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Residents Information Pack is a guide to help residents enjoy living at the Barbican Estate, listing the facilities that are available on the estate.

Please note: The Residents Information Pack is currently being reviewed by the Barbican Estate Office (BEO) in conjunction with the Service Level Agreement (SLA) working party. This new pack will be updated in 2020. 


​Refuse collection

Please place your rubbish bags in the refuse cupboard at the side of your front door or (if you do not use yours for this purpose) outside your front door for collection every Monday to Friday before 8.15am as there is only one rubbish collection per day. In some blocks resident representatives have agreed a variation to the standard service. Contact your House Group representative or House Officer for details.

If you do not use the refuse cupboard at the side of your front door for rubbish removal, please do not leave rubbish outside your front door at the weekend as it will not be collected until Monday and will look unsightly and may generate odours.

If you need to dispose of rubbish at the weekends or Bank Holidays, please take it to your bin compound or see your Car Park Attendant or Lobby Porter for directions.

Please wrap any broken glass up securely before placing in rubbish and label the bag for cleaners to beware of broken glass.

Clear plastic bags are provided for recycling only. Black plastic bags are for wet waste if you do not have a Garchey. At weekends or out of office hours, contact your Car Park Attendant or Lobby Porter for extra rubbish or recycling bags, which are delivered daily during the week by your cleaner.

Do not discard leaves, flowers, twigs etc. which have been dead-headed over balconies. Please collect them in a plastic bag and put the bag in your black refuse sack.

Do not leave rubbish in baggage stores such as, wood, cardboard boxes, broken furniture or bags of old clothes.

Bulky Items

If residents have any bulky rubbish or household items they wish to dispose of, they should contact the CoL's Cleansing Division. By giving 5 days' notice items will be removed from outside your flat on Tuesdays and Thursdays free of charge.

Please have your bulky rubbish and household items at your front doors ready for collection as the Cleansing Department and the Estate Services Cleaning teams cannot enter your flat to dismantle or unplug electrical items.

Washing machines, dishwashers, fridges and freezers must be emptied and dried out before being removed from flats to ensure water does not leak from these items during removal.

Residents can if they wish take their bulky household items to any of the collection points around the Barbican Estate at the following Car Parks, next to the compactor skips: Andrewes House, Thomas More House, Bunyan Court, or Garchey layby in Beech Street.

If residents require a quicker service than offered by Cleansing, please contact the BEO Estate Services team. There is a charge for this service.

Please refer to the Service Level Agreement Booklet (PDF 225KB) for further information.


Recyclable refuse should be recycled in clear sacks provided by your Estate Cleaner. Further stocks are available from the nearest car park box or lobby. You can recycle the following:

  • Paper - newspapers, magazines, catalogues, junk mail, envelopes, yellow pages and office type paper
  • Card - cardboard food packaging, cereal boxes, egg cartons and toilet & kitchen roll tubes
  • Glass - bottles and jars of any colour
  • Cans - clean food and drinks cans (both aluminium and steel), aerosol cans
  • Plastic - all types of plastic bottles eg water & squash bottles, shampoo & washing up liquid bottles

You cannot recycle:

  • Kitchen/garden waste
  • Broken glass, ovenware and window glass
  • Other plastic – food containers, carrier bags, plastic wrap & packaging

If you have any questions regarding the recycling service please contact the Recycling Team.

Window cleaning

Window cleaning is carried out for each block every 6 weeks or thirty working days. All window cleaning contractors carry identification with them at all times.

Download the Barbican window cleaning schedule 2020 (131KB).

The window cleaning schedule is placed on the notice boards for the complete year starting 1 January. This schedule is checked by the Cleaning Manager and the window cleaning contractors.

The window cleaning contractors will clean the following:

  • External glazing for flats for windows and doors
  • Both faces of glazing for privacy screens
  • Balcony screens and both faces of glazing in communal areas

Abseiling is carried out on Ben Jonson House, Breton House, Frobisher Crescent, Bryer, Bunyan and John Trundle Courts on a 12-weekly basis (4 cleans per year).

Abseiling to the tower blocks, Cromwell, Lauderdale and Shakespeare is completed every 6 months to the port hole windows only.

Additional abseiling is now completed to Thomas More, Brandon Mews and Defore House to reach inaccessible windows also on a 12-weekly schedule.

Eyebolt testing is carried ​out twice a year, for abseiling to comply with Health & Safety legislation. A biannual test certificate is sent to the Cleaning Manager for retention.

Download the Barbican eyebolt testing schedule 2020 (94KB)

Please leave your balcony glass and privacy screens accessible for the window cleaners to enable them to clean your windows without moving your personal property. If this is not done, we cannot guarantee that your windows will be cleaned.

Communal glazing is checked by the Cleaning Manager and the House Officers during the daily spot check block inspections. Any deficiencies in standards are given to the contractors at the weekly window cleaning monitoring meetings. The BEO monitors standards in order to improve this service.

Download Service Level Agreement booklet (PDF 225KB) for further information.

Pest control

From time to time residents may have pest related problems such as moths or ants. These can be reported to the Environmental Services department for action. See contact list.

Squirrels must not be fed. They can cause damage to window box contents if enticed onto balconies in search of food.

Communal living

Breach of Lease Protocol

Please find here updates for the Breach of Lease Protocol, specifically, non-carpeted floors and animals. 

Barbican Breach of Lease Protocol updates (116KB)

Good Neighbour Guide

Compliance with a few basic rules and conditions will help to make life in the Barbican more enjoyable given the very high density living. Your attention is also drawn to the terms of your long lease or tenancy (as appropriate).

Common Parts & Balconies

Common parts include lift lobbies, corridors and staircases. These areas should be kept clear at all times and they should not be used for storage.

  • Bicycles should be stored in the bike cages or designated areas located in the car parks.
  • Please do not abandon unwanted items on balconies, lift lobbies or car parks.
  • Please do not leave shopping trolleys in communal areas.
  • If you do smoke on the balcony, please be mindful of your neighbour's open windows. And don't forget, the ventilation system in the bathrooms and kitchen is a communal system, therefore smells and smoke can travel into other flats.
  • It is prohibited under the terms of the lease to hang washing on your balcony.
  • Do not make noise inside your flat and on balconies that could cause nuisance to your neighbours. This includes making/taking telephone calls on your balcony at unsociable hours.
  • Although balcony drains are on a programme of scheduled maintenance, please can all residents ensure that as far as possible, they keep balcony drains free of soil/leaves etc. Drains can become clogged with debris during periods of heavy rain, and this can cause water penetration into flats below. Having decking, and Astroturf on the balcony paving slabs can contribute to stopping the drain from working to its full capacity and is not allowed.

Although any balcony adjacent to your flat may form part of your demise, you should be considerate to your neighbours. Balconies must not be obstructed as they serve as fire escape routes and are subject to formal rights of escape in case of emergency as set out in each long lease.


The Barbican style of communal living means that you are surrounded by other flats - so please be extra considerate - as noise travels.

  • Do not install wooden flooring, as it is prohibited in the lease and is a frequent cause of noise disturbance to neighbours.
  • Try not to slam your doors or windows. If your doors are closing noisily, please contact Repairs 020 7029 3909, to arrange an ease and adjust.
  • Try not to make noise that can be heard outside your property. Remember - if you can hear your neighbours, your neighbours may be able to hear you.
  • Any person using the common parts shall do so as quietly as possible and cause no disturbance or annoyance to other residents.
  • Please refrain from using the Garchey,washing machines or tumble dryers between 23.00 and 7.00.

If a noise problem is caused by your neighbour, a courteous approach to them to explain the problem may provide a satisfactory solution. If this does not help, please contact the BEO. 

If the problem is from another source (eg road works) contact the BEO. Outside normal office hours (Monday to Friday, 9.15am to 5pm) contact your Concierge, who may be able to investigate and if possible witness and/or resolve such problems.

Alternatively, if residents are being disturbed by noise happening now or if you would like help or advice:

Call 020 7606 3030 for noise happening now, or for advice, email the Public Protection Team (please note response to emails is not immediate).

Wooden Flooring

The City of London (CoL) does not give consent for the installation of wooden flooring. The lease states that residents should "carpet all the floors in the premises from wall to wall". The purpose of this restriction is to minimise any footfall noise being heard in neighbouring flats. The laying of wooden floors may also have detrimental effects on the operation of the under-floor heating.

The CoL may be prepared to take proceedings for breach of this obligation, if neighbours subsequently report a noise nuisance which relates to the flooring residents have chosen. The residents in question may then have to carpet their floors.

Home Improvements

  • Ensure that all works are carried out during the normal week (9.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday).
  • Please don't let your contractor leave a mass in the communal areas.
  • Ensure that noisy works such as drilling are further restricted between 10.00 and 16.00.
  • If you are doing any DIY or having contractors in, please inform your neighbours of any possible disruption. It does not go unnoticed.!
  • Don't forget the Home Improvement Pack! This pack gives lots of tips to being, a Good Neighbour when having property alterations.
  • Permissions required before commencing any work, please check with the Home Improvement Pack.

General Advice

  • Please make sure you arrange for ventilation in the kitchen and bathrooms to be cleaned at least once a year to help assist the vents to work effectively. Please contact the repairs to arrange this 020 7029 3909. This is paid for under your service charge.
  • Place your rubbish bags out for collection every Monday to Friday in the morning before 08.15 as there is only one rubbish collection per day. Do not leave rubbish bags out in the corridors, if you do need to dispose of rubbish at the weekends or on Bank Holidays, please take it to your bin compound.


  • Animals should not be kept on the premises. Additionally, please ensure no animals are brought into the communal gardens.
  • Please do not feed the wild life. This includes the squirrels and ducks!

The Gardens

  • The Barbican Estate Office in no way wishes to stop the residents enjoying the private gardens facilities with their friends, but these gardens are not suitable for parties. The communal gardens are for all residents, some of whom may wish to bring visitor, but please keep these to small gatherings. Please also remember that Speed Lawn is a small open space and that there are flats very close by and that children should be supervised at all times.
  • Please respect that the play areas are in a residential area.

Short lets

There are a number of reasons why it is not a good idea to carry out short-term holiday lettings:

  • Possible invalidation of the City's buildings insurance , which is a direct contravention of the lease
  • possible invalidation of residents own contents insurance, which could affect any claim, not just those related to damage caused by a 'paying guest'
  • Risks of possible flooding flats below which would not be covered by insurance, and thereby could expose an individual leaseholder to considerable costs which the City may seek to recover from them
  • Fire safety (increasing risks associated with people using appliances in an unfamiliar environment) which, if damage occurs, may also be rejected by the insurers in the event of a claim
  • If done repeatedly, it may be considered the leaseholder is using the property to carry out a business rather than using it as a private dwelling, which the lease does not permit
  • The security of the building being compromised in a number of ways (eg increased risk of tailgating being permitted by visitors who would be less vigilant than normal residents)
  • Noise and nuisance affecting other occupiers, particularly immediate neighbours
  • People not having the owner's/long term resident's incentive to be careful and cautious in flats and common parts of the building, resulting in damage or increased wear-and-tear, the cost of which will fall to all leaseholders in the block

Moving in/out

When planning your move to the Barbican Estate it is advisable to contact the Car Park Attendant or Lobby Porter who can give advice on the following essential details:

  • Parking for your removal van 
  • If the van cannot be accommodated in the car park you can apply for special dispensation to park in the street. See contact list (Parking Dispensation).
  • Height restrictions in car parks
  • The times of day during which you can arrange for removals. Usually this is between 8am and sunset.

Fuse boards are generally located in a service cupboard in the hall area and in a high level cupboard in the kitchen.

For meters see Meter Readings section.

For advice on the following please contact the TSD enquiry line during office hours only:

  • Positioning of stop valves and header tanks
  • Operation of the Garchey waste disposal system

There are also several authorities who should be informed:

  • Your electricity provider
  • Thames Water
  • The Council Tax Department
  • Your telephone company

If you are moving from the Barbican Estate and you have a licence for any of the following, the BEO will need to be contacted and given three months notice of your surrender for any of the following:

  • Car bay licence
  • Bicycle locker licence
  • Baggage store licence

If you have a long term agreement in respect of a car parking bay or baggage store, you may be able to sell it on to the purchaser of your flat, or (with the consent of the BEO and in accordance with the terms of the agreement) to another long lessee.

If you have recently purchased a flat on the Barbican Estate, the transfer of the long lease of your flat (together with any mortgage of the flat which you have taken out) must be registered with the Comptroller and City Solicitor (with the relevant registration fee) within one month in accordance with the terms of the lease. This should normally be dealt with by your solicitor. The transfer of any long term car parking or baggage store agreement should also be registered with the Comptroller and City Solicitor.

If you own the long lease of a flat and decide to move out and sublet the flat, any tenancy which you grant must also be registered with the Comptroller and City Solicitor.


​Email bulletin

The Barbican Estate Office send out emails to all residents who enrol with us with information such as local road closures, emergency works and events. If you would also like to receive this information, please complete the survey to actively opt in.

Residents database

The BEO maintains a database on all properties and periodically residents will be requested to complete a database amendment form. The information which is provided will be used in the case of accident or emergency and may be used for other CoL purposes. All personal data will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Deliveries – you’ve got mail!

If you are likely to be unavailable when a delivery arrives you can arrange to have items delivered to the nearest car park box to your flat, or to the lobby if you live in a tower block. This service is at your own risk and the CoL cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage.

The Lobby Porter or Car Park Attendant will notify you via a card that you have an article to collect. Please collect deliveries promptly as there is limited storage space available.

This service is offered for the convenience of Barbican residents but may be withdrawn, on an individual basis, if it is abused by a resident.

The concierge service for the terrace blocks is provided as follows:

Block name Car park Access route
Andrewes House, Gilbert House, Wallside and Postern Andrewes car park Fore Street
Breton House and Ben Jonson House Ben Jonson House / Breton car park Golden Lane
Bunyan Court, Bryer
Court and John Trundle Court
Bunyan Court car park Fann Street
Defoe House Defoe car park Westbound Carriageway of Beech Street
Speed House Speed car park Silk Street
Thomas More House, Lambert Jones Mews, Mountjoy House and Seddon House Thomas More car park Southbound Carriageway of Aldersgate Street
Willoughby House and Brandon Mews Willoughby car park Moor Lane (Southbound)

Residents' annual survey

Each year the BEO issues a survey to all residents to monitor satisfaction levels with services provided by or managed by the City of London Corporation. The results of the survey reported to the RCC and BRC.

Targets are set for improving performance based on the results of the survey. Satisfaction surveys are also issued to CoL tenants who report repairs to the interior of their flat. Satisfaction levels are monitored and are reported to the RCC and the BRC each quarter.


The BEO follows the City of London Complaints Procedure.

If you are dissatisfied about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the BEO or its staff, we have a formal complaints procedure. 

Note: that this procedure is not intended for cases where the City of London has taken a decision in a proper manner but with which you disagree or where you wish to complain about other persons or organisations - unless they are working for the City of London.

The first step is to contact us. You can do this by visiting, telephoning or writing. Some complaints can be sorted out on the spot but if this is not possible your complaint will be acknowledged and investigated immediately. The officer concerned will provide a written reply or progress report within two weeks.

If you wish to pursue the matter further then please pick up a leaflet from the BEO reception which explains the next steps.

Emergencies, safety & security

​Emergency procedures

The advice from the CoL Principal Security and Contingency Planning Adviser is to remain in your flat or townhouse if there is a major incidence e.g. a terrorist attack. It is often much safer to stay within your home than out on the street.

Most Barbican Estate flats have bathrooms without windows, which have been identified as a safe area. Should it be necessary to take refuge in an emergency it would be advisable to take a radio with you to listen for news updates.

You should be familiar with the nearest access route to your block so that you will be able to advise the emergency services where to attend.

Numbered Ambulance access points have been agreed with the London Ambulance Service and should be quoted if you call an ambulance.

Access Ambulance point Block
Andrewes car park 6 Andrewes House, Gilbert House, Wallside and Postern
Breton car park 2 Breton House and Ben Jonson House
Bunyan Court car park 1 Bunyan Court, Bryer Court and John Trundle Court
Cromwell Tower 3 Cromwell Tower
Cromwell Tower 3 Frobisher Crescent
Defoe car park 8 Defoe House and Shakespeare Tower
Lauderdale Tower 8 Lauderdale Tower
Speed car park 4 Speed House
Thomas More car park 7 Thomas More House, Lambert Jones Mews, Mountjoy House and Seddon House
Willoughby car park 5 Willoughby House and Brandon Mews

If you are expecting the emergency services you are advised to inform your Car Park Attendant or Lobby Porter in order that they can give access and arrange parking if necessary.

Download the Barbican Emergency Services Points and Procedures (242KB)


There is an Automated External Defibrillator, kept at Lauderdale Tower. If you need to use the defibrillator in an emergency and in conjunction with the emergency services please contact the concierge at Lauderdale Tower 02070 29 39 29.

Police vehicles and other emergency services carry defibrillators and the London Ambulance Service send messages through for assistance when there are calls for problems with people breathing or suffering chest pains.


The advice from the Fire Brigade is as follows:

The Barbican has been built to protect residents in the event of a fire, so do not automatically assume you must leave your flat. The emergency services will decide whether the building needs to be evacuated. If it does, use your front door and stairs unless the fire/smoke prevents this, in which case use your balcony.

Basic advice

Familiarise yourself with the escape route from your flat before an emergency. For most flats this is using a staircase (NEVER A LIFT) or your balcony.

Keep all emergency access routes clear: your life or those of your family or neighbours could be endangered if you do not. Large plants or furniture should not be stored on balconies for this reason.

If the fire is in your flat:

  • Do not stay to fight a fire unless you can extinguish it immediately.
  • Evacuate everyone in the flat.
  • Close all doors behind you.
  • Call the Fire Brigade.
  • Call your Lobby Porter/Car Park Attendant.

If you detect a fire in another part of your building:

  • Stay in your home unless evacuated by emergency services.
  • Call the Fire Brigade, do not tackle the fire yourself.
  • Close all doors and windows to restrict the spread of smoke.
  • If you become affected by the heat or smoke, leave the flat, as described above.

There have been very few fires on the Barbican Estate. Most have started in kitchens so residents may wish to keep a kitchen extinguisher or fire blanket nearby.

The London Fire Brigade will carry out a fire safety check, see contact list.

If in doubt, ask the BEO.

Download the updated Fire Safety FAQ's (236KB)

General advice for fire prevention

  • It is worthwhile investing in a smoke alarm. The battery should be renewed each year to ensure the alarm is working effectively.
  • Avoid calor gas, paraffin or electric bar fires wherever possible. Instead use plug in radiators with safety electric plugs.
  • Do not block access points in your flat or the communal areas of your block.
  • Do not use rooms for storage or as workshops.
  • Do not overload electrical sockets, cover convector heaters or leave lit candles and heaters close to curtains and furniture.
  • Ensure electrical equipment is regularly serviced.

Out of hours service

An out-of-hours Emergency Service is available (Monday to Thursday 5 pm to 9.15 am and 5 pm Friday to 9.15 am Monday).

The Duty Manager will be responsible for providing the out-of-hours estate management function including attendance at emergency incidents, lift trappings, and dealing with incidents of nuisance.

Residents phoning out of hours will initially speak to the Car Park Attendants or Lobby Porters who will assess the issue. If necessary they will seek the advice/assistance of the Duty Manager who will respond a number of ways.

It is important that contact is made through the concierge staff because at any given time the Duty Manager could be otherwise engaged on Barbican Estate business.


The Barbican Police Office is based at Podium level Shakespeare Tower.

Dial 999 - If a crime is currently taking place and you are in immediate danger.

Dial 101 - In a non-emergency. If you wish to report actual or suspected criminal activity.

Any other general matters or non-urgent calls can be reported to the Ward Officers on their mobile telephone numbers. These numbers are printed in Barbicanews.

Your nearest Police Stations can be found on Wood Street (EC2P 2NQ) & Snow Hill (EC1A 2DP).

If you require more information about community policing or any other aspect of the CoL Police, please visit their website.


Keys to Barbican Estate properties give you access to the majority of access points on the estate including entrances to the blocks at car park and podium levels and also gives access to the Speed House and Thomas More House gardens.

Keys to Barbican flats can be lodged at BEO Reception for safe keeping at the leaseholders' own risk. Leaseholders can arrange for their visitors or contractors to have access to the flat in their absence during BEO opening hours.

When authorising BEO staff to release the keys (key permission) to your visitor e.g. contractor, Reception will require full details of the person visiting the flat.

You will be asked to provide the following:

  • Visitor's name and if a contractor their company name
  • Visitor's contact telephone number
  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your contact telephone number
  • The period of time that key permission is required.

Residents and their visitors will be asked to present identification e.g. driving licence, when collecting keys from BEO Reception.

Orders for additional keys

The ASSA keys for Barbican locks cannot be obtained from elsewhere and must be specially ordered by the BEO.

Additional keys orders will only be accepted from CoL tenants, long leaseholders or, with written authorisation from their landlord, registered subtenants.

Keys must be paid for in advance. The current cost is available from the BEO.

Additional keys are delivered to the BEO within 10 days and you will be contacted when your keys are ready for collection.

Additional Keys will only be released on presentation of identification e.g. Driving licence, Utility Bill, Credit Card.

If your keys are being collected by someone else, please confirm who will be doing so, so that their identification can be checked.

Keys to Barbican Estate properties give you access to the majority of access points on the estate including entrances to the blocks at car park and podium levels and also gives access to the Speed House and Thomas More House gardens.

Keys to Barbican flats can be lodged at BEO Reception for safe keeping at the leaseholders' own risk. Leaseholders can arrange for their visitors or contractors to have access to the flat in their absence during BEO opening hours.

When authorising BEO staff to release the keys (key permission) to your visitor eg contractor, Reception will require full details of the person visiting the flat.

You will be asked to provide the following:

Visitor’s name and if a contractor their company name

  • Visitor’s contact telephone number
  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your contact telephone number
  • The period of time that key permission is required

Residents and their visitors will be asked to present identification e.g. driving licence, when collecting keys from BEO Reception.

Mobility and disabled access

Disabled access

The CoL seeks to ensure that all areas open to members of the public are fully accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. If you encounter any areas of public walkway which cause you access difficulties, please contact the BEO initially. You may also like to contact the Access Team of the CoL who can give you advice.

If difficulties are encountered on the public highway, please let the Access Team know and they will investigate and decide if there are any adjustments possible to improve the situation. Please see the contact list for the Access Team telephone number and website.

​Please download the location of public lifts, lift maintenance, cleaning responsibility and contact numbers.( 1081KB).

Concerns about access to your property should be forwarded to the BEO. If you have an Occupational Therapist (OT) assisting you, and you consider that alterations are necessary to help you with daily living requirements, then please discuss this with the OT.

In addition, all documents can be produced in alternative formats upon request. This includes large print, audio tape or Braille. Please ask the BEO if you require anything in these formats.

Access to podium level for wheelchair users is via the nearest block lift for holders of Barbican Estate keys. There are a number of access points for visitors.

  • Lift near 1 London Wall.
  • Lift at entrance to the Museum of London located on the roundabout at the end of London Wall and Aldersgate Street.
  • Turret lift near the entrance to Thomas More car park on Aldersgate Street.
  • Ramp at White Lyon Court / Fann Street.
  • Ramp at Ben Jonson House junction with Whitecross Street.
  • Lift at junction of Moor Lane / Ropemaker Street.
  • Lift at corner of Gilbert House on St Giles Churchyard.

Mobility vehicles

Areas in some of the car parks have been set aside for Mobility Vehicles, as these should not be stored in communal areas.

These bays are located near the main staircases of blocks and also provide charging facilities.

Please contact the BEO to arrange the allocation of a Mobility Vehicle Bay if required. For the current charge for Mobility Vehicle Bays see the Standard Charges section.


​Background heating

Under-floor background heating is supplied by off-peak reduced tariff electricity using electric cables installed in the floors.

The CoL, in its role as Landlord, will provide, in so far as is practicable, electric under-floor heating during the "heating season" which runs from 1 October to 30 April, but some flexibility is allowed in exceptional weather conditions.

The system is designed to provide heating to 15.60C/600F where external temperatures are down to 1.70C/350F. If external temperatures fall below this level the target internal temperature may not be reached.

Energy inputs need to be consistent to maintain the efficiency of the system. There is a standard 9-hour off-peak charge period, which is augmented with a further 4-hour charge at off-peak rates, as required.

The permanent window vents are essential and to prevent condensation must not be blocked.

Residents do not have individual control over the level of background heating in their flats. In order to achieve individual levels of comfort, controls known as 'trimmers' have been installed to adjust heating levels and some extra heating has been provided with storage heaters where minimum levels of heating could not be reached. Find out more on our practical usage information.

In order to achieve comfortable temperatures it may be necessary for residents to supply additional top-up heating by means of their own appliances.

Should there appear to be any failure in the system this should be reported at once to the Repairs Reporting Line during office hours only. Out of office hours contact your Car Park Attendant or Lobby Porter who will contact the Duty Manager for you.

Residents must on no account make any fixings which involve penetration of the floors as damage could result to the electrical cables in the floor screed. If you intend to fit a new carpet, the fitter should be informed that under-floor heating is installed so that suitable underlay can be supplied.


A Garchey Refuse Disposal Unit was originally installed underneath each kitchen sink to take most of your normal waste materials. However, you should now dispose of items which can be recycled in the clear sacks provided. Find out more on practical usage information 115KB.

If blockages occur they should be reported at once to the Repairs Reporting Line; do not use the archey until the blockage has been cleared. Repairs Call Centre 020 7029 3909, 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

A number of residents have removed the Garchey unit and installed alternative waste disposal systems. In these cases whilst the maintenance of the existing Garchey pipe work remains the responsibility of the CoL as Landlord, any new installation within the flat becomes the responsibility of the long lessee who will nonetheless remain liable to contribute towards the maintenance of the Garchey system via the service charge under the terms of the long lease.

The Garchey must not been used between 11pm and 7am to prevent noise disturbance to other people.

At regular intervals (once a month) the unit should be dismantled and cleaned. You can request a demonstration of how to do this by calling the Repairs Reporting Line.

When leaving your flat unoccupied it is good practice to insert the Garchey key provided for dismantling the unit into the slots located at the top of the archey unit. (Do not turn). This will reduce the risk of flooding should a blockage occur in the system.

It is not possible to recover items deposited in the Garchey Refuse Disposal Unit once flushed away. However if something valuable is inadvertently deposited in the Garchey unit then it should NOT be flushed and you should notify the Repairs Reporting Line immediately. An attempt can then be made to recover the item, but no guarantee or responsibility can be accepted by the COL.

Remember - if the sink is flushed, recovery is impossible

Items which are not disposed of via the Garchey system will be collected on weekdays for disposal or recycling. See also Refuse section.

If any repair or demonstration on how to use the Garchey is required, please call the Repairs Reporting line to arrange access/ a suitable time. There is no additional charge for this service.

Note: A Garchey cleaning service is not provided as this is the responsibility of residents.


Barbican flats have extractor vents in the bathrooms and kitchens that provide ventilation and reduce the problems of condensation which sometimes occur. Vents need to be cleaned every 12-18 months to ensure they work effectively.

The vents above your windows which allow fresh air to enter should never be completely closed or obstructed as this will reduce the efficiency of the ventilation system.

Arrangements can be made to have vents cleaned to ensure that they are in good working order by contacting the Repairs Reporting Line.


An entryphone system is in operation for most of the flats on the Barbican Estate.

  • Visitors can use the control panel located at podium level block entrances to speak to residents via the intercom located in the flat.
  • After verifying the identity of the visitor, residents can give visitors access to the block by releasing the lock from inside their flat.
  • Residents should be cautious about giving access.
  • Name labels on the control panel can be updated by contacting reception at the BEO.

Visitors to the Tower Blocks will gain access via a similar system with the assistance of the Lobby Porter.

Repairs to the entryphone system are carried out by specialists who visit the Barbican Estate approximately every two weeks. You should report any defect to the Repairs Reporting Line.

Meter readings

Residents living in either a Staircase block or one of the Towers can have access to their own meters. These are located in a locked cupboard above the front door. Keys are held by the Lobby Porters, Car Park Attendants and BEO Reception and can be loaned out to residents on request.

Those residents living in corridor blocks do not have access to their meters as they are located in a single locked switch room at the end of each corridor and only authorised personnel are permitted access.

Those residents wishing a meter reading must contact the TSD enquiry line and the results will be provided to you within seven working days.


The Barbican Estate has an integrated TV network. There is no monopoly provider and residents are free to contact any reputable TV company to link into the infrastructure which was installed in 2005. Contact our TSD enquiry line for advice. You are not allowed to install your own individual satellite dish. This is prohibited under the terms of your lease.

Salvage store

A Salvage Store has been established on the Barbican Estate by a group of volunteer residents who collect and maintain a stock of old fixtures and fittings removed following renovations to flats.

The Store is located under Willoughby House. The store stocks an array of fixtures and fittings from taps and light switches to vegetable racks and complete sink units, all of which are available free of charge to long lessees. The Store saves items going to landfill but also lowers disposal costs and allows other long lessees to benefit.

Please email Barbican Salvage   with your request for items or advice or visit the Barbican Salvage Website. 

The Salvage team will collect items directly from flats and for long lessees replacing their entire kitchen or bathroom the team request that they be contacted in advance so that they can assist in removing items in a way that fits in with contractor schedules.

The Salvage team are being particularly careful in monitoring items coming in and out and would like to ask those donating items to ensure that they contain no asbestos. So far asbestos has been found in items such as bathroom cabinets (although if removed with no damage to the outer casing these should pose no risk) and some kitchen fittings such as hotplates.

If long lessees are looking for specific items, contact team members via email, as all requests are logged in one central point and therefore dealt with swiftly.

Service charge & other costs

​Service charge

Service charges are estimated for the current financial year (to 31 March) and are currently billed quarterly in arrear on 24 June, 29 September, 25 December and 25 March. In the September quarter the actual service charges for the previous financial year are finalised and any adjustment by way of a credit or debit is made on the account.

It should be noted that the CoL does not apportion service charges upon the resale of flats. You should therefore ensure that the solicitor acting for you in the purchase or sale of any property is made aware of this fact and takes adequate measures to protect your financial interests.

Service charge schedules are available on our website.

Payment of service charges can be made quarterly by direct debit and all payments may also be made over the counter (rents/service charges/temporary car parking etc.).

Please quote both account number and invoice number. See also the Payments section for bank account details.

Water rates

Your water rates are billed by Thames Water separately from your service charges. Generally it is not feasible to install a water meter in Barbican properties, therefore residents can apply to be put on an 'assessed average household charge' which may be at a lower rate than their existing charge.

To apply, write to Thames Water via the address on the back of your bill.

Subletting/registration fees

Long Lessees are permitted under the terms of the lease to sublet their flats.

The subletting must be of a residential nature and cover a minimum letting period of 3 months. Holiday lets are not permitted on the Barbican Estate unless specific planning permission is obtained. Planning permission must be obtained for all lets under ninety days.

Sublettings must be registered with the Comptroller & City Solicitor. A copy of the tenancy agreement and the required registration fee must be forwarded to the BEO upon commencement of the tenancy. Following registration of the sub-tenancy the BEO will provide the new resident with copies of the latest newsletter and this information pack.

Upon the assignment of a long lease of a Barbican flat it is required by the lease that notice of the disposal and of any new mortgage or legal charge be given to the CoL and a certified copy of the transfer of lease with the required registration fee must be sent to the Comptroller & City Solicitor.

Similarly, the assignment of any long term car parking or baggage store agreement must also be registered with the Comptroller & City Solicitor. Cheques should be made payable to the City of London. See Standard Charges section.

Solicitors pre-sale enquiries

Prior to the assignment of a Barbican Lease, prospective purchasers or their solicitors may require information about the property. The BEO will supply on request a copy of the relevant service charge account and a copy of the Blocks of Flats Insurance Summary of Cover provided authorisation is given by the owner of the flat.

Further information e.g. cost of routine service charges for both previous and current years and any planned major works is available for a fee payable in advance. Responses to enquiries are made within 10 working days, but for an additional fee responses can be provided within 5 working days.

Upon the assignment of a long lease of a Barbican flat it is required by the lease that notice of the disposal and of any new mortgage or legal charge be given to the CoL and a certified copy of the transfer of lease with the required registration fee must be sent to the Comptroller & City Solicitor.

See Moving In / Out and Standard Charges sections.

Lease extensions

Long leaseholders who have owned their flat for at least two years are generally entitled to extend the term of their lease by 90 years under the Leasehold Reform, Housing & Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended by the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002) ("the 1993 Act"). The right to extend is subject to payment of an appropriate premium.

Most leases on the Barbican Estate are for terms of 125 years from 1 July 1981, except for the following blocks: Cromwell Tower (16 June 1982); Lambert Jones Mews (6 June 1985); Mountjoy House (25 February 1982) and The Postern (16 September 1982).

To apply to extend the term of your lease for a further 90 years, contact the BEO for an application form. To facilitate the process and minimise costs, we request that you seek to agree an appropriate lease extension premium with the BEO before making a formal application to extend your lease. See contact list.

In addition to the lease extension premium you will be required to pay all of the CoL's costs, which will include legal fees and valuation costs. Payment of these costs is a requirement of the 1993 Act.

The above is only intended as a guide to the process of extending your lease and any detailed enquiries about the operation of the 1993 Act should be referred to specialist, independent legal advisers or valuers retained by you.

This paragraph does not apply to properties 3-16 Wallside.

Guest accommodation

Guest accommodation is currently available on the Golden Lane Estate for Barbican Estate residents via the Barbican Estate Office. Note that the CoL is under no obligation to provide guest accommodation facilities, and therefore reserves the right to withdraw such facilities at its discretion.

  • Bookings should be made in advance particularly for busy periods such as bank holiday weekends. See the Standard Charges section for current prices.
  • Towels, bed linen and tea/coffee facilities are provided.
  • All bookings require a 50% deposit paid via cash, card or cheque.
  • Keys can be picked up from the Barbican Estate Office during office hours only.



Gardens & lakes

The gardens and lakes are managed by the Open Spaces department on our behalf. Please refer to the SLA Booklet for details.

The Speed House, Thomas More and Fann Street gardens are for the use of Barbican residents and their accompanied guests only. Young children playing in the gardens or play areas should be supervised. We would prefer larger numbers of teenagers not to play in the garden to avoid noise nuisance. 

  • Dogs and barbeques are prohibited.
  • Ball games are not allowed on the lawns as there is a facility in the Thomas More Play Area.
  • Please do not feed birds.
  • Fishing in the lakes is prohibited. 

If uninvited users are found they will be asked to leave, as will residents found abusing the garden facilities.

The fountains in the lake in front of the Barbican Centre will only operate out of City of London School for Girls hours and in school holidays. Their hours of operation will vary according to the time of year.

The approximate working hours are as follows:


  • Weekdays  4pm to 7.30pm
  • Weekends  10am to 17.30


  • Weekdays  4pm to 6pm
  • Weekends  10am to 6pm

Wildlife garden

The garden is open to Barbican Estate residents and their accompanied guests and is managed by the City Gardens team.

Members of the Barbican Wildlife Group assist in looking after the garden and make sure the bird feeders are regularly topped up. To date species observed in the garden include, blackbirds, blue tits, wood pigeons, greenfinches, crows, magpies and feral pigeons.

Please see the contact list for Barbican Wildlife Group details.

Play areas

There are 2 children’s play areas on the Barbican Estate, located on Speed House Lawn and underneath Seddon House adjacent to Thomas More Lawn. They are for the use of Barbican Estate residents and their accompanied guests.

The Play equipment is designed for younger children to enjoy. At the Thomas More play area there is also a hard surface area marked out for Tennis, Basketball and Football.


Most residents welcome the annual arrival of the ducklings but in some cases nests are constructed in areas which give residents concern and cause problems for the ducklings on leaving the nest.

The BEO has to comply with the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and nests and eggs may only be removed (for very specific reasons) between certain dates and/or under a special or general licence (depending on the bird species) issued by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

Residents can assist by telephoning the BEO at first signs of Feral Pigeons nesting on their balconies. Effective management controls have kept the Feral Pigeon numbers low which in turn keeps maintenance costs down.

To assist in the control of pigeons and seagulls do not feed the birds on the lawns or in the lakes, and especially not from your balcony.

Herring Gulls nesting on high buildings can sometimes cause a problem when the adult birds protect their nests. Providing that it can be established that the Herring Gulls are causing a health and safety hazard by their behaviour (and not just a nuisance) then eggs/nests can be destroyed under a General licence from DEFRA.

Contractors visit weekly to control pigeon nesting and use a Harris Hawk to control pigeon numbers.

Window boxes

The BEO can supply window boxes for terrace block balconies. Under the terms of the lease residents must cultivate their window boxes.