Section 20 Disputes

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    Section 20 Disputes

    Hi, wondered if someone could help?

    We are currently within the tender stage of a Section 20 consultation for qualifying works at the block of apartments that we live in.

    My main question is; what if one of the shareholders/owners isn't happy with the works being carried out, or alternatively, what if many of the shareholders have sat down together and decided it would be better for something different to happen etc...? Can the work be put on hold, do the Directors have to listen to us, or can they just continue on regardless?

    Also, if there aren't enough funds in the reserve/sinking funds, are we to expect a one-off bill for the remainder? Should they not have told us this in advance if this is going to happen?

    Many thanks for any help

    #2
    well if shareholders are unhappy and feel the board aren't listening them they can put a resolution to a general meeting and have the members vote. Bear in mind that whatever the vote, a changed outcome is still subject to the consultation process.

    As leaseholders they must acknowledge and reply to any comments or observations as part of the consultation process. If you feel that they won't aren't and haven't then you can always challenge the consultation and the works, as well as the cost at the LVT.

    If they need to raise extra funds they can only do so if the lease allows- what does the lease say?
    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


      #3
      Thanks for your reply.

      We haven't gone to the board with any objections as yet, we haven't had our residents meeting, so hopefully, if we do go to them, they will listen to any objections we have.

      Basically, we may want to suggest having only part of the works done this year, as we feel, that the other part is not needed and this will therefore save us all a great deal of money.

      I've had a look through the lease, but can't find anything regarding additional costs over and above the service charge.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by buff View Post
        Thanks for your reply.

        1 We haven't gone to the board with any objections as yet, we haven't had our residents meeting, so hopefully, if we do go to them, they will listen to any objections we have.

        2 Basically, we may want to suggest having only part of the works done this year, as we feel, that the other part is not needed and this will therefore save us all a great deal of money.

        3 I've had a look through the lease, but can't find anything regarding additional costs over and above the service charge.
        1 Even so you should make your objections within the time-scales and scope of the invitation to comment under the Notice of estimates.

        2 Will you be able to demonstrate that in argument/discussion/observation in 1? Can you respond to say " I am an unpaid director with other commitments work family etc, and dont have time to specify tender and oversee two separate projects"

        3 Actually SC includes these costs even if reserved as reserves/sinking fund and it's about HOW those charges are calculated and WHEN they can be billed-timing- that's relevant; have another look- if they cant raise extra charges and can only bill on say an annual estimate with half yearly bills, then the project might be stymied with lack of funds if you do not have to pay.
        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


          #5
          The second stage of the Section 20 consultation period comes to an end next week, so we will be going back to them this week. Am I right in saying that they have to respond to our observations before they award the contract?

          They are employing an external surveyor for the tender process (at our cost and without our prior approval/consultation) so I don't think that arguement would stand much ground - in addition the second part of the works wouldn't be needed for a few years.

          I'll have another look through the lease.

          Thanks for your comments

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by buff View Post
            The second stage of the Section 20 consultation period comes to an end next week, so we will be going back to them this week. Am I right in saying that they have to respond to our observations before they award the contract?

            They are employing an external surveyor for the tender process (at our cost and without our prior approval/consultation) so I don't think that arguement would stand much ground - in addition the second part of the works wouldn't be needed for a few years.

            I'll have another look through the lease.

            Thanks for your comments
            Well one would expect comments over the extent and scheduling of the works should have been raised and addressed at Notice of Intention Stage ie pre tendering, but at this stage its not too late; they can proceed to carry out the works but are ill advised to do so as if they have not addressed your observations and you proceed to LVT, then they need to be in a jolly good position and have a good argument to support their action, as do you to support your objection.

            Do bear in mind that the external surveyors costs will increase if work is reduced and re programmed.

            As long as the cost of the Surveyor can be recovered under the service charge and is reasonable then they need not consult as its not a qualifying work.

            De bear in mind the implication- you are then expecting an unpaid volunteer board member who might be completely unable to, to specify tender and oversee these works- is that fair or even sensible?
            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


              #7
              Thanks again for your responses

              I do see your point, just slightly aggrieved it has cost us £1,500 for someone to tell us which quote was cheapest (I'm sure they have done more than that)

              I understand that they don't need to consult on certain things - everybody seems to go by the letter of the law - I would have assumed it to be neighbourly. I guess then the arguement is, when do people stop.

              Comment


                #8
                But Directors are also elected to make decisions, accountable though they may be. Appointing a surveyor is one that doesn't really need consultation legally or neighborly as its about getting technical advice and employing someone which it might be beyond what you can expect a director to take on.

                Their role is of course to accurately identify and specify what the quotes are to be based on, before inviting those quotes, on a common basis with common expectations and conditions.
                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
                  You are right of course - that is what we have appointed them for.

                  I just think a quick email to all fellow shareholders saying look guys, we've decided to appoint and delegate to an external surveyor to put to tender the works we require. It's going to cost £1,500 for them to do their job, but they will ascertain who is best for our circumstances and take into account all the legal requirements they would need etc, etc...

                  Instead all we get is the legal obligation to send out the section 20 notices.

                  Thanks for your responses today though - very helpful

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Not unreasonable to expect that - it could be that they are being highhanded or equally lets get on with it they can vote us out if they don't like it, or just if we tell them it will just delay matters and OMG that Buff will never agree
                    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


                      #11
                      Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                      Well one would expect comments over the extent and scheduling of the works should have been raised and addressed at Notice of Intention Stage ie pre tendering, but at this stage its not too late; they can proceed to carry out the works but are ill advised to do so as if they have not addressed your observations and you proceed to LVT, then they need to be in a jolly good position and have a good argument to support their action, as do you to support your objection.
                      Hi leaseholdanswers, following on from last months questions and our Section 20 process. We, as an informal residents association, submitted our responses/concerns/questions etc... on the 25th April. The consultation stage (notification of estimates) ended on the 29th, so we got them in during this period. I know from your previous post that these should have been submitted during the pre-tender stage, but you also said that it wasn't too late and they should address our concerns/questions.

                      It is now 3 weeks after the end of the consultation period and they have not written back to us. In fact they have written to us and said that no one provided any feedback during the consultation period, which is blatantly untrue!

                      I had originally thought, that they had to write to us within 21 days of the consultation period ending about who was being awarded the works, but I now understand it is within 21 days of the work being awarded and they don't have to do this at all if they are going with the cheapest.

                      My question is; what sort of timeframe should they respond to our feedback within? Are they allowed to start the work before doing so? And apart from complaining that they have ignored our feedback, which we will, what else can we do?

                      Many thanks

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Section 20 response timeframes

                        Hi, following on from last months questions and our Section 20 process. We, as an informal residents association, submitted our responses/concerns/questions etc... on the 25th April. The consultation stage (notification of estimates) ended on the 29th, so we got them in during this period. I know from previous answers that these should have been submitted during the pre-tender stage, but it was also said that it wasn't too late and they should address our concerns/questions.

                        It is now 3 weeks after the end of the consultation period and they have not written back to us. In fact they have written to us and said that no one provided any feedback during the consultation period, which is blatantly untrue!

                        I had originally thought, that they had to write to us within 21 days of the consultation period ending about who was being awarded the works, but I now understand it is within 21 days of the work being awarded and they don't have to do this at all if they are going with the cheapest.

                        My question is; what sort of timeframe should they respond to our feedback within? Are they allowed to start the work before doing so? And apart from complaining that they have ignored our feedback, which we will, what else can we do?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Go to http://ram2.hostbyet2.com/

                          click on S20SHORT.DOC

                          Looks like you are at stage 2. ( Tender stage )

                          There is no lime limit in getting to stage 3. Quotes have to be got,
                          shedules formulated, some firms cannot start for 6 weeks if they
                          are busy.
                          An S20 can remain dormant for months / years once past stage
                          2, as the law has been complied with re consultation.

                          Areyou saying you forwarded alternative firms to get quotes
                          from, and if so oneof them may have to be aproached, and can be
                          delaying proceedures.

                          They don't have to choose your recommended supplier, only one that
                          best suits the needs of the property.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Many thanks for your reply, yes, we are at the Tender Stage. We didn't suggest any alternative firms, although we did get our own quote and we provided this as a comparison. My understanding is that any alternatives would have to have been made during stage 1 anyway.

                            My issue is they haven't responded to any of our questions, suggestions, opinions or concerns and they haven't acknowledged our correspondance. We want the work done, are happy to have whoever they suggest and whenever they want to do it, but it would be nice for them to respond and not lie about the fact we did respond in the first place.

                            So, it sounds as if there isn't a timeframe for them to respond and even maybe that they don't have to at all, as the wording is "must have regard to any observations received"

                            Thanks for any further help

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Two related threads have been merged.
                              I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

                              Comment

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