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I have received a Section 20 notice, what is this?

A Section 20 notice relates to service charges. The law requires that a leaseholder paying variable service charges must be consulted before a landlord carries out any qualifying construction, repairs or redecoration to the property. It also requires the landlord to consult the leaseholder prior to entering into any long-term agreement for the provision of services at a property with leaseholders in it.

Detailed regulations have been produced under Section 20 (S20) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended by section 151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002) which set out the precise procedures landlords must follow regarding service charges.

An issued Section 20 notice should detail how the process is managed, what works are notifiable and outline other factors of the process, to ensure that:

  • The leaseholder is notified of all works in good time.
  • The works are applicable and relevant to the leaseholder.
  • Any costings for the work presented to the leaseholder are realistic and fair.

Receiving a Section 20 notice, should provide the leaseholder full knowledge of the service charges and works to be carried out and enables them to be involved in the works process. This places the leaseholder in the position to challenge the requirement for works and any associated costs, rather than simply receiving a bill after the work is completed.

This answer is a guide only. The process behind a Section 20 notice is detailed and convoluted therefore for a fuller explanation, advice should be sought. Jones Melling has a team of specialists who can advise you on the best course of action regarding your property.

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