If you’re a leaseholder of a property, it would be advisable to familiarise yourself with Section 20 notices and what this could mean for you if your landlord decides to carry out major works on the building.

You have the legal right to be consulted if this is the case, with the consultation made up of three stages: a notice of intention, a notification of estimates and notification of award of contract.

Here are some frequently asked questions about Section 20 notices to help you gain a deeper level of understanding of the process and what it entails.


What Is A Section 20 notice?

Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act states that a landlord has to consult with leaseholders if, under the terms of their lease, they’re required to contribute to costs incurred through service charges where contributions are over £250.


How much of the costs will I have to cover?

You will not be obliged to cover the full cost of the work in question. Review your lease to see the proportion of the costs you will be liable to pay.


What is the £10,000 cap?

Legally, landlords are not permitted to charge you over £10,000 for works in any five-year period. Even if the final bill comes to more than £10,000, you can only be charged a maximum of £10,000.

Note that this cap only applies to private finance initiative contracts, with PFI1 ending in 2033 and PFI2 ending in July this year.


Can supporting documents be inspected?

Yes, leaseholders are able to request to see supporting quotes and descriptions of the work due to be carried out.


Can I choose my own contractor?

At least one of the contractors considered for the works must be chosen by the leaseholder or leaseholders. Landlords can nominate contractors, but if the cheapest quote isn’t selected, the justification for this must be provided in writing.


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