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Major works and Section 20 consultation

On this page you can find out about:

See also our Guide to Service Charges and Major Works for more information about all of this and more.

What you need to do if you receive a Notice of Intention or Statement of Estimates or other consultation letters.

If you have comments, questions or any other concerns (observations) about the work we intend to carry out or the cost to you, you need to put this in writing to us within 30 days of the date of the notice. 

If the notice asks if you would like to nominate a contractor and you do want to nominate a contractor, you need to put this in writing to us within 30 days of the date of the notice.

If you have no observations and you do not wish to nominate a contractor, you do not need to do anything about the notice. 

It is worth noting how much you are likely to be billed for the works and thinking about how you will pay this amount when the invoice is sent to you at the end of the financial year.

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Why we carry out Section 20 consultation

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (amended by Section 151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002) requires us to carry out formal consultation with leaseholders when:

  • A Leaseholder’s individual contribution to the cost of any works or repair is likely to cost them more than £250 in a year.

  • We intend to set up a contract for more than 12 months, and the cost to any leaseholder is likely to be more than £100 in any year. Depending on the value of the contract, we may also have to advertise the contract in the EU.

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How do we carry out consultation?

If the work is to be carried out by one of our contractors who we already have a long term agreement in place with: we will  send you a Notice of Intention advising you that we are going to carry out the work. The notice will advise you what work we intend to carry out, why this work is necessary and give you an estimated price for the works.  This notice also gives you 30 days to write to us with any comments or concerns you may have about the works. 

If the work needs to be carried out by a contractor that we do not already have a long term agreement in place with and we are going to ask for quotes from other contractors: we will carry out an additional stage of consultation.  First we will send you a notice of intention advising you of the proposed works and the reason the works are necessary.  If you would like to nominate a contractor to carry out the works, you can write to us within 30 days of the notice to tell us who you would like to nominate. After the 30-day period given in the notice of intention, we will invite a number of contractors to provide an estimate for the work, within a specific time limit. If you have nominated a contractor, we will try to obtain a quote from that contractor. At the end of this time limit, we will assess the estimates and choose the one that we think will give the best overall value. We will then send you a Statement of Estimates providing you with details of the estimate we have chosen as well as details of at least one other estimate. The notice will also again ask for your comments on the estimates and will tell you where and when you can inspect the estimates in full. If you wish to do this you will have 30 days to inspect the estimates and to give us your comments.

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Where to find out more about Section 20 consultation


This area of legislation can be complex and for more detailed information we suggest you contact the Leasehold Services Officer directly or consult the useful guides available on the Leasehold Advisory Service website at www.lease-advice.org.uk

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How to pay your major works bill

You can pay or start making payments towards your major works, when you receive the consultation paperwork advising you of the cost.  Or you can wait until we invoice you for the works.

Major works invoices are sent once a year - in June.

Please contact the Income Team on 01202 264446 or email rent.php@poole.gov.uk to discuss payment options.

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Help available if you are struggling to pay your major works bill

The Department for Work and Pensions will in some circumstances pay or contribute towards the cost of your major works bills.  You have to be in receipt of certain welfare benefits to qualify for this financial help. 

Our Your Money team can help you to find out if you qualify for this or any other help.  Please contact them on 01202 264495 or email yourmoney.php@poole.gov.uk for more information.

If you don't qualify for this type of help and are struggling, don't worry, our Income Team will be happy to discuss other options with you and help you come to the most suitable arrangements.  Please contact the Income Team on 01202 264446 or email rent.php@poole.gov.uk to discuss this further.

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How to dispute your major works bill

If you think the work has not been done correctly, you should contact us as soon as possible to advise us of this.  Do not wait until you receive an invoice for the works.  If you tell us whilst the contractors are still on site we can arrange for the problem to be put right before they leave.

If you think there has been an error in what we have charged you, you should contact the Leasehold Services Officer (contact details on the right hand side of this page) to advise us of this.

You should not withhold payment unless this has been agreed by the Leasehold Services Officer.  Recovery action will be taken against you if you withhold payment without this being agreed.

If after reporting a problem to us, you do not feel that this has been handled satisfactorily, you can make a complaint through our complaints procedure.  You can do this by phone, email or letter.

If after making a complaint, you still feel that this has not been handled satisfactorily, then you can take the matter to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT).  The LVT is part of the legal and judicial system so it is very important to have a very good legal case before making an application. You can represent yourself or use a solicitor but you should generally obtain professional advice beforehand on the legal, technical or construction issues in cases regarding works.

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Contact Us

Contact icon
Rebecca Evans,
Leasehold Services Officer
Phone icon
01202 264452

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