Although we often refer to them as major works, qualifying works are works on a building or premises, and section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 restricts the recovery of contributions from leaseholders unless either:
- consultation has been undertaken; or
- dispensation from consultation has been granted by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (or Leasehold Valuation Tribunal where the property is located in Wales).
Consequences of non-compliance with the consultation requirements
The consequences of non-compliance can be severe.
Failing to consult (or obtain dispensation from consultation) means the contribution due from each leaseholder is capped at £250.
Challenges on recovery
Most well drafted leases contain an obligation for a leaseholder to pay service charges. From time to time, disputes arise in relation to those service charges.
- Are the service charges payable for *that* particular item of expenditure and for *that* project of works?
- Is it reasonable to incur those costs?
- Is the standard of service unreasonable and should the costs be limited accordingly?
These are just some examples of the types of dispute that the Tribunal can be called upon to deal with.
Qualifying works, by their very nature, are often expensive projects of works.
Project costs can sometimes stretch into hundreds of thousands of pounds, and sometimes millions.
Leaseholders will be called upon to pay their apportioned share of those costs.
The Tribunal retain jurisdiction to determine the liability to pay towards those service charges, and a determination can be obtained before the works are undertaken and costs incurred.
We’re recognised for our experience and expertise in Tribunal proceedings.
We’re well versed in dealing with Tribunal proceedings relating to qualifying works, including:
- applications for dispensation from some (or all) of the consultation requirements, including emergency applications for dispensation from consultation
- pre-emptive application for determination on liability to pay and reasonableness of service charge for proposed projects of qualifying works
- service charge challenges brought by leaseholders in relation to the costs of works
Our experts will listen to your objectives, and will draw on their knowledge and experience of the Tribunal to provide you with strategic advice and representation to achieve those objectives.