We’re planning to enter into long-term contracts for some of the services we provide.
We currently have short-term contracts in place and an improved quality of service can be achieved with a longer-term agreement. The new contracts will run for four years and are formally called Qualifying Long-Term Agreements. They replace the existing contracts which will end before the new ones start.
These qualifying long-term agreements form part of the service chargeable items for both tenants and leaseholders and we are consulting with everyone who is directly impacted. You may also know this as a Section 20 consultation.
Why we consult with customers
If you're a tenant or leaseholder paying a variable service charge, you're obliged under the terms of your lease or tenancy agreement, to pay towards the cost of services, repairs, maintenance or improvements to your flat (or house if leaseholder), building and estate. Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 requires us to provide you with details and ask your opinions about the intended works and services that directly impact you.
We'll send you a letter if you're likely to be impacted by one of these agreements. If you've not received a letter, then you're not impacted by a change in the agreements.
List of services for qualifying long-term agreements
How you can respond
You can send us your written observations about anything you feel is important to the contract of the services by midnight on the date provided in the formal letter we send.
We’ll reply within 21 days and when we’ve fully considered all feedback, we’ll send a further letter to everyone which will include a summary of all the written observations we received.
The summary will not include your personal details but will group the observations by block address, so you’ll be able to see those most relevant to where you live.
The letter will also include details of the next steps in the consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will this change what I pay for service charges?
Yes. Once the consultation process has completed and we’ve appointed contractors the costs will be included in your 2019/2020 estimate which you'll receive around March 2019.
I’m a leaseholder but others in my block rent their flat. Am I paying for their service charge?
No. The overall cost is split equally between the properties in the block. For those who rent, their share for any building works comes out of the rent. For services received such as door entry maintenance, testing of fire alarms, both leaseholders and tenants pay their share through the service charge.
Why are there more services/contracts listed in the table than my letter shows?
The contracts we are looking to implement cover both tenants and leaseholders in a number of different blocks and estates so our contracts need to include all services.
I don’t get these particular services in my block of flats or estate. Why are you writing to me?
We think you receive some or all of the services because of where you live. Some services may not be as noticeable on a day-to-day basis for example the checking of fire extinguishers. If you feel that you definitely don’t receive any of the services that we're consulting you about, then please make a written observation and we’ll double check our information.
Can I phone you with my comments/written observations?
Although our customer service advisors are happy to take your call, they can’t make a written observation on your behalf, so will provide you with the contact information here. You can email us on our dedicated consultation address firstname.lastname@example.org or you can post a letter to the Compliance and Investment Manager, settle, Blackhorse Road, Letchworth Garden City, SH6 1HA or visit our reception desk also in Blackhorse Road. Please note though, your written observation only counts if it's submitted before the consultation period ends. You'll find the dates on the formal letter we send you.
Updated: 26 September 2018