What is a section 20 notice?
Section 20 (S20) is a clause in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (amended by S151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002). It prevents the leaseholders from paying large sums of money for unnecessary building works.
The notice tells you what works they intend to carry out or provide a service that leaseholders will have to pay. In Layman’s terms, if any works exceed £250, all leaseholders must be consulted.
Generally, there are three sections to be carried out:
- Notice of intention to carry out works
- Notification of estimates
- Notification of award of contract
The notice of intentions to carry out works is the first stage that must take place. This involves the leaseholders being provided with; a description of the intended work and reasons for why they need to be done. You should include observations and nominations of contactors.
This notice invites the leaseholders to nominate contractors’ names and details for the job and to make observations of the proposed work. The expiry date for a response is 30 days from the notice.
Once 30 days are done, you then provide the leaseholders with the notification of estimates. You will; provide the lessees with two or more estimates for the works. If any of the lessees have nominated contractors, you must also provide quotes from these contractors. If leaseholder observations are made, you must also provide a response and a summary.
You will then send this out with another 30-day expiry for the leaseholders to provide further written observations. You must provide where and when to send the comments.
At the end of the notice of estimates, you should provide within 21 days the notification of the award of the contract. It must contain a summary of the leaseholder observations. They must also include the reasons for the chosen contractor.
You do not need to provide this notice if the contract awarded is the lowest option or if the chosen contractor; was nominated by one of the leaseholders or recognised tenants.