Repairs and Section 20
Who does repairs & what you need to be consulted on
You’re responsible for maintaining and repairing the inside of your property (including fixtures, fittings and any goods you bring into your home) as well as looking after your garden.
We’re responsible for communal areas and the structure of your property.
Your lease will detail specific repair rights and responsibilities.
Reporting a repair
If you need to report a repair that is our responsibility, as your landlord, please call our customer services centre on 0345 6041472.
Section 20 Guide
This guide gives a summary of the regulations that LHP must follow when we consult you about work or services which you have to pay for either as part of your service charge or as a one-off invoice.
These regulations came into effect in October 2003 as part of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
The regulations are complicated and legal issues are involved. The information given in this guide is not a full explanation of the Law. You should always think about getting your own legal advice if you are unsure about your rights and obligations.
Why must we consult with you?
Under the terms of your lease, you must pay towards the cost of any services or work to the building your home is in or the estate it is on. You do this by paying a service charge to LHP or via a one-off invoice for major works.
However, under section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (amended by section 151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002), we must consult you about some of the work and services that you must pay for.
What must we consult you about?
We must consult you before we do any of the following:
- Carry out work which will cost any one leaseholder more than £250. This includes repairs, maintenance and improvements to your building and estate.
- Enter into a long-term agreement (for more than 12 months) with outside contractors for work, supplies or services which will cost any one leaseholder more than £100 a year. Examples include cleaning, grounds maintenance or lift servicing.
- Carry out work under a long-term agreement where the work will cost any one leaseholder more than £250.
What is a Section 20 Notice?
A section 20 notice (S20) is a notice to tell you that we intend to carry out work or provide a service that leaseholders will have to pay towards.
We must serve a S20 on any leaseholder who will be affected by the work or receive the service. We must also send a copy of the S20 notice to any registered tenants’ association (RTA) that is associated with the building your home is in or the estate it is on. The S20 will include information about what we plan to do and how much it is estimated to cost. It will give you the opportunity to take part in the consultation process and comment on what is being planned.
How will we consult with you?
The S20 process is set out in law and is made up of four schedules, each dealing with a different situation. The schedules are explained in this guide.
The content of the S20 notice and the procedure we must follow will vary depending on the type of contract and what it is we are planning to do. It also depends on whether we need to give a public notice. We have explained what a Public Notice is later in the guide.
Generally, you will get two, sometimes three, separate notices under the S20 process. One at each of the following three stages.
- Pre-tender stage: We must serve a notice of intention before we invite contractors to tender for the work, we will advise you on what work we are intending to carry out.
- Tender stage: We must serve notice of the proposals (estimates) after we have received the tenders (estimates)
- Award of contract stage: We must serve a notice of Award of Contract when we award the contract to the successful tender.
How can you take part in the consultation?
Each consultation period will last for a minimum of 30 days from the date of the notice. Residents and Recognised Tenants Associations (RTAs) will be entitled to make any ‘Observations’ during this
period and LHP must give due regard to all points made before being able to progress to the next stage. LHP will have 21 days to formally respond to all observations made.
You can share your observations by writing in or sending an email to us. Although LHP will be happy to discuss the proposed work either by phone or in person, these cannot formally be logged unless they are documented in writing.
You may make whatever observations you like but common observations relate to the need, the extent or the timing of the proposed works. If you do not make any observations, you may have difficulty if you later seek a determination from a tribunal that works were not necessary or were not necessary to the degree undertaken and costs were not reasonably incurred.
In some circumstances, you will have the right to suggest a person, firm or contractor who you would like to tender for the work or long-term agreement. You can find details about nominating a contractor further down this page. This does not apply in those schedules where we have to give a public notice.
What is a public notice?
A public notice allows firms and contractors from other EU (European Union) countries to tender for work or long-term agreements. This is set out in the EU procurement rules (‘procurement’ means arranging and paying for work or services).
These rules cover all large contracts offered by public and government organisations.
As a member of the EU, we have to give a public notice for any work that is worth over certain monetary thresholds. These values vary depending on the value of the pound (£) against the Euro (€). We must publish the public notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
Where we have to give a public notice, you will not have the right to suggest a contractor to tender for the work or long-term agreement.
We must however still carefully consider any observations you make about the work or services we are planning.
What happens if we do not consult with you?
If we do not follow the regulations, we are limited to how much we can charge you for the work or service. Currently, the limits are £250 per item of repair work and £100 for services that we provide under a long- term agreement.
In certain circumstances, we can apply to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) for ‘dispensation’. If the FTT gave us dispensation, we would not have to follow the rules fully. However, we would have to satisfy the FTT that we had taken all reasonable steps to make leaseholders aware of our plans and that the situation was an emergency. Examples of emergency works might be repairing a lift in a tower block or repairing a roof where there is a major leak.
Section 20 FAQs
Further help and advice
If you require any further information regarding the Section 20 procedures, you can contact our leaseholder officer either by phone, email or our online form.
For free and impartial Legal advice information regarding your rights and obligations as a Leaseholder you can contact:
Leasehold Advisory Service by visiting their website at www.lease-advice.org