Home Ownership planned works
We make every effort to consult leaseholders and shared ownership leaseholders on any housing management issue that is likely to affect them.
We must consult you before we start major works of repair, maintenance or improvement for which you are required to contribute and which will cost any shared owner or leaseholder more than £250. In a building with unequal service charge contributions we must consult all shared owners and leaseholders if anyone is required to pay more than £250.
Examples of major works include window or roof renewal or the installation of controlled door entry systems. You can only be charged for major works in accordance with your lease agreement. You must also be consulted on certain long-term agreements or contracts lasting more than 12 months that will cost you more than £100 a year. These are referred to as qualifying long-term agreements.
How will I be consulted?
You will be consulted as an individual leaseholder or shared ownership leaseholder and if there is a recognised residents’ association they will also be consulted.
There are different ways to consult for different kinds of work.
Consultation on major works over £250
If we need to choose a contractor by asking different firms to return estimates of their costs, shared owners, leaseholders, and any recognised residents’ group, will be sent a written notice that:
- describes the proposed works
- sets down the reasons why the works are needed
- invites you to name a contractor who should be asked to provide an estimate
- allows 30 days for written comments.
We are subject to a number of regulations when selecting contractors. When inviting tenders on any contract, contractors must be on an approved list or qualify for being placed on such a list. We will include a brief statement with the initial notice that explains any nominated contractor will need to satisfy our requirements in order to be considered for the contract. If successful a nominated contractor will be sent our standard application for inclusion on our approved list of contractors and they must meet our criteria before we award them the contract.
A second written notice will be sent to each leaseholder and shared ownership leaseholder which will:
include at least two estimates for carrying out the proposed works and set down the reasons why the works are needed
give a summary of comments received and our responses to them
allow 30 days for any written comments on the estimates.
At the end of the 30 day period we will award the contract. If the contract is not awarded to a contractor suggested by a shared owner, leaseholder or the contractor who sent in the lowest estimate, we will write to you again within 21 days explaining why the contractor has been selected. We will also let you know about any comments we have received and what our reply to them is.
There are slightly different arrangements if a public notice is needed. This happens if the cost of the work is above a level set by the European Union rules for advertising and letting contracts. This is only likely to be for large scale works. We must still serve a notice of intention on the service charge payers but the main differences are:
- shared owners and leaseholders do not have the right to nominate a contractor for these contracts; and
- we must include a statement in the notice of intention that nominations are not being invited from shared owner or leaseholders because a public notice is to be given for the agreement or contract for works.
In cases where the works are considered urgent we may apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) for an order to dispense with the consultation procedure. We may do this if there is a leaking roof, a dangerous structure or in other cases where we need to proceed quickly. In such cases the LVT will notify service charge payers of the proposal.
Once the planned works have been completed and the actual cost has been decided, we will invoice shared owners and leaseholders or use the appropriate sinking funds where they exist. In certain circumstances we may offer an interest free or low interest facility in order that shared owners and leaseholders can budget for costs.
Consultation on long-term service agreements
Examples of long term agreements – contracts lasting more than 12 months - might include:
- lift maintenance contract
- cleaning and grounds maintenance contract
- door entry system maintenance contract.
If we wish to enter into a long-term agreement with a contractor to provide works or services that will cost any shared owner or leaseholder more than £100 during the year, you must be consulted.
The consultation procedure for long-term service contracts is very similar to the procedure for major works.
All shared owners, leaseholders and any recognised residents’ groups, will be sent a written notice, which will:
- describe the works or services to be provided
- give reasons why a long-term agreement is needed
- invite you to nominate a contractor who you think should be asked to provide an estimate (shared owners and leaseholders are not permitted to nominate a contractor if the works are to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union)
- allow you 30 days to respond with your written comments.
Once estimates have been received, a second notice with at least two quotes for the proposed works, will be sent to each shared owner or leaseholder and will include:
- details of the service to be provided
- the names and addresses of the proposed contractors, identifying any connections with us
- estimated costs; and
- the period of the contract.
You will be invited to send in comments on the estimates within 30 days. We must take these written comments into account.
Finally, we must write to all shared owners and leaseholders again to let you know who will be doing the work and why they have been selected. We will also let you know about any comments we have received, and our response to them.
We do not have to write to you again if the chosen contractor has been nominated by a shared owner or leaseholder or has sent in the lowest estimate.
Consultation on qualifying long-term agreements:
When we have a long term agreement with a contractor to provide a maintenance service the law requires us to consult in a slightly different way.
As we have already chosen the contractor you cannot nominate another one but you can comment on the proposed works and the estimated costs.
All shared owners, leaseholders and any recognised residents’ groups will be sent a written notice that will:
- describe the proposed works
- set down the reasons why the works are needed
- estimate the total cost of the works
- allow 30 days for written comments.
We must consider any written comments received and reply within 21 days. Please note that this refers to individual replies and not a general response to all recipients of the notice.
What happens if we fail to consult you?
We should only carry out and charge for works in accordance with the terms of your lease. If we fail to consult you, we can only charge to the limits set out under previous headings in this section.
What if I am dissatisfied with the standard of work?
Work carried out must be to a reasonable standard. If you are unhappy with the standard of work you should contact the Asset Management Team on 0300 500 6262 or email email@example.com. You should contact us while the works are being carried out or as soon as they have been completed.