Section 20 and roof leak - paying into costs myself

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    Section 20 and roof leak - paying into costs myself

    Hi, I am a leaseholder in a RTM company (and also currently its secretary) and we organised some roof repairs 1.5 years ago under section 20 consultation. Storm Dennis has exposed that there are still some water ingress problems.

    The problem is that we are in the middle of selling our flat and it is currently sold STC.

    I want to minimize the issue for the buyer, allay any fears about future costs and ensure the roof is fixed. I had already set aside a personal fund to address any buyer concerns, should they come up.

    The roofer who did the work last time is revisiting shortly to identify where the faults lie and quote for repair (there may be some leeway if the faults are around his previous repairs, at least part of it is definitely not).

    If I pay £249 per flat from the service charge reserve fund and the rest of the cost myself, do I need to do this via section 20 consultation?

    Can I get the roofer to invoice part of the cost to the RTM and part to me?

    #2
    If you have some level of authority within the RTM (if you don't you can't do this anyway), then it is basically fraud to carry out works orientated specifically in your self interest whilst only taking account of that self-interest. Perhaps the whole roof needs replacing, or the works required are more extensive than just patching up your flat (in which case S20 will be required) and private works would be totally inappropriate.

    Also have you previously informed your buyer as to the size of the sinking fund and it's now revised size. They might want to reduce the offer.

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      #3
      The roof repairs required affect the flat above us mainly. The works required will be to different areas of the roof. I want to know if I can contribute directly to the cost a larger amount than other flats in order to get it done quickly and additionally not have months of delays due to section 20 consultation.

      Or even if section 20 is required, can I volunteer to "top up" the sinking fund with a large contribution?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by KS2 View Post
        The roof repairs required affect the flat above us mainly. The works required will be to different areas of the roof. I want to know if I can contribute directly to the cost a larger amount than other flats in order to get it done quickly and additionally not have months of delays due to section 20 consultation.

        Or even if section 20 is required, can I volunteer to "top up" the sinking fund with a large contribution?
        It still sounds like the management company (or an individual within that company) making decisions unilaterally in their self interest.

        For genuine emergencies there are procedures to bypass S20 -- but that decision would be made in the interests of the remit the company has and in the interests of maintaining the lease, not your interest for a sale.

        If everyone is agreed the works need doing, why not just tell the buyer - and then the company should manage the works as they should do. The buyer may want a small discount.

        Comment


          #5
          A roofer is coming around tomorrow to assess the cause and give us an initial estimate for repair.

          We can then go to section 20 consultation. Could I offer the buyer the option of me adding a contribution to cover the cost OR negotiate the small discount?

          I suspect the current reserve fund (still regenerating after the works 2 years ago) will not quite cover the repair (and upcoming insurance renewal) and will therefore require a cash call.

          I don't really see the difference between me directly contributing a voluntary donation to the reserve fund or dividing my larger contribution and just giving that to each of the freeholders to cover their cash call. I don't understand why I cannot assist the RTM company with covering the cost if I have the money available to do so?

          This will 100% be a repair that is agreed to be required by all leaseholders.

          Comment


            #6
            If you were not selling, would these exact works, to the exact extent be carried out at this exact time?

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              #7
              Yes. 100%. Our upstairs neighbours are very annoyed about the ingress (understandably). Work has been done in recent years on the roof (9 years ago) and the chimneys (2 years ago)). It was believed all problems had been fixed but the storms have revealed water entry problems for 2 of the flats and the potential for further damage.

              It is awful timing for us of course but even if our sale wasn't happening, section 20 would be starting as soon as possible after the storms.

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