Section 20 Consultation

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    Section 20 Consultation

    I'm one of 3 directors of an RMC responsible for managing a leasehold building in London. We've taken over the management in the last few weeks so we're still trying to get our heads around it all. Some quite extensive building repairs need doing so I sent out a Section 20 "Notice of Intention to Carry Out Works" letter yesterday via a group email to all the leaseholders, kicking off a 30 day consultation period.

    One of the leaseholders has replied and said:

    "I don't think this is in the prescribed form. It is a legal notice and it has to be served individually I think... plus I believe you may need to include at least 2 quotes for the works"

    I think he's mistaken about the 2 quotes - isn't this for later in the process after this initial consultation period (based on the process as I understand it)?

    On the "serving individually" comment: I think what he's saying is that rather than sending a group email with a letter attached saying "Dear leaseholder...", I should send individual emails to each leaseholder saying "Dear Bob...", "Dear Trevor...", "Dear Jane...", etc. - is this necessary?

    Also (it being 2019 and all that) I haven't sent these letters by post, I'm relying on email. Is that ok or could it cause a problem? (I don't have postal addresses for most of the leaseholders anyway - lots of BTL investors living elsewhere)

    Thank you.

    Unless the lease explicitly permits the service of notices by email, and you have hard copy written consent from every leaseholder, you should send a paper copy. (Note that it is arguably impossible to serve service charge demands by email, as the law requires 10 point type for the statutory notice.)

    Formal notices can normally be addressed to "the leaseholder", if they are addressed to and delivered to the specific property.

    All serious word processing packages have mail merge facilities to facilitate the production of personalised mail or email.

    The two quotes are in the second consultation, so you are correct on that point.


      Thank you.

      I'm pretty sure (I will check) that the leasehold agreement says nothing about serving notices by email, in which case does that mean that even if I had hard copy written consent from each leaseholder I could still face problems in principle?

      (I suspect in practice it's a fairly remote risk but I'd rather avoid it if I can, within reason - I don't want to be caught out on a minor technicality by a leaseholder with a grudge!)

      Is there some kind of pro forma template out there that I could send out saying "please sign and post back to me to confirm your consent to communicate by email" (even if it might not still be 100% watertight because of the silence of the leasehold agreement on email comms)?

      There's only 11 leaseholders btw - so having to do personalised letters/emails wouldn't be a huge hassle, just a small one.



        Originally posted by bigalxyz View Post
        I suspect in practice it's a fairly remote risk but I'd rather avoid it if I can, within reason - I don't want to be caught out on a minor technicality by a leaseholder with a grudge!
        Not at all a remote risk. getting it wrong even once could drive your whole RMC to the wall and cause it to revert to the crown. And then the Directors will be sued.

        As it says above, service by post, to the correct address for service for each lessee.

        If the lessees refuse to give you an address for service (in writing) you serve to the flat itself or the address given at land registry. You need to start again.


          As you rightly say,
          The stage 1 of an S20 is basically a Notice of Intention to Carry Out Works,which you have done.
          You are telling the leaseholders what you are doing, and prices and copy of quotes follow at stage 2.

          Don't forget your "Summary of rights" with EVERY stage, stapled to your S20's

          Send everything on paper, not emails, as why should I as a leaseholder, have to print YOUR letters to me.
          Email address change if you change network suppliers.
          if only 99.9999 emails get through.( the best anyone can hope for )
          and about 250,000,000,000 ( 250 Billion ) emails are sent per DAY.
          ( spam makes up 45% of all emails. Some research companies estimate that spam email makes up an even greater portion of global emails, some 73% in fact.)
          Therefore if 0.0001 % don't get through, that means 25,000,000, ( 25- million ) don't get through.

          Do you want to take that chance ? by emails not reaching the leaseholders, or for some unknown reason it's classed as spam.
          My I.S.P sends me notices, from their server to the same companies server to my in box on the same server I.S.P. and their own emails to me are put in my spam box !

          ( always send and keep paper copies, as they don't, not work if your electric fails, or disc fails, and not classed as spam by the postman.)


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