What is a Section 20 consultation?
Under the terms of Section 20 of the ‘Landlord and Tenant Act 1985’, we are required to consult with all residents that pay a variable service charge. We will send you a letter to inform you before we enter into a long-term agreement for works and services or a contract for works. This letter is known as a ‘Section 20 Notice’.
There is a two-step consultation process; the first step is to send a ‘Section 20 Notice of Intention’ informing you of our intention to enter into a long-term agreement for works and services or a works contract. The notice will provide you with details of what the proposed contract is intended to cover.
The second stage of the consultation is to issue you with a Notice of Proposal for servicing contracts or a Notice of Estimates for works contracts. This notice will provide you with the details of the proposed contractors including either the estimated contract value or the estimated costs of the works project.
What is a Long-Term Agreement?
This is a contract which your Landlord enters into with a company or companies to supply services and works over a period lasting several years. Such as (but not limited to) Ground’s maintenance and Lift servicing. This approach gives us the ability to see an overall reduction in the cost of supplying works and services. It also provides us with an opportunity to build long term relationships with contractors and provide better standards of service.
We are only required to consult with residents when the cost to each property is £100 or more in a consecutive year for services, or where a charge of £250 or more will be incurred per resident for a single item of work.
You will only be charged for these works and services if they are currently charged to you through your service charge which will be dictated by your Lease or Tenancy agreement.
We will not be asking you to pay for anything for which you are not currently receiving a service.
What is a works contract?
Works contracts are usually procured to complete Major Works such as (but not limited to) cyclical redecorations, including works to roofs, windows, communal redecoration, exterior building works and/ or redecoration, fence repair or decoration, communal flooring, light replacement, lift replacement and communal boiler renewal. Your Lease will generally dictate how often we should complete these works.
We can also procure a works contract to complete a responsive repair. If we identify any works that will cost any residents who pays a Variable Service charge £250 or more, we will consult with you under Section 20.
What is an observation?
It is a requirement of Section 20 to allow residents the right to make an observation (or comment) within 30 calendar days of the date of the notice. Please note you do not have to make any observations if you do not wish to do so.
How do I make an observation?
You can make an observation about this notice in writing either by letter to or e-mail to the following addresses.
- The Home Ownership Team
Crown House, Crown Square
Waldeck Road Maidenhead Berkshire SL6 8BY
Unfortunately, the law says you cannot make observations verbally either over the telephone or in person.
I have received a Section 20 letter, is this notice a bill?
No, this is not a bill. You do not need to make any payment in response to receiving this letter or the enclosed notices. For services you will be charged as usual through your service charges and for works we will write to you after the works have been completed to tell you what your individual contribution will be.
What if we have a sinking fund?
Please note if your building or estate has an available sinking fund, we will include this information in the notice when we consult with you on works contracts
Do I need to reply to this notice?
You only need to reply if you want to make a comment about our proposal.
What if I don’t currently pay for these services?
Due to the large number of properties, across Housing Solutions, it is not possible to send different notices tailored to each property’s specific works requirements or services.
It may be the case that you receive a Section 20 Notice which lists a service or works that you don’t currently receive (e.g., lift). If this is the case, then we will not be carrying out that work or service to your building and this aspect will not be relevant to you.
What if there is a managing agent for my building?
If your building has a separate Managing Agent, which means that an organisation other than Housing Solutions provides services and works for your property, then they will not be included in this project or notice.
What happens next?
At the end of the Section 20 consultation period, we will consider all residents’ observations. We will then decide whether to proceed with appointing companies to provide these services and works.
How do I pay for my share of costs?
Once completed we will write to you to inform you of the total cost of works and detail your individual contribution to the works based on your lease. We will utilise the funds available in the sinking or reserve fund in the first instance and send you a payment demand for any outstanding balance.
Costs for new services will be recovered via your service charge and reflected in your annual statement.
In line with Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant act 1985 (as amended) we have a duty to consult with Home owners on proposed contracts and works. In line with the most recent notice you would have received regarding Television Aerial responsive repair and planned upgrade works, please find the tender submissions.
Please submit any observations you have in this regard to firstname.lastname@example.org by the consultation end date which is the 3rd May 2021.