Q: I quote from the Summary of Rights:
To consultation on major works costing over £250 per flat or £100 per flat in respect of ongoing contract which is for a period more than 12 months (1985 S.20 as amended by 1987 Sch.2 para.3 and by 2002 Ss 150 – 1); failure to comply excess costs not payable unless LVT orders to the contrary. This consultation is required if any single flat in the block meets the limit.
I don’t understand what “in respect of ongoing contract which is for a period more than 12 months”. What contract has to be > 12 months? We have a situation where the onsite sewage treatment plant has been out of action for eight months because of faults in the initial installation, and the maintenance company have been paying to have the system emptied every week at a cost of £720 per week. They have spent over £20,000 in that time (nearly £1,000 per flat), but have never referred the payments to the residents. I need to know if we have a valid claim to have the payment restricted to £250 per flat. If yes, how do I go about it?
FPRA Committee Member Colin Cohen replies:
I can answer this one simply as follows;-
Whilst section 20 notices should be served above the statutory limits, it maybe that in view of the emergency nature that the managers may have failed to do this but if challenged then they could apply for dispensation from the FFT (formerly the LVT) which if the costs were reasonably incurred and could not be avoided it is likely from recent case law that this would be granted.