Q&As

Is a landlord obliged to carry out works once he has served a notice for the purposes of section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and if so, by when? Will this obligation be inherited by a new landlord if the freehold is sold in the interim?

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Produced in partnership with Georgia Whiting of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 23/09/2016

The following Property Disputes Q&A produced in partnership with Georgia Whiting of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is a landlord obliged to carry out works once he has served a notice for the purposes of section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and if so, by when? Will this obligation be inherited by a new landlord if the freehold is sold in the interim?
  • Landlord’s obligations
  • Stage 1: Notice of intention to do the works
  • Stage 2: Estimates
  • Stage 3: Notices about estimations
  • Stage 4: Notification of reasons
  • Is a new landlord bound to undertake the works?

The law requires that leaseholders paying variable service charges must be consulted before a landlord carries out qualifying works or enters into a long-term agreement for the provision of services. This is provided for as per section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (LTA 1985) (as amended by section 151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 (CLRA 2002)). This legislation sets out the procedure which landlords must follow, which is found in the Service Charges (Consultation Requirements) (England) Regulations 2003 (the Regulations), SI 2003/1987. The rationale behind the regime is to ensure that tenants are not required to pay for unnecessary or poor services, or required to pay too much for the same.

Landlord’s obligations

Dealing firstly with any obligation of the landlord to complete the works within a specific time-frame: the starting point is to look at the requirements of the LTA 1985 itself and the Regulations. We are not aware of any reference in the same to any deadline in terms of completing the works after notice has been served. Further, there are a number of steps required to be undertaken in the consultation, which may take some time. For example, the most common

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