Major works

Warning text

Due to coronavirus, we will not be invoicing leaseholders for any new major works until July and any work to recover outstanding major works bills is now on hold until July. If you are currently struggling to pay bills you can also apply for help, which could include deferring major works loans for up to 3 months.

If you decide to take up this support it does mean that at the end of deferral period, payments will resume and will be recalculated over the rest of the financial year (up to 31 March 2021). Monthly payments will increase due to the fewer number of months remaining. 

If you would like to apply for support please contact us by email at or telephone us on 01279 446206.

From time to time we will need to carry out major work to the building or estate, which includes your flat or maisonette.

As a leaseholder you are, in most cases, legally obliged to contribute towards the cost of this work.

These charges are in addition to your usual service and routine repair charges. If they are more than £250, we will need to consult with you (known as a section 20 consultation).

Consultation on major works

If we need to choose a contractor by asking different companies to return estimates of their costs, we must first send you a ‘notice of intention’.

The notice will describe the work we are planning to do and why it is needed. You will have 30 days to send us your comments on the works.

If you want to, you can nominate a contractor who you think we should ask to provide an estimate. We must take account of any comments and try to get an estimate from contractors suggested by leaseholders and Residents' Association.

We will then send a second written notice (section 20 notice), setting out the estimated cost from at least 2 of the estimates.

This letter will include a summary of the comments we received and our responses to them. All the estimates will be available to see.

We will invite you to send us written comments on the estimates within 30 days. We must take account of these written comments.

We will then award the contract.

We do not have to write to you again if the chosen contractor has been nominated by a leaseholder, or has sent in the lowest estimate.

If we do not choose the nominated contractor, within 21 days we will write to you again to let you know who will be doing the work and why we have chosen them. We will also let you know about any comments we have received and what our response is to them.

Qualifying long term agreements

If we want to enter into an agreement with a contractor that is more than 12 months and the cost to any one leaseholder will be more than £100, we need to consult you.

A long term agreement can cover things like:

  • buildings insurance
  • lift maintenance
  • programmed works to your block

The consultation for long term agreements follows a similar process as that for major works.

Major works under long term agreements

If we need to carry out work under a long term agreement and the cost to any one leaseholder will be more than £250, we need to consult you.

We must first send you a ‘notice of intention’ which will describe the work we are planning to do, why it is needed and an estimate of costs. You will have 30 days to send us your comments on the works.

You will not be able to nominate a contractor as we would have already entered into an agreement with a contractor to carry out the proposed works and you would have already been consulted on the agreement.

Before the works start we will invite you to a meeting to discuss the works, payments options and to introduce the contractor.

When the contractor is on site, we will give you reasonable notice for access to individual properties and provide you with updates the programme of works is longer than 3 months.

With most work, the council or the contractor will ask the residents to complete a satisfaction questionnaire. Only sign the form if you are satisfied. If you are not, please put your comments in writing immediately and we will investigate them.

You should not feel pressurised into signing something when you are not happy with the work.

Challenge major works

You have the right to challenge either the cost (including fees) or the scope of the works.

You need to contact us first to challenge any charges. However, a formal challenge can be made at any time during the major works process using the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

You can get more information about making a formal challenge and the application form on GOV.UK

Payment for major works

We will send you a separate invoice after the work is completed.

We have different payment options to help you spread the cost of major works.

We offer a 2.5% prompt payment discount if you pay your invoice within 30 days.

If you can only afford to pay part of your invoice in 30 days, you can still receive 2.5% discount on the part you have paid. You can pay the remaining balance using one of the other options.

Other payment options are:

  • 10 month interest free payments (complete the Direct Debit form)
  • interest free loan up to a maximum term of 5 years, secured on the property by mortgage (only open to leaseholders who live in the property that they have a lease for)
  • mandatory council loan (contact us to see if you’re eligible)
  • discretionary loan (where the cost is more than £500.00 and you do not meet the mandatory loan criteria)
  • voluntary charge (open to leaseholders who are in financial hardship)

Contact information

Home Ownership
Harlow Council
Civic Centre
The Water Gardens
College Square
Harlow CM20 1WG