running from a boiler in the basement that is on from October (with a test period in mid-September to clear out air-blocks) to mid-May. The boiler room and plant is shared with the university next door, which can cause problems when the system goes off. The system was designed in the 1960s to the standards that were current then and only heats one of the floors in a maisonette. It works by pumping hot water round the whole block. Then in each flat there is a booster fan that pushes warm air into the flat, in response to a thermostat. There are four levels of heat:
The heating is put into standby mode between 12am - 6am and in the event the weather drops down below 3C, the heating will turn on (after a 15min delay) to bring the temperature in the flats back up again.
Occasionally the system doesn’t work and can go off for hours or sometimes for days, in which case you should phone the Westminster Housing repairs call centre. Do phone: Westminster Housing has a policy that one phone call is assumed to be a problem with an individual flat, whereas more than one call elevates the problem to being a fault in the communal system. Because of the ageing equipment and because of the joint management responsibility between Westminster Housing and the university, it can take a while to be fixed (target response time is 4 hrs). The LTRA keeps a record of outages and requests a refund from Westminster Housing. In the case of a prolonged breakdown Westminster Housing may be able to provide temporary electric heaters.
It is recommended you have alternative heating:
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