Trafford Housing Trust

Leaseholders - Major Works

Why have I been sent a consultation notice?

Consultation notices are statutory. Whenever we plan to carry out works to a block that are likely to cost a homeowner more than £250, we are required by law to serve a formal consultation notice (Section 20 notice) that includes a description of the proposed works and your estimate towards them.

Will I be required to pay for the works?

Yes. As your landlord, we have an obligation to repair and renew the common and structural parts of your building and, where applicable, the estate. Under the terms of your lease, you are required to pay a proportion of any costs we incur in carrying out this work.

Is the cost of this work covered by my Service Charges?

Your service charges are for the provision of day-to-day services. They do not cover the cost of Major Works that need be carried out from time to time.

How does Trafford Housing Trust decide what work needs to be carried out? 

There are several criteria that determine when major works are carried out, as follows...

  1. When components are old and in poor condition [roofs, windows, pointing]
  2. Apparatus has reached the end of their standard industry life cycle and replacement is required to maintain safe operation [lifts, secure entrance doors, fire alarms]
  3. Compliance with changes in legislation -  for example compliance with the Fire Safety Order 2005 - replacement of individual front doors which open out into an enclosed communal area.
  4. Agreed service provision - cyclical painting programme - agreed in the pre-transfer offer document, currently set at every 7 years for external painting and every 5 years for communal stairs / landings

Are there any limitations?

You must pay your reasonable proportion of costs. However, if you purchased your property through Right To Buy or Right to Acquire within the last five years, your contribution will be limited to those works specified on your Section 125 notice in your Offer of Sale. Similarly, if you have a lease that pre-dates 1987, you may not be expected to contribute towards brand-new installations that did not exist in any form beforehand (for example, the installation of a brand-new door entry system). 

Can I opt out of having this work done?

It is not possible for you to simply opt out of having this work done. We have an obligation to repair and maintain or improve the structural and common parts of the building and to keep it in good order and condition for all residents.  However, this consultation does give you the opportunity to influence the specification of works.

How does Trafford Housing Trust expect me to pay this invoice?

We have developed a range of flexible repayment options that should allow you to settle the major works charges.  The options are available on our leaflet entitled "Financial Assistance for Leaseholders" which was distributed to every leaseholder.  You can contact us for the leaflet and we can send this to you.  Alternatively, you can access the leaflet here. We have benchmarked with other housing organisations and adopted the best financial options to ensure we have provided you with as much choice as possible.

When you receive an invoice for Major Works, it is important to contact our Money Support Team to arrange a repayment option within 30 calendar days of the date of that invoice.  If you do not, your account will fall into arrears and you risk legal proceedings being taken against you.  Please contact a member of the Finance Team on 0300 777 7777 if you would like to come discuss repayment options. 

Can I nominate a contractor to do this work?

If you receive a consultation notice for a one-off contract, you will generally have the opportunity to nominate a contractor. However, if the work is being procured under an existing agreement, you may not have the opportunity to nominate an alternative contractor.  For further information, please refer to your consultation notice.

How will Trafford Housing Trust ensure that work is carried out to a high standard?

Our Regeneration Team will monitor all the work and will ensure that they are carried out to a good standard.  If you have any issues regarding the quality of works, you should contact the Regeneration Team on 0300 777 7777.  It may be helpful to explain your issue further by supplying evidence, such as notes, dates and photographs. Please do not wait to raise such issues until you receive an invoice. It may be more difficult to resolve any problems once the contractors have left the site.  If we carry out works under an existing agreement, the contractors are monitored on criteria including customer care, customer satisfaction, cost and quality of works. It is in the contractor's interests to ensure that work is completed on time and to the required standard to ensure the continuation of the long-term agreement. As part of the arrangement, contractors are required to remedy any defects discovered within 12 months of work completing on site at no additional expense to leaseholders.

How do I know that the way this work has been procured represents best value for leaseholders?

Tendering and evaluation processes are carried out in accordance with the Trust's financial regulations and procurement procedures to ensure best value is obtained.  It should be noted that the Trust is not obliged to accept the lowest priced tender returned by contractors. Tenders are evaluated on a balance of quality and costs.

Will the work be guaranteed?

All works carried out, generally, have a standard 12 month defect liability period, during which any remedial works caused as a result of faulty materials and/or workmanship would be at the contractor's expense.

Where manufacturers offer guarantees on certain materials/components/ workmanship - any remedial works required during the guarantee period will not be recharged to leaseholders. 

If work starts and I am not happy with how things are progressing, what should I do?

Your first point of contact for any issues that may arise should be our Regeneration Team. Should you not receive a satisfactory answer, the Trust has appointed a Leaseholder Lead to manage any issues you have at your block.

What is the 'contingency sum' for?

A contingency sum is included to cover the cost of any relevant unforeseen works that come to light during the project. If no extra works are needed this sum will not be charged.

What are covered by 'preliminaries'?

Preliminaries are the contractor's costs associated with managing all works that are undertaken. They typically include site set-up (including personnel who will manage the works) and the cost of utility services that are used during the works, for example, water, electricity, etc.  Contract documents usually require preliminaries to be costed separately from the main works so we can evaluate whether these costs are a true reflection of site set and running costs.

What is the administration charge for?

The administration charge is the cost of leaseholder services/administration, Regeneration, Finance and other Trust staff monitoring and overseeing the project whilst carrying out statutory consultation, calculating invoices and collecting Major Works charges from leaseholders.

What is the professional fee for?

The professional fee covers the provision of construction technical and professional officers necessary to manage and control the contractors and suppliers engaged to deliver the scheme on site. This will include Project Managers, Contract Administrators, Cost Managers, Resident Liaison Managers, Clerks of Works, Planning Supervisors, and other professional support where required for specialist works such as electrical and mechanical installations, or any architectural or surveying inputs. 

How can I find out more or make observations?

Please read the notice carefully as you may wish to comment. Observations must be made in writing within 30 days of the date on the notice using the contact details provided.

How can I find out more about my rights as a Leaseholder?

This notice is being served under the provisions of the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002. Further information may be obtained by contacting the following independent organisation which provides free advice:

Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE)

Tel: 020 7383 9800

Email: info@lease-advice.org

Website: http://www.lease-advice.org/

Further information is also available in a publication provided by the Communities and Local Government entitled "Residential Long Leaseholders - A guide to your rights and responsibilities" which is available via their website, as follows:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/booklet

However, if you cannot access this leaflet, please contact your Leaseholder Lead on 0300 777 7777 or customer.hub@traffordhousingtrust.co.uk and we can arrange to have the leaflet sent to you.

 

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