S20 / excessive quotes

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    S20 / excessive quotes

    I'm one of four leaseholders in a converted house. Earlier this year the managing agent commenced the S20 process for the regular four-yearly external decoration.

    The leaseholders, collectively, have been busy/lazy and lulled into a false sense of security by historic costs: over the previous five cycles, the low quotes received have ranged from £1950-£3150 and the high quotes £2300-£4250.

    So is came as something of a surprise to be hit with the 'Statement of Estimates' letter stating that they received quotes of £8900 and £10700 and they intend to proceed with the lower quote.

    We quickly provided a quote for £4500 from the company who conducted the work in 2013, but this has been rejected on the basis of being 'too late'.

    Assuming that the S20 procedure has been followed to the letter, do we have any grounds for rejecting the £8900 quote on cost grounds? It bears absolutely no relation to 'market realities', but appeals to the managing agents' good nature, sense of professional pride, etc etc aren't going well and they're digging their heels in.

    It seems wrong that we can be held to a lower quote which is approaching three times anything we've ever paid before, and more than double the highest quote we've ever received.

    In the absence of a nomination from the leaseholders, what would our legal position be if the managing agents had returned with quotes of £400k and £500k?

    Any advice gratefully received!


    Does anyone have an informed view on whether a managing agent has a duty to provide 'reasonable' quotes?


      I think leaseholders should be consulted if the quoted cost is over £250 per flat and given 2 months to reply to excessive quotes . Has the freeholder and MA changed since last time ?

      You and the other 3 leaseholders have get organised to buy the freehold title and resist any excessive charges by the MA or make application to the FTT etc..


        Not sure if you could win the fight over the price, I always found it was not that the quotes were over the top but the specifications.

        But if this is a simple 4 flats in a single building, take over the management look up Right to Manage on the Lease website.

        Then when you are in control, appoint a manager yourself.


          You'll need to investigate why your quote was deemed too late.

          You still had a right to apply to an ftt so they can determine if amount is reasonable of not, this is unrelated to the quote you got although if you can show that the works could I've been done for fat less then the FH will be asked to justify using the high cost, remember a FH doesn't have to pick the cheapest but the cost must be reasonable.
          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.


            Thanks all.

            andydd, the quote *was* too late: the managing agents' quotes are only sent to us at the end of the S20 'quotation period'. We provided our counter-quote in response, a few days after receiving the MA's quotes and hence a few days outside of the S20 schedule.

            We don't have any grounds on which to challenge the procedure. Will try a 'begging letter' from all leaseholders asking them to reconsider, but will consider an FFT if that's unsuccessful. I'm hoping the MA has some vestige of professional pride and human decency, and will recognise that they've made no real attempt to gather realistic, market-rate quotes.


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