Section 20 notices

Qualifying works

As a leaseholder you will have a responsibility to pay towards the cost of services, repairs, maintenance or improvements to the building and/or estate carried out by the landlord, as described in your lease and where your lease allows.

Maintenance can range from small day to day repairs, such as repairing a communal front door or repairing guttering, but it can also include large repairs and/or improvements, such as a new roof, or the renewal of a communal floor.

We are required to carry out a legal consultation, if we are carrying out works, known as ‘qualifying works’, where the costs exceed £250 to any one leaseholder, this is called a Section 20 consultation.

Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended by the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002) requires us to consult with you, provide you with details about intended works/services and ask for your opinions.

The Section 20 consultation process generally has three stages:

  • Stage 1 – Notice of intention – this formal notice gives the reasons why it is necessary to carry out the proposed works and we invite the leaseholder to make observations in writing within 30 days. It also gives the leaseholder the right to nominate a contractor.
  • Stage 2 – Notification of estimates – The notice of estimates is sent and includes details of at least two estimates. We again invite the leaseholders to make observations in writing within 30 days.
  • Stage 3 – Notification of award of contract – if the contract has not been awarded to the contractor with the lowest tender or if we haven’t awarded the contract to a contractor nominated by a leaseholder, we have to issue the leaseholders with a notice within 21 days of entering into the contract.

If works are of an urgent or emergency nature and cannot wait for the consultation to be carried out, Worthing Homes can, if we need to, apply retrospectively to The First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) without going through the Section 20 consultation process

Qualifying long term agreement

A qualifying long-term agreement is an agreement entered into by the landlord with a contractor for a period of more than 12 months. If the amount payable by any one leaseholder exceeds £100 in any one year, we have to carry out Section 20 consultation. The Section 20 consultation must be carried out, or dispensation must be sought from the Tribunal.

Examples of potential qualifying long-term agreements may include:

  • Service agreements (e.g. lift servicing/maintenance, entry-phone systems);
  • communal cleaning;
  • Utilities (communal heating and lighting).

Cyclical redecorations

On a recurring basis we provide a decorating service, to keep the exterior and internal communal areas of our properties in good decorative order. Which normally occurs every 5-7 years.

Our cyclical decorations consist of washing down PVCU surfaces, checking and cleaning out guttering, carrying out repairs prior to painting and painting all previously painted surfaces (i.e. any gates, doors, windows, walls etc.).

You will be informed in advance when your block is due to be painted, and this may involve consultation with you through the Section 20 Consultation process.