West India Quay residents forced to fight for rights

By Rob Virtue on April 3, 2014 2:00 PM |

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The owner of a Docklands development once the setting for the film Layer Cake is embroiled in a court battle with its residents.

Those living in apartments at 1 West India Quay above the Marriott hotel have been trying to get recognition for their residents' association, which would allow it to investigate service charges.

They have not received breakdowns of the charges since 2010.

Landlord Yianis Group's attempts to prevent the group forming saw the case at a tribunal of the London Property Chamber last week.

Edwin Johnson QC, representing the landlord, said the fact 47% of the building was run as a hotel meant it was not suitable for a recognised residents' association, which would be able to access "commercially confident" accounts on the site.

Mr Johnson used the hypothetical argument commercial operation East Tower, which owns 42 flats at One West India Quay, could gain the power to interfere with the hotel's operation.

However, speaking at the tribunal last Thursday, Jane Hewland, secretary of the residents' association, said the aim of the group was simply to work with all parties to improve life at the development.

"Our investment in the upper 20 floors of the building is in excess of £100million," she said.

"We've as much invested as the freeholder and want to work with them and the hotel.

"We want to preserve the building and we're not there to cut costs or cut and run, we're there for the long term."

The tribunal is due to announce a decision later this month.

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