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Section 20 Legislation


The Landlord & Tenant Act was made legislation in order to protect leaseholders from unscrupulous Landlords (Freeholders) charging over the odds for the costs of maintenance, decoration and general service charges. The reason for this was to ensure that the expenditure of leaseholders money was ‘reasonable.’ In many ways this has been helpful for leaseholders, but also means that things cannot run as quickly or as easily as some may hope.

Section 20: In 1985 Section 20 was written into the Landlord and Tenant Act. In 2003 this legislation was altered and amended. In a nutshell, if the Landlord (Freeholder) is planning to complete any ‘qualifying works’ that may cost any one leaseholder £250 or more per flat then all leaseholders must be consulted on the proposal and the costs. The full consultation takes several months to complete.

Under the terms of most leases, leaseholders are required to pay a predetermined proportion of the costs of any qualifying works by way of contribution towards the service charge.

‘Qualifying Works’ are defined by Section 20ZA of the 1985 Act but, put simply, will usually comprise:

  1. external / internal cyclical repairs and redecorations, which should be carried out every so many years as determined by the Lease for the property
  2. Or other major works of a non-cyclical nature, which are usually, but not necessarily, of a more urgent nature such as drain or roof works etc

Following an initial inspection of the property by a qualified surveyor or other such person, he / she will prepare a Condition Report and, where applicable, a Schedule of Works, which will form the basis for the ‘Qualifying Works’ which, in turn, will be put out to tender with various contractors.

However, in the first instance a copy of that Report may be made available to the leaseholders / Directors of the Management Company / Members of the Residents Association, (whichever is applicable) and they shall be afforded the opportunity to make any written observations in relation to its contents within a specified time scale and, likewise, to nominate any contractor or contractors of their own choosing whom they would like to be included in the tendering process. Once costs are known we will consult with all leaseholders at the property again in reference to the costs of the proposed works.

At the top of this page is a Flow Chart which explains step by step how we will endeavour to progress the works required at a property, and at the same time meet with all statutory requirements.