S20 - Quotes not valid for long enough for 30 day consult

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    S20 - Quotes not valid for long enough for 30 day consult

    Hi LZ Community

    Just wondering if anyone's had/having any issues with S20 and allowing leaseholder 30 days to review estimates, raise concerns etc.

    Building material prices have fluctuated massively since covid and brexit.
    with a combination of Brexit, impact from russia/ukraine and energy/fuel increases etc, a lot of builders are now only honouring repair quotes for 1 to 2 weeks due to massively fluctuating cost on materials.

    This doesn't give LH the full 30 days per legislation to review quotes/raise questions etc, so they could take the full time, then builders prices have increased, so need to give LH another 30 days for new quote from the builder.

    It's like the chicken and the egg.

    The only way around it is to have the builder quote for time, plus cost of materials TBC , or subject to change......but I imagine there is smallprint in the S20 forbidding this sort of loosely defined quote ....

    Any thoughts/ideas anybody?, or experiences of this situation you may have encountered?

    Many thanks.

    All quotes should include contingency for unexpected costs.
    You should inform the companies that you ask for quotes that you need the quote to be valid for sufficient time to allow you to complete consultation, and ask them to include sufficient contingency to cover potential increases in materials.

    You also have the option of asking all leaseholders to respond much sooner than 30 days, and to clearly state in their response that they agree to wave the remainder of the consultation period (realistically not much of an option unless you only have a few leaseholders in the block and they will all respond and agree), or to apply to a tribunal for dispensation from the consultation process - or just from the part that follows receipt of quotes.


      The managing agent should have asked for competitive quotations to remain valid for 90 days.


        Thanks Macromia, I'm hoping not to have to request quotes to include extra 'contingency' as I know some building materials literally jumped by up to 80% pretty much overnight and so I / we could end up paying a hell of a lot more than we have to go with a 'protective' quote.

        It's only me ( FH ) in ground floor flat and LH in upstairs flat. It's just a terraced house converted into 2 x 2bedroomed flats. No multiple Leaseholders/block of flats etc.

        I try to do as much as I can myself. I don't charge LH for things that I'm entitled to per the lease ( such as an admin uplift on dealing with insurance, charging for my own time/labour performing tasks that should be done by the LH as well as FH - i.e. general maintenance/upkeep of the garden and comunal areas etc).
        I do all that stuff for free as I want to keep costs for me and the LH as low as possible.
        I'm always transparent with them, but I do fear that despite all my good intentions and good relationship with LH, that the LH is entitled to tell me to clear off if I don't follow S20 to the letter.

        I think I will need to go down the option of giving them the chance to waive the full 30days response time in exchange for a possible lower price and see where that gets me.

        thanks for replying


          Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
          The managing agent should have asked for competitive quotations to remain valid for 90 days.
          Thanks Gordon999

          You can see from above reply to Macromia that's your comment wouldn't be relevant to me. there is no managing agent. It's just me (FH) and LH in upstairs flat.
          Thanks for taking time to reply though.


            With just two properties involved, and you being a resident, your best option would probably be to agree a time to talk through the proposed work and the need to skip the full 30 days that are supposed to be allowed for each stage of consultation.
            If the other leaseholder has any major concerns, you should allow them time to look into these, and also look into any concerns they raise yourself, but if you both agree to a proposed course of action there is no need to wait.

            It is better if you can get them to put it in writing that they agree to the proposals, as this will mean that they will not be able to challenge costs later on simply because you didn't wait the full 30 days at each stage, but even if you don't complete Section 20 consultation, current legal precedent means that they would have to demonstrate prejudice against them being cause by any lack of consultation - as long as you ask for dispensation to be granted if they challenge the costs.
            At the very least, keep a record of any communication you have with the other leaseholder, including times and dates, and details of what was discussed and agreed.


              If the review is just between 2 flats, calling a meeting with upstairs leaseholder , to review quotations and decide which one to accept will be quicker than waiting for 30 days. With inflation around 10% p.a , the parties at the meeting could choose to accept a quotation at 2.5% higher than a quote valid for only 2 weeks.


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