Breaking down works below threshold from previous section 20 notice

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    Breaking down works below threshold from previous section 20 notice

    Hello, I own a leasehold flat in a block in Birmingham that is managed by its own right to manage company. Block is 9 stories tall so classed as high rise and given it has some wooden elements on the balconies requires works to make it fire safe and able to get the EWS1.
    Story starts back in Jan 2020 when RTM sent us a section 20 notice of works that included: A) removal of the wooden elements B) replacement of balcony timber deckings and C) another remedial major work in the building, unrelated to fire safety but costly enough so included in the notice.
    Since then no progress was made whatsover in respect of the section 20 and it was not mentioned in any of their further coms to us.
    This year the recent fire survey highlighted that given recent gov advice, the building could get the EWS1 by only removing the wooden elements and with the timber decking remaining in place. Given the removal cost is less than the major works threshold RTM now wants to go ahead urgently with removal without consultation and quotes etc. and does not say anything about this work having been included in the already sent out section.
    My question is: if they conduct this part of the works in the section 20 notice without following the procedure wouldn’t this put them in breach of the process?


    #2
    There are two cases you should read:
    1) Phillips v Francis, 2015;
    and 2) Daejan v Benson

    Comment


      #3
      If any work costs less than £250 per flat, the work can proceed without formal consultation with leaseholders.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
        If any work costs less than £250 per flat, the work can proceed without formal consultation with leaseholders.
        Thank you. Just to clarify, this irrespective of that work having been part of a previous section 20 notice?

        Comment


          #5
          Challenging the RTM decision needs to be looked at in a more wider perspective

          if you are successful in your challenge the RTM will fail and it is u likely that you can hold the directors personally responsible for their incorrect treatment - therefore the RTM will fold and the management reverts back to the freeholder for the next four years before an new RTM can be formed

          Therefore whilst it may be possible to avoid liability for the costs would that be wise decision ?

          The directors who may not have sufficient knowledge and experience may be guilty of making a mistake - but they appear to mean well and it is likely that the FTT will give them more latitude than a professional property agent

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by AnnaDelPinto View Post

            Thank you. Just to clarify, this irrespective of that work having been part of a previous section 20 notice?
            Yes, even if works have been included in a previous section 20 notice they can be carried out separately instead.

            If challenged, the RTM may have to justify why they have done certain aspects of the work separately, and if it went to a tribunal to decide they would usually take a very dim view if they thought that the RTM was doing parts of the work separately so that they could avoid consultation when the works should really all be considered together (although section 20 rules are effectively toothless anyway).

            If section 20 consultation has already been carried out, and leaseholders have already had the opportunity to comment on this particular aspect of the work, the RTM should take those comments into account but (I.M.O.) there may be no detriment at all to the leaseholder if they do this (unless scaffolding would be needed, in which case it would make sense to get all of the work that requires scaffolding done at the same time).

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