Does a section 20 notice expire?

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    Does a section 20 notice expire?

    Almost a year ago the freeholder of my flat served a section 20 notice on me for almost £19,000. Since serving the notice only small part of the work has been completed. I haven't been billed for it yet however if i decided to sell my flat tomorrow I'd have to declare that the property comes with 19k dept.

    So back to my question, is there a period of time after which the section 20 notice becomes invalid.

    Thanks
    Frank.

    #2
    Originally posted by FrankTurner View Post
    is there a period of time after which the section 20 notice becomes invalid.
    .
    As far as I know,
    It cannot become invalid if you have been notified of the expense.
    It can be delayed for many reasons, but the cost of £ 19000 is still
    payable on completion of the works.

    Comment


      #3
      The notice has as Ram has said been served and remains in place forever.

      However the intent of the notice is to consult with residents on te scope and cost of the work being fair and reasonable. Therefore the scope and cost of the works may have changed and therefore the landlord is better to review that and consult again than risk a challenge.
      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

      Comment


        #4
        As mentioned above there doesnt appear to be any timew limit in the legislation...BUT I believe that it wouldnt be reasonably to serve a S20 and then many year later do the work and I would suggest that the process start again.

        In my case a S20 was served about 4 years ago there was then varuous correspondence/disputes between the freeholder and I, the upshot of this is that I believe the freeholsder then realised that the costs could not be recoveed via the service charge so tghe process was sudenly stopped andnworks not carried out, I dont believe that now 4 years later the process could be simply continued, it would need IMO a fresh S20 process, an LVT may make a similar conclusion but Im unaware of any similar cases.

        Andy
        Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

        I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

        It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

        Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

        Comment


          #5
          A good manager / agent / freeholder should, if the works are delayed for
          more than a year, issue an update, stating what has been done, why
          the delay, and issue a sort of account plainly stating money spent so
          far, the balance, and any interim payments due.

          Also, if a year or so goes by, new quotes may have to be obtained,
          ( prices go up every year ) and an update of the costs for the S20
          be distributed.

          That's what I do, then everyone has an updated sheet on the likely
          final costs and then knows how much to put asside.
          But not many do that.

          R.a.M.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for the info guys. You all appear to agree that there is no expiry on a section 20. It seems a terribly unfair system. It will make it extremely difficult for me to sell the flat. I either have to settle the bill myself and add 19k to the value of the property for work that has not yet been done or attempt to sell the property at the current value and tell the prospective buyer they have a 19k bill to settle within a year of work completion. Who in their right mind is going to do that?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by FrankTurner View Post
              a section 20. It seems a terribly unfair system.
              I add 19k to the value of the property
              or tell the prospective buyer they have a 19k bill to settle within a year of
              S 20 is not unfair. It's the fairest system designed to tell you of
              major works upcoming.

              So you want it to expire, and all the repairs and maintenence to
              suddenly expire, and go away, and never get done ! !!!
              Now THAT is unfair.

              I have property, i spend £ 1000 a year on repairs and maintenence,
              and no way can, or would be accepted to put the cost of servicing
              and maintaining the property on to the sale price.
              The property i am talking about, is my car.

              Who in their right mind is going to tell a prospective purchaser that
              they have to buy new tires, clutch, brakes, in the next few years,
              and will have the unwarranted and unnecessary cost of changing
              the engine oil and filter in 6 months time.

              Come on now, the property has to be maintained and you have been
              advised as to the costs.
              If you don't agree with the costs and think the repairs required are
              fictitious or a money making scam, you go to the L.V.T.

              R.a.M.

              Comment


                #8
                If you say it is unfair and will cause difficulty I am worried that you understand the issue, or are trying to frame it from your point of view.

                The £19k reflects that work needs to be done, and at that point in time the cost/contribution was £19k.

                That work therefore still needs to be done, and you would have to declare it, regardless, and the purchaser would not doubt identify it themselves or through the Survey.

                The Notice and its validity is neither fair nor inequitable as the purpose of it is to consult , but through changes in the scope and cost of the works, it may or not be needed to start over.

                There are relatively few cases on this as the above is recognised and it's relativity simple to reinspect and have it repriced or in a minority of cases they proceed without challenge, and are not fortunate enough to have an Andydd to say " hang on a minute"

                You therefore negotiate on the price reflecting the benefit to the new owner and increase in value after the works are completed.
                Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                  You therefore negotiate on the price reflecting the benefit to the new owner and increase in value after the works are completed.
                  To Frank.

                  I don't think the property would increase in value, but maybe "retain"
                  it's value.
                  For example, new roof fitted.
                  When the property was built, it had a new roof devoid of defects.
                  If a replacement roof for example is in any S20, the end result is a
                  new roof devoid of defects. nothing has changed, so can only
                  "retain" it's value, as opposed to lose value due to no maintenance.

                  But "retain" it's value is also a good thing, along with any increase.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by ram View Post
                    To Frank.

                    I don't think the property would increase in value, but maybe "retain"
                    it's value.
                    For example, new roof fitted.
                    When the property was built, it had a new roof devoid of defects.
                    If a replacement roof for example is in any S20, the end result is a
                    new roof devoid of defects. nothing has changed, so can only
                    "retain" it's value, as opposed to lose value due to no maintenance.

                    But "retain" it's value is also a good thing, along with any increase.
                    However, the time in which the roof (using your example) became "worn" would have a knock on impact on the overall value, being a negative one. When a repair is completed, the value would then increase (because it's newer).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by dant View Post
                      would have a knock on impact on the overall value,
                      being a negative one. When a repair is completed, the value would
                      then increase (because it's newer).
                      Of course it would increase if the place was devalued in the first place,
                      but only increase back to the pre devaluation.

                      Look, we have a hole in the roof = property devalued
                      look, no hole in the roof, price goes back up to pre devaluation.
                      But post is about S20, so I will close this subject.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Many valid comments however i think some people are missing my point. I'm happy for the work to be done and agree that it needs to be done. My concern is the amount of time it is taking to be done and the impact it may have on me selling the property. I don't think people are going to go near a property that has a 20k bill looming over it.

                        Lets say for example the property in its current state is worth 100k, a mortgage lender may lend 90k on the basis the buyer has 10k deposit. 6 months later the buyer could be faced with a 20k bill. That's going to put a lot of people off.

                        If the freeholder got on with the job and did the work then the value of the property is now 120k (assuming the work increased the value by similar amount). Now the bank lends 108k and the buyer puts down a 12k deposit which is much more feasible.

                        I could be stuck trying to sell the property for years until the work is done. I think it would be much fairer to set an expiry on the s20 notice so that after a certain period i no longer have to declare the proposed works. I know that sounds morally incorrect on the basis i know that work still needs to be done however I'd be selling it at a value based on its current state. Its blatantly obvious that the work needs to be done at some point however i don't see why i should be the person to give someone the bill for something that hasn't yet been done.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by FrankTurner View Post
                          i don't see why i should be the person to give someone the bill for something that hasn't yet been done.
                          We ALL sympathise with you, don't get us wrong, and none of us would
                          want to be in your possition, but legal / reasonably incurred future
                          service charges comes with the flat.

                          And you cannot say, last year my share was 6000, the year before
                          it was 4000, and this year will be 19000, so I am going to add
                          29000 to the price of my flat. You can't do that.

                          it's maintenence.

                          Try adding ALL service and maintenence charges to the price of
                          your car. It wont happen.

                          You are not selling your flat, you are selling a lease, giving the owner
                          permision to live in the building, the rooms mentioned.
                          Here we still have 900 year leases, and to sell a flat now for £ 100000
                          ( sell the lease ) means you can live in those rooms for 900 years
                          at a cost of £ 111 per year.
                          That's a bloody cheap rent per year for a flat !

                          Even on a 90 year lease, it's £ 92.59 per month.
                          You cant rent anywhere for that .
                          Granted, after 90 years you have to give the flat back to the freeholder
                          , for free.

                          So an impending £ 19000 service charge is still cheap for the buyer.

                          There is no way out of your predicament.
                          The building has to be maintained, and that is the cost.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Resurrecting an old post because have been looking 're a present problem. If section 1 has been completed and the only possible concern is change of costs, must you spend time going back to the beginning ? Can you just inform leaseholder s of change of cost and proceed ?
                            An obvious cause of delay has been Covid restrictions.
                            It seems unnecessary delay to have to start again when need had already been agreed.

                            Comment

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