London borough and former housing maintenance contractor in multi-million pound dispute: report

A housing maintenance company that previously provided services to the London Borough of Waltham Forest Council is reported to be suing the local authority for payments under the contract, while the council is in turn counter-suing over the installation of almost 300 allegedly sub-standard fire doors.

This is Local London has reported that Osborne Property Services, which maintained the borough’s 12,500 council homes between 2012 and 2019, filed a legal claim for £9.5m for repairs and maintenance it carried out.

Waltham Forest is counter-suing Osborne, claiming it owes £2.2m in overpayments and damages for installing fire doors that failed to meet performance standards.

The council claims tests to 223 doors found they lasted only 31 to 45 minutes in a fire and not 60 as required, while a further 75 doors failed to meet the legally required 30-minute fire rating, and 123 window and fire stops lacked required certification.

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Waltham Forest is to test a further 5,850 fire doors and may claim for any found defective.

Osborne denies any failures, and said it is still owed the £9.5m for work done for the council’s arm’s-length management organisation Ascham Homes. A trial date has been set for May 2023.

A Waltham Forest spokesperson told Local Government Lawyer: “We won’t be commenting due to ongoing legal proceedings.” Osborne did not respond to an invitation to comment.

Mark Smulian

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