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 intended works and services that directly impact you and the charges you pay. This is known as a Section 20 consultation.
If we're considering works or services that affect your home, we'll send you a letter with more details, along with an explanation of the process and when your written observation needs to be received by.
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 service charges.
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.
I don’t recognise the services in my block of flats or estate. Why are you writing to me?
We'll send you a letter if we think the works or services we're intending to carry out affect your home. 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 in response to a Section 20 consultation we've notified you of and you submit your response before the consultation period ends. You'll find the dates on the formal letter we send you.
Can I complain about a current issue that the consultation is referring to?
The consultation will be about intended works or services, so please call our customer service team on 0330 343 0016 or email email@example.com to let us know if you have an issue with the current service so we can sort it out.
Updated: 29 May 2019