Section 20 notice of planned works not disclosed by vendor

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    Section 20 notice of planned works not disclosed by vendor

    Hi all

    I purchased a flat last August and asked my solicitor specifically to check if any section 20 notices for planned works have been served. Their report dated 31/07/21 states no and so does the Leasehold Management Pack issued by the Manco dated 8 June 2021. I now received a letter with a statutory statement of estimates in relation to proposed works enclosed stating that my share of the works will be about £1,800 and refers to the letter and notice served by the Manco on 3 June 2021. I got in touch with the Manco and they say that it’s the vendor’s responsibility to disclose any notices and that at the time of producing the management pack, the information they provided was correct and I need to take this up with the vendor. Other than getting in touch with my conveyancing solicitor, is there anything else I can do? Taking the vendor to the small claims court? I understand that as a leaseholder I am liable for my share of these costs but this notice was clearly not disclosed by the vendor (she had it for 2 months prior to completion) and I would have negotiated more had I known there is a bill coming my way. Hoping that someone here can give me some advice.

    Many thanks in advcance!

    #2
    You have probably done this but I would double check the LPE 1 form to review answers to section 20 (s.20) questions. There is a question asking if there are any s.20 works planned in the next two years; and another enquiring whether the reserve fund is expected to cover works related to s.20. I would also go through the pack to ensure a copy of the consultation notice and/or the letter you referred to is definitely not in the pack.

    If it was the management company (MAC) that completed the LPE 1 form arguably they must have known there were works planned (s.20) within the next two years. This might help you in relation to challenging the MAC.

    Is there a reserve fund? Will it cover these works?

    Evidently you need to contact your conveyancer.

    With regard to taking the vendor to court I doubt this would be productive. There is no financial loss since you would have been eligible to pay the service charges in questions thus there is no quantifiable loss. A court is unlikely to consider speculation you would have negotiated further or, in any event, that the vendor would have reduced the selling price as a result of same.




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      #3
      Thank you for your reply! That's really helpful. I actually haven't seen the LPE1 form and when looking through my paperwork noticed that my conveyancer never sent it to me. I have contacted them to send me a copy. The final report prepared by the solicitors, the Leaseholder Management Pack prepared by the Management company and form TA7 completed by the vendor all dated post 3 June (when the notice was served) confirm that no major works are planned for the next years and no notices have been served. I contacted my Management Company about it but they tried to palm me off but they clearly didn't disclose the notice either. I will challenge them again and see if that gets me anywhere. There is no reserve fund so the works need to be covered by the leasholders. Thanks again

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        #4
        In broad terms, what is the nature of the major works ?

        Could it be argued that the need for the works was apparent when you were looking at the property and reflected in what you offered. If that was the case, then it would be difficult to argue that you have lost out.

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          #5
          Assuming some blame on the vendors part might be wrong, the manager may say they served notice on a given date but that is not the same as the vendor actually receiving it, some managing agents suffer from a higher than average lost in post percentage.

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            #6
            @sglacy - The works the notice has been served for are part of a cyclical decoration programme on the wider estate and there was no way to foresee any works being planned without being made aware of the notices or plans of works. It might have been evident to the vendor but not to me. The point is that there is an obligation to disclose these so the leasholder is aware but neither the vendor nor the Manco did.

            paulamis - they say they served it on the vendor and shift all the blame and responsibility onto the vendor but clearly didn’t disclose that they served any notices or that they in fact had a programme of works planned in the leaseholder management pack the Manco completed. Yes the vendor should have disclosed it and I find it but I don’t want to accuse them of blatantly lying. The Manco should have also disclosed it in their leaseholder management pack, as they would have been aware of a major works programme taking place 5 days after serving notice. Just a bit frustrated by it not having been disclosed by either party and everyone shifting the blame to someone else, so wanted to explore if I had any options of either squashing it or getting it reduced.

            Thanks all for your replies. 😊

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