Section 20 Thresholds - Questions

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    Section 20 Thresholds - Questions

    I'm one of 3 directors of an RMC for a leasehold building (11 flats) in London.

    We've got a fairly urgent job to be done ASAP (flaking bits of brickwork falling from high up onto the house next door and possibly embedding themselves in the neighbours' skulls). It's likely to be just slightly above the S20 threshold for some of the leaseholders (ie the % share of the cost for some leaseholders could be just over £250). If we were to skip S20, we'd open up the possibility of some leaseholders withholding some money as a result. However, the amounts involved are small (perhaps £50-£100 max for any one leaseholder).

    If we took the view that - through (a) general goodwill (for all the work the 3 directors do, unpaid) and (b) apathy (people not fussed about £50-£100, if they even realise) - the risk of leaseholders withholding money was small, is this a fairly low risk strategy? Or are there other possible consequences that I'm not aware of?

    If we do go down this road, should we explicitly tell people in advance "we have taken the choice to dispense with the S20 consultation to get the work done ASAP" and explain that they are not liable iro their share of any costs in excess of £250? Or do we just crack on and leave it to them to work it out for themselves? (instinctively I tend to favour being open & transparent with this sort of thing wherever possible)

    Thank you.

    S20 is very weak anyway, if the works are urgent, there is no need to comply fully. You can always apply for dispensation after the event if any leaseholders object.


      First of all it is not as simplistic as to say leaseholders are not liable for any costs in excess of £250 - that is not necessarily the case. Given the situation regarding health and safety, I would write to the leaseholders and explain you are compelled to dispense with the S.20 consultation and request leaseholders contact you by x date if they have any objection to this. You might also give them the opportunity to nominate a contractor. Be consultative and most of the leaseholders will probably be reasonable.

      Alternatively, you may be able to obtain a lower quote which keeps the work within the threshold.

      You may find these cases useful:

      1) Phillips v Francis, 2015;
      and 2) Daejan v Benson


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