Baroness Gardner of Parkes – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Communities and Local Government

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Gardner of Parkes on 2015-11-25.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will clarify the measures that can be taken to enable works to be carried out when they are wanted or needed by a majority of leaseholders in leasehold residential properties.

Baroness Williams of Trafford

The maintenance and repair of a block of flats containing leasehold properties is normally the responsibility of the landlord and will be set out under the terms of the lease. This responsibility can pass to a Right to Manage Company where leaseholders have exercised and acquired that right, allowing them to exercise direct control over how their block is maintained.

Landlords, or those who have acquired the Right to Manage, have a contractual obligation under the terms of the leases to carry out necessary works to the properties that they are responsible for maintaining. Where works are suggested by a majority of leaseholders that are not essential to the repair or maintenance of the property, we would expect landlords to engage with their leaseholders to discuss the feasibility of the suggested works, but there are no plans to legislate to obligate landlords to carry out such work.

There are also no plans to legislate to provide a limited time within which non-resident leaseholders who fail to respond to a proposal for qualifying works, are deemed to have agreed to the proposed works. The statutory consultation process (known as section 20) gives leaseholders the ability to have a greater say on proposed works to their property by making observations. It does not require leaseholders to make observations, but any observations that are made must be made within a specified time limit. The landlord (or Right to Manage Company) is therefore in the knowledge that subject to observations made, they are able to proceed with necessary works.