The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA), which is the managing agent trade body, has instructed its members to stop issuing Section 20 notices for cladding work. The move comes in light of the government’s recent building safety announcements, which included a pledge for funding for building taller than 11 metres high.

Insider Housing reports that ARMA, which represents 347 private managing agents, has sent out the notices after Michael Gove announced that £4bn funding would be available to carry out remedial work for dangerous cladding, and tenants should not be held responsible for the costs.

Section 20 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 sets out the three-stage consultation process for qualifying works to a property, in cases where the leaseholder will be asked to contribute over £250 to the costs.

For example, owners of leasehold flats may be asked by a company responsible for maintaining the communal areas of the building to pay towards the cost of major works, such as roof or structural repairs. The leaseholder will be given the opportunity to make comments and ask questions during a Section 20 consultation.

The landlord is obliged to consider and respond to any suggestions. During the next stage of the consultation, they will provide a summary of quotes obtained from contractors, so the leaseholder will have a reasonable idea of what the charges will be. If the landlord does not select the cheapest quote, they must notify the leaseholder of their reasons.

It is thought that thousands of Section 20 notices were issued to leaseholders following inspections of unsafe cladding, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. The sudden demand for costs for remedial work that can run into thousands of pounds has caused distress to many residents, and trapped hundreds of people in unsaleable homes.

 

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