Section 20 Consultations for Leaseholders

A Section 20 consultation must be carried out before leaseholders are charged for works.  Leaseholders must pay towards the cost of services and any work to their block or estate. This is a condition of the lease. It is covered by the service charge paid to TDC and includes a contribution to a reserve or sinking fund.

By law, we must consult with you when buying some of the works or services that you have to pay for as part of your service charge. This is covered by Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, amended by section 151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.

The regulations can be difficult to understand. The information given in our FAQs below is only for guidance. If you are not sure about anything, you are advised to get legal advice. 

The Leasehold Advisory Service is government funded and provides independent advice for leaseholders.


TDC must consult about any works that cost each leaseholder more than £250.  This includes repairs, maintenance and improvements to your block or estate. 

We must consult you about any work that has a long-term agreement, costing leaseholders more than £250 each. (For example, if the windows in your block don’t need replacing now, but will in the future.)

We will consult with you when we procure the contract, and again before we start the work.

We must consult you, if we make a long-term agreement (for more than 12 months) if the work or services will cost each leaseholder more than £100 a year.  (For a cleaning contract, for example.)



A Section 20 notice is a legal notice served on a leaseholder. The leaseholder could be either affected by the work, or get the service.  Usually, you will get 3 different notices as part of a Section 20 consultation.  



Stage 1 – Notice of Intention

This tells you about the works or services we want to buy. It tells you the reasons why we want to buy them. It will let you know where to send your observations and nominations for contractors. However, you can’t nominate a contractor if we need to give a Public Notice.

Stage 2 – Notice of Estimates  

Next, we will ask contractors to tender for the planned works or services. In the Notice of Estimates, we will share the estimated costs from at least two different contractors. Stages 1 and 2 are each 30 days long.

You will be invited to let us know what you think about what we’re planning. We must reply to any observations you send us within 21 days.

Stage 3 – Award of contract

This is the notice that formally tells you which contractor has been given the contract. This stage is not used for contracts where we need to give a Public Notice. 

The Notice of Estimates will let you know who we are going to award the contract to. 



We have to give public notice for any work that is worth over a certain amount of money. The notice is published in the government’s Find a Tender Service (FTS). This allows contractors to tender for work. 



If we don’t follow the regulations, there’s a limit to the charges we can make. The limits are £250 per item of repair work and £100 for services with a long- term agreement.



If you don’t have any observations, you don’t need to do anything. If there is something you want to say, you must do it in writing.  

Please send any observations to our Homeownership team by email at myhome@thanet.gov.uk.

You can also send them to us at the following address:

Tenant and Leaseholder Services 
Thanet District Council
Cecil Street


Anything at all that you think we should consider, before we do work. For example, you might feel that we should choose a different material for the work.


Yes. You can do this at the Notice of Intention stage. Please email us with the name and address of the contractor you would like to nominate.



If your building needs work under the contract/s you will be sent another notice and a letter. These will tell you what work will be done and the cost of the work to you. (If It’s more than £250.)


It is the responsibility of TDC (as the landlord) to maintain the structure of the building. If we decide work needs to be done, you can’t opt out.


If your question has not been answered here, please email our Homeownership team myhome@thanet.gov.uk 

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