What happens if works once started breach the section 20 threshold

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    What happens if works once started breach the section 20 threshold

    So the query I have is that based on estimates and simillar jobs the total cost of works to replace a section of worn out flat roof was under £1500 (6 leaseholder so under £250 each). The contractors who we used before trial sampled works before commiting to a start and sub base under the flat roof was fine in the area sampled. Once the old felt was taken up (roof exposed fully) it was found that the roof flowed in the wrong direction and boards were rotten underneath. The contractor had to uplift all boards then and replace before new roof (GRP) could go down ie two processes. The fund is now (4 trustees - 1 awkward one) refusing to pay the contractor as the contractors got authority for the uplift from the managing agent who have since resigned (due in part to the awkward trustee). The contractor is now threatening recovery and additional costs which I expect they could win as the uplift was minimal (overall increased to £2400) for the works for both processes instead of £1500 so it's a reasonable increase and they have done it at cost and justified the costs. Any guidance welcome as I don't want to end up on the hook for the extra costs when the contractor has been very patient and transparent.

    Sorry should say freehold is owned by the 4 trustees too.


      The contractor should be paid promptly for his work...after all what have they done wrong?

      So long as it was carefully documented then you should apply for dispensation, the key point it has any lessee been prejudiced as a result of the non consultation ? It would seem very clear they have not. You may well need a witness statement from the contractor and hence why they should be paid promptly


        It's not that you should apply for dispensation, it's that the leaseholders don't want to pay for doing work that HAD to be done.

        In theroy, when the extra costs were found to be needed, the work should have stopped, plastic sheet put over the roof, and a the shareholders be told of the extra costs.
        Unfortunately, that action would cost even more money ( fitting temp roof covering )
        And a section 20 should have been issued, and take 3 months to finalise.

        You say to the shareholders ( leaseholders ), what did you want us to do... NOT fix the extra work found that was needed, and just do the work that was quoted for ? That would mean twice the costs to come back afterwards ( 3 months later ) and fix the extra,

        The building MUST be well maintained and kept in good order, you will find in the lease somewhere.
        If the Directors do not want to obey the lease, nor ensure that unforseen rotten timbers are replaced over and above quotation, then they are not fit to be directors.

        The builder did a satisfactory job in fixing all the faults found, and may sue the Directors if he does not get paid within 30 days.


          No need to apply for dispensation just invoice in normal way, it's up to any disputing leaseholder to apply to FTT.
          Personally I would have asked the contractor for a separate invoice for the uplift and just treat is as another unforeseen job.

          Sounds like yet another dad's army RTM. Why no money collected upfront ? Why no contingency / reserve fund ?


            Thanks for the feedback.

            The block is costal so trying to temp cover it in winter would not have been practical and its living accommodation in the area below (bedroom and bathroom).

            There is money in the reserve account to easily cover it, the leaseholder who is trying to block this however has a leak on the main roof above their flat to be repaired and does not want to spend what is the reserve and have to go out for a further demand I suspect.

            I think all reasonable steps have been taken and its well documented I just wondered if it fell foul of procedure or whether there is latitude within the process for a sensible approach to be adopted in such circumstances beyond anyone's control. It's no one's fault let alone the contractor and the agent (now exited) acted in the best interest at the time.


              Sorry to be thick but what is FTT and why would the leaseholder who disputes this need to apply to them


                If a leaseholder refuses to pay they could apply to the First Tier Tribunal that the charges were unreasonable. This is the only time the section 20 process would have an iota of relevance and as you have acted entirely reasonably there is zero chance of any ruling against you. In my opinion.


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