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News and Opinion from Edward Harte Solicitors

Legal News from Edward Harte LLP – 26th March 2013

Section 20 Consultation and Major Works

Changes to Section 20 Consultation for Private Landlords, Resident Management Companies and their Agents

A High Court decision in the case Phillips & Goddard v Francis earlier this year overturned previous views on how consultations on major works to residential buildings were applied. It has brought about considerable uncertainty for freeholders, managing agents and residents alike as the judge’s ruling is, at best, unclear about how it is to be managed practically.

When major works to a building with leaseholders/tenants need to be carried out which cost over £250 per resident, landlords, managing agents or residential management companies have to go through a statutory consultation process in accordance with Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

This new case throws doubt over when the consultation process applies, as it has always been widely considered that it referred to major works only. The decision in this case was that the consultation process now also applies to relatively minor repair works as well, so confusion reigns about whether this covers one set of works, if works are split into different components, if they take place over a year or beyond, and so on.

To follow the ARMA (Association of Residential Managing Agents) guidance on the case click here.

If you need help on any aspect of the above either as a landlord, managing agent or a member of a resident management company, contact Samantha Dawkins.