The Van Alen

Residents' Handbook  April 2023  v3.4



History                                                                                                 1

The Managing Agents                                                                       1

The Management Company                                                             1

Directors                                                                                              2

The Lease – a summary                                                                   2

General Information:

Access                                                                                                 3

Alterations/contractors                                                                    3

Automatic entrance doors                                                              4

BBQs                                                                                                   4

Balcony light fittings                                                                        4

Bicycles                                                                                               4

Boiler flues                                                                                        4

Broadband                                                                                        4

CCTV                                                                                                   4

Dog mess                                                                                           4

Door entry system and vehicle gates                                            5

Drains                                                                                                 5

Garden                                                                                               5

Gas, electricity and water meters                                                  5

Gas leaks                                                                                           6

Lifts                                                                                                     6

Mail and parcel delivery                                                                  6

Moving in or out                                                                               6

Noise                                                                                                   7

Parking                                                                                                7

Pets                                                                                                     7

Power cuts                                                                                          8

Property preservation                                                                       8

Refuse, recycling and reusing                                                          8

Safety                                                                                                   9

Security                                                                                                9

TV and satellite                                                                                    9

Water leaks                                                                                          9

Contractor Information Letter                                                          10

Fire Action                                                                                            11

If this is your first copy of the handbook, welcome to The Van Alen. Please let us know if we can assist you in settling into your new home.

The Van Alen is a block of 38 apartments and 4 mews houses on the seafront in Brighton. It was designed by the British architect Peter Rutter and named after William Van Alen, the architect of the Chrysler Building, Manhattan, New York (completed in 1930). The apartment block is a 21st century interpretation of the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne styles and was completed in 2001 by Berkeley Homes. For more information see    

The Managing Agents

Stiles Harold Williams (SHW)

Lees House, 21-33 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 3FE

The Van Alen Property Manager at SHW is:

Serena Taylor  Telephone - 01273 876226 or 07947 373475

Email:  [email protected]

In Serena's absence please contact Nigel Duffy  [email protected]

The SHW dedicated Property Management Administrator, Jade Deen, can be reached at   [email protected]

Out of Hours emergency relating to a communal issue please contact Adiuvo on 01323 406997

The managing agents should be your first point of contact on any issue concerning the communal areas and for emergencies concerning your apartment.


The Management Company

Two lessee-owned limited companies underpin the running of The Van Alen; The Van Alen Freehold Ltd and The Van Alen Management Ltd. The boards of both companies have the same membership consisting of a maximum of seven directors, each of whom must be an owner of an apartment or a mews house.  In the rest of this handbook “management company” is used as the shorthand for both limited companies.

The term of office for each director is fixed at three years and is then subject to re-election by the residents at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), held in November/December.

The chairman and directors of both companies work voluntarily for The Van Alen and are not liable to the apartment or mews house owners for any mistake, misjudgement, negligence or otherwise, except for their own individual misconduct or bad faith.

The role of the directors is to ensure The Van Alen is managed according to the lease and to appoint professionals such as managing agents, accountants and solicitors to advise the directors and implement board decisions.

The owner residents are entitled to one vote per apartment or mews house at management company meetings, which may be cast in person or by proxy, although proxy votes are only counted in the event of a ballot being called. The AGM of the companies is held at an agreed venue, on a declared date each year, for the purpose of electing directors and transacting the other relevant business of the company.

No member of the board receives any compensation for acting as a director of the companies.


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At  April 2023 the chair is David Brown, apartment 36, [email protected], 07887 983352

The other The Van Alen directors are:

Mary Kennedy                            apartment 19

Steve Kennedy                            apartment 13

Sam Memour                              apartment 4

Kevin Bence (apt 12), George Davies (apt 38) and Adam Mildren (apt 25) assist in the running of The Van Alen and attend management company meetings.

Email [email protected]     

The managing agents are appointed by the management company. Their job is to:


  • collect maintenance charges and ground rent from owners who are not freeholders
  • manage the contracts and contractors who maintain the building, lifts, garage etc.
  • account for all money in their care on behalf of owners
  • be available to respond to any resident who contacts them to report a problem


The certification of the accounts of the companies is made annually by a Chartered Accountant, currently Haines & Co, Portslade. The accounting period for the accounts and service charges ends on the 30 April each year. All records maintained by the companies are open for inspection by any owner upon reasonable prior notice and subject to the authority of the directors.


The Lease – a summary

All owners of The Van Alen and the 4 mews houses are bound by the terms of their lease, which is a legal document signed by all apartment owners.

If you are renting an apartment or mews house, you must also adhere to the terms and provision of the lease. Landlords are responsible for ensuring that tenants comply with all regulations.

This summary does not replace the lease but is intended only to provide informal guidance. If there should be any occasion when a dispute cannot be settled by reference to this summary, then the lease shall be used, and this summary shall have no status.

Each apartment and mews house is restricted exclusively to the residential use of the owners, their families and guests, and may not be used for business purposes.

As soon as an apartment or mews house is sub-let, the leaseholder must inform SHW of the tenant(s) address and telephone number so that records can be updated. Leaseholders should also provide the name of their tenant(s) and letting agent (if applicable) for emergency contact.

No damage shall be done to any part of the buildings, paths, gardens or access roads.

No obstruction may be caused to any of the communal paths, passage ways, parking spaces or access roads.

No aerial, satellite dish, advertisement or hoarding may be erected or attached to the property.

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All domestic refuse must be put in sealed plastic bin bags before being placed in the containers kept in the bin store.

Only private motor cars and motor cycles may be parked and only in the designated spaces in the underground garage or surface car park.

No animal shall be kept without prior written consent of the management company. Please ensure that such animal shall not cause any nuisance or disturbance or foul any communal parts of the property.

No clothes or other articles may be hung in any communal part of the property or on balconies and terraces.

Failure to comply with the terms of the lease could result in a formal request from the management company to cease the offending behaviour. If ignored, legal action may be taken as necessary.

General Information and procedures


Owners are required to allow access to their premises to the management company, its agents and their appointed workmen at all reasonable times, notice having been given, but immediately in an emergency, to carry out necessary work, repairs or inspection of property.

Alterations to property and contractors

Owners are reminded that written permission is required from the management company before any internal structural alterations or additions are made to their apartments or mews houses, especially kitchens, bathrooms, windows and boilers.

Residents are responsible for any damage to common parts and lifts caused by their contractors and residents should ensure that contractors are aware of the security arrangements for The Van Alen.

If a skip or Hippo Bag is required for any work that you are having carried out, the first 2 weeks on site will be free of charge, but thereafter you will be charged a fee of £100 per week.

We have put together a set of notes to be given to all contractors working at The Van Alen and a copy of the notes is at the back of this handbook. We ask all residents to let SHW know, in advance, about any works you are planning.

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Alterations to windows and doors

The Van Alen is in the East Cliff Conservation Area which means that all proposed changes to the elevations of a building require planning permission. Brighton and Hove City Council have confirmed that any changes to windows or external doors, in The Van Alen, require planning permission.

Automatic entrance doors

Please do not push or pull the automatic entrance doors. The mechanism is deliberately set to move slowly to avoid injury to anyone who is unaware of how the doors open. Pushing them, pulling them or forcing them to stay open will damage the motor and lead to expensive repairs.

If you need to hold the automatic doors open, please press the green emergency button and the doors will move to the open position and stay there.  Please then put the reset key into the small hole in the bottom of the green box to reset the emergency button and the doors will go back to automatic operation.


BBQs, of any type, are not allowed on the balconies, patios or terraces. BBQs can be used in the garden at the top of the car park.

Balcony light fittings

We have a small stock of replacement oval and round balcony light fittings which are similar to those originally fitted - please ask for details.


There are covered racks for residents’ bicycles in the underground car park.  Cycles are not to be left anywhere else on the estate and must not be brought into the building.  We have had problems with bicycles being stolen from the racks in the underground car park. Please always keep your bike securely locked to the rack and we suggest you photograph your bike and keep the photo in a safe place.

Boiler flues

To facilitate replacing the original PowerMax gas boilers for modern, energy efficient gas boilers, the directors will permit, subject to written approval, flat owners to install boiler flues on the front and rear elevations of the building. Condensate and pressure release pipes may also be allowed to exit through the walls, subject to approval. Approval for such work to be agreed before work commences, please contact SHW.


The Van Alen has “fibre to the premises” and there is a Hyperoptic broadband ultra-highspeed connection available to each apartment and mews house. If you would like to subscribe please go to and put BN21WP into the drop-down menu. Hyperoptic currently offers three broadband packages and its fastest package has download and upload speeds of 1GB.


The Van Alen has a 16 camera CCTV system and the images are recorded.

Dog mess

Occasionally we have had a problem with dog mess on the estate. Mess must be removed by the dog’s owner. Animals must not be exercised in the grounds. The garden is NOT to be used by dogs. Dogs must be on a lead at all times.

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Door entry system and vehicle gates

Each apartment has a door entry phone. To speak to someone buzzing your apartment or mews house, pick up the handset and you will see the person on the screen. If you want to let the caller into the building, press the door open button. This will unlock the main door or side gate. Please only let people into The Van Alen who you know. Visitors will have to buzz your apartment again from the panel to the left of each of the three block entrances.

The vehicle gates in Camelford Street can be opened from the door entry handset in each flat or mews house with 3 pushes of the button with one dot. We suggest allowing a small gap between each pressing of the button and the receiver must be on the hook.

As you approach the gates on the entrance to the underground car park in a car, the gates will open automatically and will close automatically behind you. If you want to enter the underground car park on foot via the ramp there is a key pad on the right-hand gate post. Please enter the four digit code followed by “enter” to open the gates. They will automatically close behind you. The code number, which must be kept confidential, can be requested by email or by calling, David Brown on 07887 983352 or from any director. As the ramp is one of the fire escape exits from the underground car park there is a manual override button located at the bottom of the ramp. You can also use this button to exit, via the ramp, on foot.

The left button on the zapper opens the vehicle gates in Camelford Street and the right button will open the gates to the underground car park.  Replacement zappers and key fobs can be purchased from David Brown.


After a recent serious blockage at the bottom of the middle block, resulting in sewage coming up into the shower and bath of a ground floor flat, please do not flush anything other than toilet paper and FLUSHABLE wipes. Face wipes are NOT flushable, as indicated on the packaging. Cotton buds are a definite NO as the stick is often plastic and jams the drains.  


We are fortunate to have a garden, with a table and chairs, at the top of the car park for the enjoyment of everyone. This area is maintained under a contract with a gardening company. No dogs are allowed in the garden.

Please do not eat any plants from the garden.

Gas, electricity and water meters

Electricity meters are located in locked cupboards in the underground car park entrance lobbies. The key to open the cupboard is on a hook, top right of the door.

Gas meters are located in the smoke vent cupboards on each floor by the lift. Nothing must be stored in these smoke vent cupboards.

Apartments do not have individual water meters. The water meters for the four mews houses are located in the pavement, outside No 6 Camelford St.

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Gas leaks

If you smell gas inside or outside your apartment:


  • Turn off the gas supply at the meter – usually located in the cupboard by the lift
  • Open doors and windows to allow the gas to escape
  • Put out any naked flames
  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t turn electric switches on or off
  • Don’t use telephones or doorbells
  • Knock on the doors of adjacent apartments to alert them
  • When in a safe place call the National Gas Emergency Service 0800 111999

Lift breakdown

There is an emergency call button in each lift to connect you to the service centre.

In case of emergency, telephone the Fire Service, dial 999.

Lift protection curtains

All three lifts have hooks fitted for protection curtains. If you are proposing to use one of the lifts to move furniture or building materials or to do anything else that might damage the lift then please ask the housekeeper to install the protection curtains.

Mail and parcel delivery

Mail is delivered, by the Post Office, to the mail boxes in the lobby of each block. There is a parcel bin and letterbox by the main entrance door on Marine Parade.  It is in the front left hand corner, near the New Madeira Hotel. Parcels can be placed in the secure box by delivery drivers. Please ask David Brown for the code to unlock the bottom access door. If you access the box, please place any parcels in the box that are not yours, on the reception desk, out of sight. There is a bar code in the parcel flap that delivery drivers can scan in lieu of a signature. 

Moving in or out

Most damage to internal decorations, carpets and doors occurs while people are moving in or out of the building. The cost of repairing and re-decorating is considerable and is an unwelcome cost for all owners.

Please take great care while moving any large object, furniture etc. so as not to damage any part of the building.

Please also ensure that removal contractors and others who may be helping are requested to take care when carrying large or heavy objects in or out of the building.

Do not attempt to speed things up by holding the lift at your floor. If you stop the lift doors from closing for long periods, for example by placing an object to hold them open, the lift may cease to operate. It may remain out of service until an engineer arrives to repair it.

Please clean up after moving. It is easy to spill the contents from a plant pot or drop something that makes a mess. Keep the vacuum cleaner until last and clean up before you vacate the apartment.

Individual leaseholders are personally responsible for the cost of rectifying any damage caused while they or their tenants are moving in or out.

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When people live in close proximity, it is necessary to set out rules to allow all residents to live together without undue disturbance. Please control the level of sound from your radio or television or sound system so as to confine it to your own dwelling at all times. When returning to the building after10pm, please make as little noise as possible in the communal areas. Please only drop glass bottles into the recycling bin, in the bin store, between 9am and 9pm, please remember there are flats very near the bin store.

If owners are proposing to carry out alterations, additions or repairs to their apartment which will be noisy, this work should proceed only Monday to Friday (9am – 5pm) and never during weekends or bank holidays. SHW and neighbours should be notified in advance of any disruptive work.


Resident parking:

  • Residents must only park in the designated parking spaces and must park in the space allocated to their apartment or mews house unless they have been given prior permission by another resident to park in their designated parking space.
  • Residents who give permission for their designated parking space to be used by any other resident on a regular basis must provide to the management company such information regarding the use of that space as the management company may require.
  • Residents and visitors may park elsewhere on the estate for the purpose of loading or unloading provided that they do not obstruct access to or egress from any other part of the estate and respect the “No Parking” signs.
  • Residents must ensure that their visitors park in accordance with these parking regulations.
  • The other parking spaces may be used only by visitors and parking in those spaces will operate on a first come first served basis.
  • Visitors must only park in the other parking spaces unless a resident has given prior permission for a visitor to park in their designated parking space.
  • The management company reserves the right to take any measures it deems appropriate to enforce these regulations
  • These regulations supersede any parking rules or regulations previously in operation at The Van Alen
  • Nothing in these regulations may be taken to override any covenant in the apartment or mews house leases
  • The management company reserves the right to vary these regulations at any time by giving 28 days’ notice, in writing, to the residents

Please use a storage cage, not the car parking spaces, for storage. Nothing must be stored in the underground car park.

Visitor parking:

Visitor parking spaces are very limited and are nose in opposite the mews houses. Parking is not permitted in the driveway areas of the car park and these areas must not be used by trades-people for parking. The “No Parking” signs should be respected at all times, except in cases of emergency.


In accordance with the lease, dogs and cats or other pets are not allowed to be kept on the premises without the prior written consent of the management company.

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Power cuts

In the case of a power cut that affects more than just your apartment, please contact UK Power Networks on 105 or 0800 316 3105 or via the web site

In the event of a power cut, the battery back up on the Camelford Street gates and the car park entrance gates will keep them working for 6-12 hours depending on usage. This is the same for the battery back up on the automatic doors.  In most cases, residents shouldn’t notice any difference in using the gates or doors, they should be able to use their fobs or remote controls as normal.

If everything fails, then the manual release key for the Camelford Street and car park ramp vehicle gates motors needs to be used but the pedestrian side gate and the automatic doors will open and stay open.  

Property preservation

Feeding birds is not permitted. Bird droppings damage the building and are particularly unpleasant for anyone living in the lower apartments.

Refuse, recycling and reusing

The bin store is for household rubbish only. No items of furniture, electrical equipment, building supplies etc. should be left in the bin room. All rubbish must be wrapped. When taking household waste to the bin area ensure bags do not leak and leave a trail on communal carpets etc. Do not leave bagged waste outside your front door, please take it straight to the bins. Do not place rubbish on the floor of the bin store.  Please place large items of rubbish in the Brighton and Hove Council bin on Camelford Street. Never smoke or extinguish cigarettes in the bin store. Please use the recycling bins in the bin store. They are clearly labelled. Do not put large cardboard boxes in the recycling bin. They should be torn up or collapsed.

There are boxes in the bin store for batteries, light bulbs and small electrical waste.

The council will collect larger items from The Van Alen for a small fee, call 01273 290798 to arrange a collection time.

Recycling facilities are available at our local tip: Wilson Avenue, BN2 5PD

We have a small stock of original toilet bowls, bidets and wash basins, please ask for details if you'd like to replace a broken item in your property.

We have a number of internal and front doors in various sizes, please ask for details.

We have a few original radiators available, please ask for details

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  • Fire doors to the stairs must be kept closed at all times
  • Fire doors within the living areas of each flat should remain closed whenever possible
  • The outer hallways must remain free of all items, including flammable wall hangings
  • Bathroom and kitchen air extractors should be serviced and cleaned regularly to remove dust and fluff which may ignite and cause a fire
  • In the event of fire or other emergency please see the Fire Action notes at the end of this handbook
  • Nothing must be stored in the smoke vent cupboards to the right of the lift entrances.


It is essential that good security is maintained on a 24 hour basis, every day of the year, and that all residents fully observe all security rules. Failure to do so may result in serious consequences.

  • Ensure that the main entrance doors leading from the lower car park are always securely closed and not wedged open at any time for any purpose whatsoever
  • Do not admit anyone into the building via the intercom entry phone unless they are known to you
  • All entrance doors should be kept closed and locked at all times when not in use
  • Door-to-door canvassing is not permitted for any purpose
  • For long or regular absences please notify SHW.
  • We urge residents to turn off water stopcocks when absent to prevent leaks and subsequent damage to adjacent apartments
  • We recommend a key being left with SHW.

 TV and satellite

The Van Alen is enabled for Sky Q.  If you have problem with your TV or satellite signal, please report it to SHW.

Water leaks

Water leaks can be a major problem in The Van Alen and do considerable damage, especially to the wood laminate flooring. Please make sure that dishwashers and washing machines are properly connected to the mains supply and please turn off the water at the stopcock if you are leaving your apartment unoccupied for any length of time.

The water stopcock for each apartment is located in the boiler cupboard.

Water running down the back of the toilet bowl is an issue that needs to be fixed promptly and the mastic seal around the shower tray needs to be regularly inspected and repaired if necessary. Both of these issues occur frequently in The Van Alen and if left, can lead to costly water damage insurance claims. Due to a high excess under the buildings’ insurance, the repair costs can add considerably to the annual service charge.

In an effort to minimise insurance claims for water damage, SHW have contracted with Jamie Shefford Plumbing to carry out inspections of the plumbing in all flats and mews houses every year. The cost is covered by the service charge.

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The Van Alen Contractor Information Letter  

As a contractor working at The Van Alen Building, we ask that you please abide by the following rules and regulations:


  • There are to be no obstructions caused to any areas of the communal paths, passage ways, parking spaces or access roads.
  • There should be no damage done to any part of the buildings, paths, gardens or access roads.
  • There should be no mess or materials left in the communal areas of the property. Please provide coverings and clean up at the end of each working day.
  • If you are using the lift with large items or building materials please ask the housekeeper or SHW to provide you with lift protection curtains to prevent any damage.
  • Works should only be carried out Monday-Friday between the hours of 9am-5pm and never during the weekend or bank holidays.

 After reading the above please sign below and send it to SHW. If you have not returned the signed letter, you will not be permitted to work at The Van Alen. 

We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. 

Yours faithfully,

The Van Alen Freehold Ltd.

I agree to the above

Name                              ………………………………………..


Business name                 ………………………………………..


Mobile number               ………………………………………..

 Page 10

Fire Action -  The Van Alen

How people will be warned if there is a fire

Audible alarm or verbally

If you find a fire

Verbally raise the alarm by shouting “FIRE” and if safe to do so, press the fire alarm point by the lift to trigger the building alarm.  Call the Fire Service by dialing 999.  Warn all persons in your apartment and leave together.  You do not need to evacuate unless the fire directly affects your apartment or you are instructed to leave by the Fire Service, or you decide to leave. In most instances there will be no need for you to leave, but if you do want to leave, use the nearest available escape route or as directed by the Fire Service.  Where possible turn off your cooker or oven if it is on.  Ensure you close all doors on the way out, particularly the front door.  Leave the immediate area and do not attempt to return to your apartment until given permission by the Fire Service

Tackling a fire

If a cooking pan or chip pan is involved, turn off the cooker and cover with a fire blanket, if you have one, otherwise saucepan lid, tray or damp cloth, then follow instructions above

Hearing the alarm

You do not need to evacuate unless the fire directly affects your apartment or you are instructed to leave by the Fire Service, or you decide to leave. In most instances there will be no need for you to leave, but if you do need to leave, use the nearest available escape route or as directed by the Fire Service.  If you have visitors, instruct them to follow you.  Always close doors behind you.  Do not put yourself at risk or cause delay.  Leave the building by the nearest available exit and move away from the building or to a specific location directed by the Fire Service

How the fire and rescue services and any others will be called and who will be responsible for doing this

The person discovering the fire should call the Fire Service by dialling 999

Smoke alarms

It is strongly recommended that each apartment has at least two smoke detectors, sited as near to the front door and bedrooms as possible and that they are maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

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