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Dawson Heights Major Works - Legal advice wanted

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Hi folks,

Southern Housing Group, which is the freeholder of Dawson Heights, has issued a Major Works notice for upgrades and repairs to the estates.

A couple of years ago (2019, pre-covid) they had in informal consultation with the leaseholders where they estimated that the cost per household would be approx ?5000.

They now want to charge each household over ?17000.

Our main goals are to query (and hopefully reduce) the cost, and ensure that the work is completed to a high level of quality (so we won't have to pay this all over again next year).

Does anyone have advice or contacts that would be helpful to us in this case?

Many thanks in advance,

James Young

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All the above. They should have given you an opportunity to view all the quotes received and provide a reason why they chose a particular contractor or contractors. Prior to this you should have been also able to recommend contractors you?d like considered as part of the process.

Technically they should choose the lowest quote unless there is a good reason not to choose it.

Did they start with a formal section 20 notice? There are a number of legal steps, otherwise you can go to tribunal etc., which you won?t want to do.

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If you check your lease it will lay out how often major works should take place. Sometimes though there can multiple notices issued but for various works, if costs are going to exceed ?250 per leaseholder for any one job.

However, if there multiple small jobs, less than the ?250 limit per job, there may still be a requirement for a section 20. if the jobs could be viewed as related e.g. repair a path, redecorate railings and build a shed, the costs of the jobs are added together and divided by the number of leaseholders etc..

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It?s likely they already have a contractor as part of a term contract depending on what the works are. Many HA?s now use a service provider, the successful tenderer drawn from a framework and working from a schedule of rates. They may not have necessarily been the cheapest as many tenders are split between price, a quality submission and an interview, quite often it?s the written part that wins it if the breakdown is weighted towards it.

After you receive the S20 you can request a breakdown of costs.

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