Unreasonable leaseholder refusing to pay towards ‘Major works’?

Unreasonable leaseholder refusing to pay towards ‘Major works’?

0:01 AM, 28th April 2023, About A year ago 27

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Hello – I was hoping someone could help me and stumbled upon this site. We have a share of freehold of a small Victorian house – there are 4 flats and we own 2 – 50% of the freehold.

We have the obligation to repair/redo the house every 7 years – and we’ve passed that but started works – worth around £45k.

We had at our disposal a sinking fund and works had been agreed before the arrival of someone in the raised ground floor flat (that the previous owner sold to someone).

She owns 25% of the freehold.

We will soon go above the sinking fund and will need to ask everyone to pay for around £10k (for all building).

That person is extremely unreasonable and already not paying any side fees (parking permits etc) and refuses to do these extra necessary works and has asked for a Section 20 (even if we are only 3 ppl in the building).

What happens if she objects to the works and a Section 20?

If the majority agrees, can work go on?

And is she obliged to pay?

Thank you,


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10:06 AM, 28th April 2023, About A year ago

I'm afraid your 'unresonable' new leasholder is correct. You should have issued a Section 20 before work began to give her a chance to suggest an alternative contractor.

I've had a similar situation where I own the whole Freehold and 3 of the 4 leases in a block but still had to jump through all the Section 20 legal hoops before work started - otherwise you risk leasholders refusing to contribute.

The leashold-advice website will have detailed notes on this.

Judith Wordsworth

10:12 AM, 28th April 2023, About A year ago

What on earth are you having done for £45k? Seems a huge amount.

Yes you need to do a s20 for any works that are greater than £250.00 per leasehold.

If all are in agreement re the works then it would be advisable to do a s20 Opt-Out agreement.


10:20 AM, 28th April 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by JB at 28/04/2023 - 10:06
No just to be clear- we are using a sinking fund. We will once it is over send a notice 20 which we are preparing now for the 10k additional work needed. So we haven’t asked yet for the money - nor done these works but I know she will refuse these works. So my question is once the notice 20 will be sent , and once she refuses but the majority of freehold agrees to do works what happens ?


10:23 AM, 28th April 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 28/04/2023 - 10:12
Just to be clear - we were so far using a sinking fund - this is to redo the entire exterior of the Victorian house and structural work underneath ( rotten beams etc ). Once the sinking fund has been fully used - we will have an extra work worth around 10k. So we are preparing a notice 20 but I know she will refuses works to be done even though there are necessary. So these works have not been done and notice 20 will be sent. My question is if the majority of freehold agrees - can work starts and does she have to pay ?


10:26 AM, 28th April 2023, About A year ago

Opt out requires application to FTT on grounds of urgency or mistake in consultation process.
Also Daejan Investments v Benson & Ors financial prejudice suffered by LH because of failure to consult


10:27 AM, 28th April 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 28/04/2023 - 10:12
And I should say we are all directors of the co. Who “owns the freehold- each flat has a share of freehold. We have 50pc , one flat who agrees has 25pc and her 25pc


11:33 AM, 28th April 2023, About A year ago

This person recently bought the flat so, does that mean the sellers left their share of the kitty behind specifically for these repairs and there's not been a cost to the new owner yet? We've had similar issues. We had the money set aside in the kitty but additional work came up. The new owner refused to pay a couple of thousand towards this without a S20 and became verbally aggressive. We handed management of the block to an agent and hired a surveyor and they managed the S20 etc. In retrospect, given the delays, losing our contractor and all the increased costs of the work, it would have been less costly by far for the existing owners to have just gone ahead with a revised schedule of work and paid the extra without involving the new owner. We worked out that it cost each of us, and of course the new owner, over 10k more than it would have if we'd gone ahead immediately, plus the ongoing costs of block management. However, we were advised that it would affect issues like future liability, and even an informal agreement to waive the S20 by all owners in those circumstances was risky. Suggest you get legal advice and if the new person isn't cooperative then also a third party to manage the block as it takes away a lot of stress and aggravation and means you as individual directors are protected.

Joe Barton-Holme

12:18 PM, 28th April 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by D D at 28/04/2023 - 10:23My solicitor informed me that S20 consultation procedures are required if you are spending over £250 attributable to any one property even when it's from the existing reserve funds. I had to check this when doing roof works that cost several thousand that we already had all the money in the pot for. Still had to serve everyone with all the notices before I spent that money. X% of those reserve funds will be attributable to her property so if you spend them without consultation then when you do need a contribution from her she could argue that those funds were available but you spent them without her due engagement and you would then be liable to pay those funds back to the reserve.


13:26 PM, 28th April 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Joe Barton-Holme at 28/04/2023 - 12:18
Even if the works were agreed before the arrival of that new owner and builder chosen? Works had to be massively delayed because the builder broke his leg- but the funds were set up and paid by us and previous owners for the purpose of these renovations. So I would think that we are ok for the first 45k as we had agreement from all previous owners but for additional work so say i serve a consultation 20 in all norms etc and show that the works are necessary as per our leases . And she objects - everyone else agrees - what’s then the next step? If a leasholder disagree isn’t it majority that decides still and work can go ahead ?


13:42 PM, 28th April 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Jan at 28/04/2023 - 11:33
I think we are in this situation. So the 45k were paid for the works specifically by previous owners. Issue is we will go over. So now I will prepare a s20 but I m sure she will refuse to the work . How did your neighbors react to the s20? How did you then still manage to do work and make him pay? We are only 3 in the building so a mgmt co seems too much ? She is completely irrational and very agressive though

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