I bought off plan and was one of the first residents to move into High Point Village. I decided to move here for the location and promised facilities – the pool, gym and sauna. Unfortunately there have been numerous issues since I moved in in 2011.
Customer service and communication:
There was about a 1 year delay from the time I was told my flat would be ready to when it was and there was very little communication from the developer, Ballymore. I read that they were experiencing financial difficulties in the press so I contacted them because I was worried, they never contacted me and when I spoke with my neighbours they had the same experience. At that point as I had paid my deposit I didn’t have a choice but to carry on. For this reason Ballymore sold flat to Notting Hill Housing Association which means they are not contributing through service charge to pay for Concierge and Gym, hence higher service charge for private residents. Apparently those people will contribute to the gym only if they decided to do so from July 2019, however I haven’t seen that reflected in my service charge. When I moved in the girl who gave me my keys had only been working there a week and couldn’t answer any of my questions or tell me how things work inside the flat. It was a very stressful process and the developer was not helpful.
In the brochure we were promised we would have a garden, roof terrace, private residents only gym and there were lovely illustrations of restaurants supermarkets, florist and a 4 star hotel. It is now 2019 and there is a Tesco and a café downstairs which is not very nice, but the first restaurant, a Loaded Burgers, is apparently opening in a few months. I understand that the brochure was for illustration but where they proposed a restaurant is now an estate agent, they did not delivered what was promised. I feel this is a total Fiasco.
The gym was meant to be a private resident gym, instead for the first 5 years it was run by Nuffield Health who opened it to the public. This meant there were lots more people using the gym and coming onto the site, people who didn’t care about the facilities, hence treated them badly. When Nuffield left Ballymore took over and made it a private resident gym – however we (leaseholders) have been charged for the gym to be done up, buying new equipment and fixing equipment that was broken by people who were not residents and lack of maintenance of the facilities from Nuffield Heath. It has a been a nightmare as a constant fight. Due to the mismanagement from the early days of the gym, the Steam Room, Spa Pool, Air Conditioning, Lockers, showers, Swimming Pool have constant disruption of operation, Ballymore contractors are very slow in repairing them, which means that there is always something out of order in the gym. The most notorious thing is the Steam Room which is constantly out of order for months or working poorly.
We still don’t have the promised roof terrace. Landloard (Ballymore) view is that if (leaseholders) would like to have a roof terrace, we( leaseholders) will have to pay through service charge to buy plants, furniture and lighting, in other words we have to pay for what they should have delivered since 2011, Totally wrong!!!. The leasehold residents are complaining as this was a promised original facility and we should only pay for maintenance and not the installation. The gardens are falling apart and are not well maintained by the management since early days despite me highlighting this problem since I started noticing the deterioration of it.
Other buildings on the site
As part of the original plans there was meant to be a hotel and another building for service apartments which the latter was never mentioned to me. The separate building for serviced apartments did not have street access. For 5 years we had large groups of noisy arrivals early in the morning and late at night as they had to use our main entrance. They would make so much noise dragging their suitcase through the communal areas. The 4 star hotel never opened so the serviced flats took over the second building, this now means they have access from the street so the noise has improved. The people in the serviced flats used to have access to the gym but this was stopped promptly.
Quality of the flats
I had hundreds of issues when I first moved in. One issue that lots of neighbours were all experiencing was a clear water leak from the toilet, this happened twice in my first year but we had to get plumbers in and sort this out ourselves. The flat looks good and I am pleased with it the big issue is whilst warm in winter they get boiling hot in summer. The corridors are like a sauna and the developer changed the windows in the corridor and keep the fire doors open in the summer which improved things.
The service charge goes up each year without proper/valid reason. The service received does not correspond with the amount of money we pay for service charge. Cleaners do not get supervised therefore I have to complaint constantly about their poor performance. Some neighbours do arrange some social events for residents but I haven’t been able to attend as they have been when I was at work. Since I moved in in September 2011 has not been many leaseholders meeting with Senior Ballymore Management Staff, I can’t recall more than 3 to be honest. This give you a hint of how much Ballymore cares about its customers.
Ballymore has not shown so far the skills and knowledge needed to manage this kind of estate. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to buy a property from Ballymore, if you do you would regret the rest of your entire life as I do.
Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:
The location is great because it is next to the station, it takes 18 minutes to get into Paddington and we are also close to Heathrow airport. I commute into central London and it is very easy.
Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:
I wish that I had known that Ballymore was not a trustworthy company and a lot of the proposed restaurants would not be completed or that they would not be here at all.