Major Works and Section 20 Notices

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

Property Dispute Department

As the freeholder of a rental property, it’s important to know the law when it comes to your rights and responsibilities. There is plenty of homework for you to do before becoming a landlord, for both your benefit and the benefit of your tenants.

In this blog we discuss Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act, 1985, which is in respect of major works being carried out at a property and the need by a freeholder to consult when entering into any long term agreement or major works. The term major works, or “qualifying works” which is the term used in the Act, means works (whether on a building or any other premises) the cost of which is recoverable from the tenant under the terms of the lease through the service charge.[1]

How do you serve a Section 20 Notice?

Initially, the freeholder will serve a tenant with a “Notice of Intention to Carry Out Works”. This Notice will describe the proposed works as well as the reasons for the work being put forward. After this initial Notice the leaseholders will have 30 days in which to make any comments or observations known.

After the 30 day consultation period has passed then a Notice of Proposal will be sent. This will be the point at which it will be clearly publicised how and when projects are to be paid for.

Understandably, many tenants faced with a large major works charge will need to make arrangements to get the funds together. Most social landlords will offer some form of payment plan, for example installment payments over a number of years.

How to manage a Section 20 Notice

It can be easy to get lost in the processes involved in planning for major work on your property. That’s why our expert legal team are here to help. Whether you’d like an initial discussion about your requirements or would like more substantial leasehold legal assistance, contact us today to get started. Please call our Property Dispute Department and ask to speak to Victoria Copeman or Kate Kenneally.

[1] https://www.lease-advice.org/article/major-works-and-consultation-under-section-20-of-the-landlord-tenant-act-1985-a-brief-guide-to-your-rights/