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Hi joshua, My landlord have given us a Section 20 Notice to

Customer Question

Hi joshua, My landlord have given us a Section 20 Notice to carry out work on our windows. Can I go to tribunal before the work starts to try to stop it for unreasonable costs?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Everytime I post a question, unfortunately for me you seem to appear. Is there any question that site does not have difficulty to answer. Besides Joushua yesterday told me he was going to answer this question, so I don't understand what is the problem. In addition the questio I have posted is a very simple legal question with a straight forward answer. I expect you to give me the list of all your expert in property law please.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

It may be that Joshua is away for the weekend and will be able to answer when he returns. Unfortunately he has not shared any information about that with me.

Here is a list of property law experts who have answered tenancy questions in the past:

AlexWatts2013
tdlawyer
Londonlawyerj
AlexJ
Aston Lawyer
UKSolicitorJA
ExpertSolicitor
Jo C
JGM

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. However I cannot click on the name of the experts to check their area. Dealing with tenancy does not mean your area of expertise is property Law. So please send me a link of the page that include your experts or these experts so I can read their bio before sending them m question. I cannot find such page in your site. I think you should have a page for all your experts.


 

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I'm afraid we don't have one page for all experts. However I will pass your request on to our site manager.

If you go to our Law homepage you will see various experts featured there and be able to read their bios.

All the experts I have listed are accepted in the Property Law category of this site.

Thank you,
Nicola

Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is Tony. I have read your post and can answer your question. I have considerable experience in dealing with issues like yours.

The s.20 process is a requirement for landlords/management companies to consult with the tenants before incurring costs that exceed the statuary maximum without consultation. This process must be used where the service charge contribution for the works would exceed £250 per year.

If the process does not comply with s.20, then the charges cannot be recovered.

So, in answer to your specific question, you can apply to the LVT at any time to challenge the reasonableness of the expenses to be incurred. If the tribunal agrees, then you would not have to pay any unreasonable charges.

Tony
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Tony and thank you for your response.


 


a) What details shouls be included in the Section 20 Notice


 


b) Can I apply to the LVT after we have beeen served with the Notice and before the time limit for the observations and before the work has taken place? as the notice does not specify the cost so how can i argue the unreasonableness of the cost if they haven't specified the costs?


 


c) or can I argue the work is unreasonable and we shoul dnot have to pay for it?


 


Thank you


 

Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.
In answer to your specific issues:

a) The s.20 notice should include the information listed on this site: http://www.lease-advice.org/publications/documents/document.asp?item=19 (It includes details of the contents of the notices at all stages).

b) Yes, you can apply after the service of the s.20 notice and before the time limit for observations. You can seek to argue that the works are completely unnecessary. You should have regard to the content of your lease, and identify whether it permits the landlord (or management company) to do the works envisaged.

c) Same point here as in (b) above. Check the lease, but yes, you can argue the works are unreasonable and unnrcessary.

Tony
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you my concern relates to diffewrent works that Landlord is intendign to do. My main concern is work on our windows.


 


Our windows are very old and the frames are totally rotten to the point that in few flats in the block, the glass had fallen out from their frames and shattered in residents' sitting rooms.


Their survey report also indicated that %90 of the windows need a lot of work to the wood frame which is very costly. Last year they estimated the work on the frames at around £800,000.00.


We have been unsucceefully arguing with the Church Commissioners that this is waste of our money as we have to do the work again in few years time paying the same or more cost.


 


we have suggested to replace them completely to PVC windows which really would cost not much more and are gurranteed for 15 years and the glass is up to today's safety standard. They have declined and their excuse is that according to our lease the inside frames of the windows are tenants' responisbility while the outer frames are lanlord's and unless every single person agreed to replacement, they will not replace and will repair and paint the rotten windows as they know that Many flats are rented and many lessees are unreachable.


 


Their agents have agreed that at soem point these windows have to be replaced but they will continue with repair now.


 


Where do we stand now as if we comply with our lease our windows become even more danger to our health & safety. Do we still have an argument in the LVT?


 


Thank you

Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.
I take your point, that does seem like a considerable sum of money for replacing windows!

If I were in your position, I would almost certainly apply to the LVT and challenge the cost/action. It might be that you lose, if they consider it reasonable etc., (although it sounds a tad unreasonable to me, but then I don't know all the facts about it and the lease terms).

If you lose in the LVT, it has no power to award costs against you in excess of £500, and even then, it rarely uses that power and will only do so when it considers an application to be unreasonable and/or vexatious. It's a very high threshold to cross.

Tony

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Category: Law
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Experience: 11 years experience of general practice.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks and nice talking to you.

Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.
You're welcome - and thanks for rating the answer for me.

Have a good Sunday.

Tony
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Tony, in relation to my earlier question, I forgot to ask: The landlord has served couple of S20 Notice for qualifying work on our windows during the past few years. The work has not taken place yet. Landlord in intending to serve yet another s20 Notice in relation to this work (windows). Can I apply to the LVT and challenge the action arguing on the previous served S20 notices or do I have to wait for the one that they are intending to serve but have not yet.


Thank you

Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

You should be able to challenge the previos s.20 notices for which the intended works have not yet been carried out. This is likely to send a signal to the management that you're serious about challenging.

Tony

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. But do I have to know about the costs before I can challenge it ? meaning can I challege an action without knowing the cost if the landlord have not sent us the estimated cost yet?


 


Could you also let me know which court should I apply to, if landlord have not complied with the section 11(3) Notice that I have served them? Is it magisterate?


Thank you

Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

You can challenge the work itself as being unreasonable, but it makes sense to challenge the whole lot, both works and cost.

You do not apply to a court, you apply to the leasehold valuation tribunal. This is part of the Residential Property Tribunal Service. Have a look at their website here: https://www.gov.uk/housing-tribunals

Tony