The directors of the resident’s company have been running their small estate of 20 maisonettes in South East London for a number of years. Mostly long-term lessee’s and as good neighbours, they had little in the way of common areas and were happy dealing with the day to day issues to maintain their block and ensure the gardens were looked after. However, when the brickwork showed signs of considerable cracking and debonding the directors knew that they were going to need specialist support for the programme of works required to repair the building. Building engineers and surveyors were engaged to carry out reports into the problem and a solicitor confirmed the responsibility of leaseholders to meet the cost of repairs via their service charge. Concerned about the complexity of implementing the section 20 process (as per Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985) and with managing the works required, they decided via a vote of all lessees to appoint an experienced managing agent to act on their behalf.
Section 20 Consultation
After meeting with some potential block managing agents, they chose to work With Jennings and Barrett to manage the section 20 process and the collection of funds from lessees. As the works were particularly specialist, Jennings and Barrett recommended that an external surveyor was engaged to draw up a specification and to manage the contract process and the works at site.
A notice of intention was sent out in line with Section 20 legislation in 2017 with works planned for 2018. Lessees were made aware at an early stage that funds would be required for the project. The surveyors employed to managing the works, Blakeney Leigh, had experience of similar building repairs. They produced a suitable specification for the repairs and invited 3 specialist contractors to tender for the contract. As part of the section 20 process lessees were also invited to nominate any contractors.
All lessees were, understandably keen to see the works carried out, both to ensure the integrity of their homes, and the value of these, so funds were paid promptly. The contractor engaged to carry out the works was Chrisalis Refurbishment.
The overall cost of this stage of works was £5,186 per unit. Of this, fees for Jennings and Barrett managing the Section 20 process, collecting and disbursing monies was £133 and for Blakeney Leigh fees of £499 for project management, including drawing up the specification, managing the tender process and the contract and signing off the works as complete and to specification.
As a result of the works, lessees can be confident in the structural integrity of their properties and reassured that they will maintain their value.