Posted on: 27 August 2019

Making renovations whilst complying with legislation

Keeping your property in good shape is vital in looking after both your tenants and your investment. Whether you are making total renovations, making essential repairs or performing some simple maintenance, you will need to make sure you are abiding by Section 20 of the 1985 Landlord and Tenants Act.

What is Section 20 and how do I comply?

Section 20 states that a landlord or letting agent must follow a consultation procedure before starting work on renovations that would require the tenant or tenants to contribute more than £250 to the work.

Section 20 protects the tenant so that they don’t have to pay large amounts for any work that is carried out on the building that they occupy. Estimated costs must include VAT and consultant fees.

If you don’t follow the procedures set out by Section 20, the tenant’s contribution amount will be capped at £250, regardless of the cost of the work that has been carried out. This will lead to a loss of income and possible negligence claims against the property owner from tenants if they feel as though your mishandling of the work has caused them a grievance.

What are the Section 20 consultation procedures

There are three stages that you will be required to carry out under Section 20 before beginning any work on your premises.

  • Stage One: Notice of Intention — You must notify your tenants in writing of the work that you wish to carry out and give a reason for why you need to undertake the work. You should use this opportunity to speak with your tenants and let them know which contractors you will use to carry out the work. You must allow 30 days for your tenants to respond to the consultation.
  • Stage Two: Estimate Statement — When you receive estimates from your chosen contractors, you should notify all of your tenants, again in writing, with the cost of the work. Again you must give them a further 30 days to respond.
  • Stage Three: Notice of Reasons — A final notice should be served to your tenants in writing explaining why for instance you may have decided to use a more expensive contractor instead of the contractor who offered the cheapest quote.

Property insurance with Premierline

Every property owner in the UK, residential landlord or commercial landlord, will have insurance needs unique to them. This is why the insurance advisors at Premierline will assess your insurance requirements and find the right landlord insurance package for you.

Source: Zywave inc – Property Management Insights – Section 20 Compliance

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