Section 20 length and specifications questions

by Readers Question

9:37 AM, 18th August 2016
About 2 years ago

Section 20 length and specifications questions

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Section 20 length and specifications questions

Do the three stages of a Section 20 have to be completed within a certain time? There has been nine months between stage 1 of my Section 20 and the next communication – demand for payment, not even stage 2 of the notice. Is there a total period of time the whole notice lasts? i.e. Does it expire?section 20

When should the specifications of works to be completed be sent to leaseholders – with the first stage of consultation? Should the specifications the landlord wants completing be sent with stage one of the consultation, when leaseholders are invited to nominate contractors? What happens to the validity of the Section 20 if these specifications are not sent?

Thank you

Kaeran

 



Comments

Neil Patterson

9:42 AM, 18th August 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Kaeran,

I found the question and answer page for Section 20 in the Leasehold Advisory service web site, but I could not immediately see an answer to your questions >> http://www.lease-advice.org/faq/what-is-the-section-20-consultation-process-for-major-works/

Steven Way

20:47 PM, 18th August 2016
About 2 years ago

The first stage section 20 notice should contain a description of the work in broad terms and specify a place the scope of work can be inspected. This doesn't have to be a specification but it helps if it is. After the first consultation tenders should be sought, i would usually allow three months for this process to include finalizing documents, tendering receiving and reporting. Then the second stage notice can be served, If there are queries then a third notice may be necessary. i do not think the first stage is time limited in statute but in practical terms I cannot see a tribunal accepting it as being valid indefinably. For relatively small works, say under £100k, I would expect to have stage 2 notices out between 2 and 6 months after the first consultation ends.

As far as the service charge demand is concerned your lease will set out whether costs are collected in advance or in arrears and how any budget may be accounted. They do not always run with section 20 consultations and the two are not directly linked. A budget demand in advance would not necessarily require an S20 to have been served nor tenders to have been received. BUT the budget amount would have o be reasonably reflective of the contract value envisaged by the freeholder, including of course fees and VAT.

Mandy Thomson

10:23 AM, 19th August 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steven Way" at "18/08/2016 - 20:47":

Thanks for clarifying this, Steven. However, a difficulty can arise when the work is required to be done much sooner than this. I am aware of course that there is an emergency works provision for this within the legislation, but how likely is a tribunal to grant such a concession, and even if they do, there is then the problem of getting reluctant leaseholders to pay up.

Chris Amis

22:10 PM, 17th September 2016
About 2 years ago

Recently went thru FTT dealing with costs on a S20 process that has been running for over 5 years.

Managing agent was doing no work, but had the temerity to refund the fees he had already charged for his work [actual work done and future work billed in advance] so that he could bill us again at a much higher current rate [including work done and charged years ago].

Point is FTT did not see a problem, just as well really, if they start again you just get charged twice.


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