Planned Works and Section 20 Consultation
Our Planned Works Programme
Where Thrive is the Freeholder, we are normally responsible for carrying out planned works, repairs, and improvements to the communal facilities, the structure of the building, and the estate. Sometimes this includes components that are within your home such as the window replacement. We work to keep the building and homes within it safe, a good place to live, and to help your home hold its value.
TIP! It is important that homeowners regularly put money aside to budget for major works and repairs that will be carried out to your home and the building it is in. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors recommends that homeowners save 1% of their property’s value per year for maintenance costs.
Determining what works to carry out and when
We carry out regular ‘Stock Condition Surveys’ so that we know the most we can about our properties. The survey assists us in assessing the age and condition of each building element, which in turn helps us to plan improvements or replacements that might be due in the future.
We use information from a variety of sources such as our annual Home Plan visits to tenants, estate inspections, surveyor visits, customer feedback, repairs, and contractor call-outs. All of this provides us with a strong understanding as to what works are required and when this needs to be done.
Why not contact us and ask us for our estimated schedule for works that may be carried out to your block in the coming five years?
Section 20 Consultation with Residents
Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 provides that a landlord must consult with residents when the value of works we intend to carry out to your block hits a certain threshold.
This law sets out strict processes that we will follow with you prior to carrying out works.
We are required to follow this law if we:
- are planning on carrying out repairs, maintenance, and improvements that will cost any homeowner more than £250
- enter into long-term agreements (for more than 12 months) with contractors for work, supplies, or services which will cost any homeowner more than £100 per year. For example; cleaning and grounds maintenance
- carry out work under a long-term agreement where the works will cost any homeowner more than £250. For example; window or roof replacement works.
The process has four different Schedules, which each have different instructions. The content of each notice and procedure we must follow will vary depending on the type of contract, what we are planning to do, and whether we have to give public notice.
Generally, you will get either two or three different notices which are:
- Pre-Tender stage
We will send you the first notice including:
- a general description of the work or agreement (or where you can access this)
- the length of the contract
- the reason why we see it necessary to carry out the works
- an invitation for you to nominate a suitable contractor for the works (where the contract meets the public notice threshold as described below, we will not invite you do to so)
- where you can send us any observations about the work
- that we must receive your correspondence within 30 days (we will always allow additional days for postage).
At this stage, we cannot give you an estimate of how much the work will cost. We can only do this following the next stage when we have received the tenders and have put together a proposal for you.
- Tender stage
We will then invite competent contractors to Tender for the contract. When we have these, you will then receive the second notice which will include a summary of two tenders that we received and their details. We will outline:
- the works to be carried out
- the contractor details and estimated cost to you if possible
- how long the agreement will last
- the summary of any observations and our responses from the first notice that was issued
- where we invite you to send any observations you may have within 30 days
Qualifying Long Term Agreements
A Qualifying Long-Term Agreement (QLTA) is a contract for a period in excess of 12 months for general works i.e. cleaning, grounds maintenance, etc. Long-term agreements produce value for money because they allow contractors to plan their workload over a longer period. Through QLTAs, we can build strong relationships with our contractors, to provide a smoother delivery of works.
When we have followed the Pre-Tender and Tender stages (as listed above) to enter into a long-term agreement of over 12 months, we will notify you by letter if we intend on carrying out any qualifying works under this agreement. The notice will not invite you to nominate a contractor as we would have already done that in the pre-tender stage. We will again describe the works, explain why they are necessary, provide you with an estimated cost, and invite your observations within the next 30 days.
Public Notice and the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)
Where we are consulting on works or services above a particular value, we must by law publish the notice in the OJEU. This process is set out in the EU procurement rules and allows firms and contractors from other EU countries to tender. We will always let you know where we do this and if we do, we will not invite leaseholders to nominate a contractor.
Note: from 1 January 2021 a new e-notification service called Find a Tender (FTS) will replace OJEU https://www.gov.uk/guidance/public-sector-procurement-from-1-january-2021
We welcome observations
We invite you to take part in a consultation when we carry one out and encourage you to submit your comments. This can help us to shape and fine-tune the proposed works from both your perspective and ours. We always consider all observations regarding the proposed works. These need to be submitted within the allocated timeframe and we commit to giving you a response in every case.
Nominating a contractor
If there is a contractor you would like us to invite to tender, you should ensure that they meet our eligibility criteria. You can find out details of the eligibility criteria for individual tenders by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
You should then give us their details in writing within the allocated timeframe. We will write to you to confirm we have received your nomination and let you know the result of this in the next notice we send.
We carry out regular inspections whilst works are in progress and once they are completed (post inspections). You will be informed of the post-inspection date and asked if you have any issues.
If there are any queries or feedback whilst our contractors are working on-site or soon after, we always appreciate you contacting us about these at the time. We aim for resolutions to be found and services improved as soon as possible. Issues that are highlighted once the work has been completed and we have asked you for your payment, (up to 18 months after completion of works) are not as easily dealt with as there are limited solutions available by this time.
We pride ourselves in forming great relationships with our contractors and will endeavour to resolve issues as and when we are made aware of them.
Dispensation and the First Tier Tribunal (FTT)
Sometimes we will have to apply to the FTT if it is not possible for us to carry out Section 20 Consultation with you. This could be if there is an emergency, where there is an increased risk to safety or where there may be further damage to homes. We can also apply in advance to get a ruling or where it is not possible to get more than one estimate. If we do this, then we will always write to you in order to keep you informed.
Is the cost of this work covered by my day to day service charge?
Your service charges are for the provision of day to day services and smaller repairs under £250 each. It does not cover the cost of major works that Thrive Homes needs to carry out to your building from time to time and so we will always invoice you as a separate charge in full.
When do I have to pay a bill for major works?
We endeavour to give you as much notice as possible so that you are able to start saving for an invoice for your major works. We recommend that you regularly put money aside for works that are carried out to your building so you can budget more easily for when these are required.
We have the right to ask for payment prior to works being carried out however, we currently do not expect payment until after completion in order to give you further time to save. All payments are due within 28 days of the date on the invoice. If you are likely to have trouble paying this amount, you should get in touch as soon as you know so that we can assist you with your budgeting.