Any service charge expenses incurred with a value above 250 per lessee are subject to a section 20 consultation procedure. The process includes a number of precise notices and must be accurately completed to preserve the entitlement of freehold owners to recover these costs. If the process is not completed fully and properly, recovery of charges can become problematic if not impossible.
Section 20 works are also commonly referred to as ‘major works’ as the consultation process tends to apply to more significant expenditure, for example a new roof or significant works to common areas in blocks of flats. Section 20 itself is a reference to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Sections 18-30 of the act deal with the rights and obligations of freehold owners (and by extension block managers) and these detail the starting requirements to ensuring service charge demands are reasonable, and by extension, recoverable. Freeholders must comply with these requirements in order to be able to recover service charges from lessee property owners.
We are usually instructed by freeholders and block managers in these types of situations. Where instructed we usually review for a fixed fee to ensure the service charges are recoverable. We would then usually work on a no win, no fee basis to recover the demands themselves. We have successfully recovered service charges running into the thousands and tens of thousands of pounds working on a no win no fee basis.
We act for a number of freehold and block management companies in claims nationally. To see whether we are able to assist in recovery of your major works service charges please email us basic details including a copy of the unpaid demand to [email protected]. We will review this without any initial charge or obligation and will then confirm next steps to move recovery forwards as quickly as possible.