Section 20

Comply with the consultation process for major works

Section 20 Notice templates - free to download

What is a Section 20 Notice?

A Section 20 Notice is a document that must be served to all leaseholders when carrying out qualifying works. Such works can include repairs or maintenance to any building containing flats. However, the works will only qualify under Section 20 when the financial contribution from any one leaseholder will exceed £250. As such, this type of maintenance or repair work would be defined as ‘major works’ and will require a consultation process to be followed. 

This formal Section 20 Consultation procedure is prescribed by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. As a result of this law, leaseholders are provided with an opportunity to decide how their money is spent, while freeholders gain reassurance that they can recover the cost of the works.

How do I get a Section 20 Notice template?

To obtain a free, Section 20 Notice template, simply complete the required information in the contact form on this page. Then, you will instantly receive an email containing three, downloadable templates for each stage of the Section 20 consultation process.

How do I prepare a Section 20 Notice?

Section 20 consists of a three-stage consultation process, with each stage requiring a different notice to be served to leaseholders. If freeholders fail to follow this formal process, they may not be able to collect funds to cover the entire cost of the major works. It is therefore critical to follow the three-stage consultation process outlined below.

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The three-stage Section 20 Consultation process

Stage 1 – Issuing notice of intention to carry out works

  • Lists the items of work required at the property
  • Gives your reasons for why you consider it necessary to carry out the work
  • Invites comments in relation to proposed works
  • Invites contractor nominations to provide an estimate for the works
  • Provides 30-days’ notice to the leaseholders to respond

Stage 2- Statement of estimates in relation to proposed works

  • Provides a summary of at least two estimates for each item of work
  • Details where the estimates may be inspected or how they can be obtained
  • Invites written observations in relation to the estimates 
  • Provides a summary of the comments received following the notice of intention to carry out works
  • Provides 30-days’ notice to the leaseholders to respond

Stage 3 – Leaseholder observations following statement of estimates

  • Includes observations made by each leaseholder
  • Includes any responses the freeholder would like to make to those comments
  • Advises the leaseholders that you will write further to confirm which contractor(s) you have appointed

You will need to confirm the names of the appointed contractors and the date that the works will start by writing to the leaseholders. 

If this procedure is not followed correctly, freeholders will only be entitled to recover £250 from each leaseholder in respect of the works. 

Therefore, if you are unsure about any element of the Section 20 Consultation process, it is advisable to seek independent legal advice. It can certainly be a very challenging and time-consuming task, particularly when there are a number of items of work required and multiple leaseholders to correspond with. 

Discover how to successfully organise major works for your residential freehold. 

Thinking of selling your freehold ground rents? 

If you’re looking to sell freehold ground rents of any size across England and Wales, contact Freehold Sale today. We provide a fast and efficient buying service, so that you can dispose of your freehold interest quickly and release your tied-up capital. Plus, we’ll buy any existing problems along with the freehold, such as ground rent arrears, maintenance issues and ongoing disputes.

Free resources for freeholders

We also offer a free template and low-cost service for Section 166, which will enable you to formally collect ground rent from your tenants. You will also be able to issue backdated demands for unpaid rent for up to six years.

If you’ve just purchased a freehold property, you may benefit from our free Section 3 Notice template, which informs tenants of the assignment of landlord’s interest. You are legally required to serve this notice to your tenants, even if the previous landlord has done so.