Planned maintenance

By law we must consult you if the cost of the planned work will be more than £250 per household. The only exception to this is in the event of an emergency.  

We’re happy to arrange and attend residents’ meetings to discuss the work in more detail. Where possible, we’ll ensure that a representative from the contractor or a surveyor is there to answer your more technical questions.

Can we comment on the proposed work?

During the consultation period there are two opportunities for you to comment on the proposed work; before and after the works are tendered. It’s very important that you make any comments to us in writing during this consultation period.

Will we know when the work is due to happen?

We will send ‘A Notice of Intention’, which tells you that your property is due for repair, renewal, or maintenance work and that the work will be done in the near future. This gives you 30 days to comment on the proposed work.  

We’ll send you a letter in response to any comments you make within 21 days. We’ll send a summary of all the comments we have received to every leaseholder at the next stage of the consultation process.

Can we recommend a contractor?

You can suggest a contractor that you want us to invite to tender for the work. We can’t guarantee that your preferred contractor will get the job, but we’ll send them a tender pack to complete. This will not apply where we intend to appoint any long-term contractor.

Will we know how much it is likely to cost?

At the end of the initial 30-day consultation period, we’ll consider all the comments we have received. And then we’ll instruct a surveyor to produce a specification for the work. Once the specification has been completed, we will send it to at least three contractors from our approved list and any that you have suggested.  

To ensure this process is fair, we operate a ‘closed tender’ process. This means that we receive the estimates from contractors in sealed envelopes by a deadline. We open them all at the same time and record the different estimates. We’ll usually give the contract to the contractor who has given us the lowest estimate. If we don’t choose the lowest quotation, we’ll tell you why. 

It can take up to 16 weeks to get an estimate for the work. 

When will we get confirmation of costs?

We will send you a Notice of Proposals. This will include: 

  • a comparison of at least two of the estimates 
  • information about how to view and inspect all the estimates 
  • a summary of all comments received, and a summary of our response 
  • an invitation for you to give us written comments about the estimate within 30 days. 

To issue a Notice of Proposals, we need at least two estimates from contractors. If the estimated prices are significantly different by more than £10,000, we will consider re-tendering.

What if you don’t appoint the lowest bidder?

If we don’t award the contract to the lowest bidder, we will issue a Notice of Reasons within 21 days of entering into the contract. The Notice of Reasons: 

  • tells you which contractor has been awarded the work 
  • outlines the reasons for this, and 
  • summarises residents’ observations and our response to them.

Starting the work

Once the contract has been awarded, a pre-contract meeting is held, and a start date will be agreed. The contractor and the surveyor will write to you at least 14 days before the works starts to let you know when work will begin and how to contact them.

Paying for the work

Once the work has been completed, our surveyor will inspect the work. If there is any work outstanding or something is not up to standard, the contractor will be asked to put this right. Once this has been done, we will get a bill for the full cost of the work. 

The cost of the work is usually paid from the sinking fund. If the sinking fund is not enough, you will have to pay the shortfall. During the consultation period, we will say how much this is likely to be. 

We will send you a bill for any shortfall with your end-of-year accounts, in September. Sometimes, if the bill is large, we will bill you when the works are completed so you can spread the cost over monthly instalments. 

We cannot add the shortfall to your rent account. It will be shown separately and will be considered as an individual debt. 

It is a service-charge debt. If you don’t pay it, we will use our normal procedures for recovering service-charge arrears.