Consultation with leaseholders
As a leaseholder you have the right to be consulted if we, as the landlord, enter into a long term agreement with a contractor or carry out major works for which you will be asked to pay.
The consultation process takes the form of written notices.
Follow the link to submit an observation on a notice:
The closing date for observations
Please refer to the notice you received for the date the consultation period ends, only observations submitted and received by Housing Services by this date will be responded to.
Frequently asked questions about consultation with leaseholders (often referred to as Section 20 notices)
We’ve listed some of the most popular questions asked about consultations. If your question is not included in the list, please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with an answer. We may add your question to the list.
What is leaseholder consultation?
As a leaseholder paying a variable service charge, you are obliged under the terms of your lease to pay towards the cost of services, repairs, maintenance or improvements to the building your flat is in or the estate in which it is based. Section 20 (s.20) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended) requires us to provide you with details and ask for your observations about the intended or proposed works/services being consulted on. Section 20 sets out the way the landlord must consult, if landlords do not do this, they may not be able to charge the leaseholder the full cost of the works under this contract.
The consultation requirements are defined under two headings:
- Qualifying work - Work on a building or any other premises and includes improvement work
- Qualifying long-term agreements - A qualifying long-term agreement is an agreement the landlord enters into with an independent organisation or contractor for a period of more than 12 months after 31 October 2003 (the Act does not apply to agreements entered into before this date). The deciding factor is the minimum length of the commitment. In other words it is an agreement for a term which must exceed 12 months
Why are there so many notices?
The landlord has to follow the procedure set out in law. This means the leaseholder will always get at least two notices and sometimes three. Each notice deals with a different part of the process. The landlord may ask for your observations at a certain stage.
Why are you using long-term contracts for some works?
Long-term contracts are generally used for Qualifying long-term agreements where the cost of works are likely to exceed £100 in any accounting year for any leaseholder. They provide an efficient and a more cost effective way to get work done. Providing contractors with contract security for a longer period of time helps us to keep costs down and maintain a consistent level of information about the maintenance requirements of the landlord’s properties.
If the contractor doesn’t perform well, will they keep getting the work?
If a contractor's service is not as expected or does not provide value for money, the landlord can ultimately end the contract. The contractor will be aware of this so it will be in their interest to ensure they carry out works and services within acceptable parameters for standard and value.
What happens to any observations made by the leaseholder during the 30 day consultation period?
All relevant observations from leaseholders about the works to be carried out will be responded to within 21 days of the date we receive them.
Can a leaseholder suggest a contractor?
In the case of certain contracts you can suggest a contractor. The contractor must be compliant with certain criteria such as public liability insurance, hold a valid tax exemption certificate, confirmation of VAT status and have a health & safety policy. The contractor should have no business or family connection with the proposer.
Contracts which must be advertised within the EU (By public notice)
If the landlord has to serve a public notice for works the leaseholder is not able to suggest a contractor. This is because the rules on contracts set out by the European Parliament apply and we have to advertise the contract across Europe. You could ask a contractor you wish to put forward to look at the notice on the OJEU website and register their interest. They may be asked to tender.
My block doesn’t need any work?
If your block doesn’t need any work we will not do anything. Ultimately however, the decision about what work needs to be done is the landlord’s as the property owner.
I want to do the work myself, as it’s cheaper?
The work we are consulting you about is to the common parts of the structure of the building and or the development as a whole. This is the landlord’s property and leaseholders are not allowed to do any works in these areas as they do not belong to them
What happens if I can’t afford the works you are going to do?
The Landlord has a duty to make sure their buildings and developments are maintained to an acceptable standard. We know it is not always possible for some of our leaseholders to pay the full amount for certain works in one period.
If you feel that you will be unable to make payment in full, please contact the housing business administration team or phone 01926 456406 to discuss possible options. Do not ignore any request for payment from the landlord as this will result in action to recoup the debt owed.
What happens if I feel the landlord hasn’t followed the correct procedure for consultation?
You can contact the landlord, in writing, and explain why you feel this is the case. We will deal with any concerns you may have at that time.
What happens if I want to challenge the quality of the finished work?
Please contact the Customer Involvement Officers on 01926 456357 or 01926 456445.