NOTE: The ‘Section 20 Dispensation’ process has now been completed to the satisfaction of the Tribunal.
Note: Our consultation on Section 20 Dispensation has now ended, with the deadline for Stage 3 submissions elapsed.
Details of stage 1 and stage 2 are also available on our website.
Documents sent in evidence to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS), 31st Sept 2019
Following the final stage of consultation for Section 20 Dispensation, Incommuniites sent the following documents in evidence of the process we had undertaken. Please follow the links to view the relevant paperwork:
Stage 1 letter to Incommunities leaseholders - example
Stage 1 letter to Sadeh Lok tenants - example
Stage 2 letter to Incommunities leaseholders - example
Stage 3 letter to Sadeh Lok tenants - example
Stage 3 letter to Incommunities leaseholders - example
Stage 3 letter to Sadeh Lok tenants - example
HMCTS reply form posted with all Stage 3 letters
Summary of responses from customers at each stage
Objections and enquiries at Stage 3 - summary table
Voicemail enquiries & responses at Stage 3 - summary table
All Staff Briefing Sheet
Guide, glossary and FAQs to Section 20 Dispensation - publicly available
Covering letter to HM Courts & Tribunals Service
Summary of Responses to Stage 1 Consultation
The first Section 20 consultation period ran from 18th February 2019 to 22nd March 2019.
During this period we received three written enquiries, two of which were regarding property repairs and not relevant to the consultation.
The third query was regarding a concern around having to pay a new service charge. This was a misunderstanding, as the section 20 process only relates to existing service charges. The section 20 consultation process does not include any new service charge provision.
Summary of Responses to Stage 2 Consultation
The second Section 20 consultation period ran from 23rd April to 24th May 2019.
During this period we received the following enquiries –
- Three emails and six phone calls were answered to explain the Section 20 Dispensation process and describe the customers’ service charges.
- Five letters request clarification or seeking clarification. They were all responded to with relevant information.
- One customer requested that, at tendering, we consider electricity providers which invest in renewables. He was told this would be taken into consideration at the time and a discussion has been held with our utilities agent to this effect.
Summary of Responses to Stage 3 Consultation
The third Section 20 consultation period ran from 2nd September to 16th September 2019.
This stage invited objections to the process outlined to customers. A Reply Form provided by HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) was included with all letters, inviting customers to reply to both Incommunities and HMCTS with details of their objection and supporting information.
During this period Incommunities and HMCTS received a total of 23 Reply Forms without written enquiries, none of which lodged objections to the Section 20 Dispensation process in the prescribed way. Two emails were received, and one customer visited the Quays, all of which were questioning the service charge being levied or asking for clarity. One objection was lodged in writing but this related to a planning application. None objected to the Section 20 Dispensation process.
51 phone messages were left using an automated voicemail system, all of which were responded to by 19th September. None objected to the Section 20 Dispensation process.
Section 20 Dispensation, Consultation Stage 3
Incommunities Group (including Sadeh Lok) wrote to all customers who pay a service charge for a shared or ‘communal landlord supply’ of electricity on 18th February and 24th April 2019. These letters explain our intention to apply to HM Court and Tribunal Service (Property Chamber) for a ‘Section 20 Dispensation’ from the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
The opportunity was also given for customers to submit any comment about this proposal over two 30-day consultation periods. If you missed our letters or have only recently moved into a property where you are required to pay a service charge, you may not have received this information. To find our more please see the pages for Stage 1
and Stage 2
consultation information. Please note, these two initial consultation periods have ended.
If you are an Incommunities or Sadeh Lok customer (tenant or leasehold) and you pay a service charge for shared electricity supplies, you will receive a letter about Stage 3 of the section 20 Dispensation process. Please note, a shared electricity supply includes, for example, power to lifts, indoor or outdoor lighting, shared heating & facilities, alarms and door entry systems.
Consultation Stage 3: Notification of Application and Right to Oppose
Incommunities Group Ltd has applied to the HM Court & Tribunal Service (Property Chamber) to seek a 'Section 20 Dispensation'. This would allow us to enter into longer-term, better value supply agreements with an electricity supplier for shared electricity supplies. We believe it’s necessary to secure value for money and to help protect our customers from rising energy prices that may affect service charges.
A copy of our application can be found here
and details of progress with this application will be uploaded to this website. We will also publish the Tribunal final decision on our application when this is received.
This process does not include or affect your personal domestic electricity supply.
If you have any objections to this process, you must use the official form included with the letter and return this by Monday 16th September 2019
. You can also download the official form for printing here
. A copy of your objection form, along with a supporting statement and any relevant evidence should be sent to both ourselves and the HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
Incommunites and Sadeh Lok - Please address your envelope with;
(Please note: No stamp required when sending your reply and do not include any other address details).
HM Courts and Tribunals Service:
First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) Residential Property/Agricultural Land & Drainage Tribunals HMCTS,
1st Floor, Piccadilly Exchange,
2 Piccadilly Plaza,
Due to the value of future electricity contracts, Incommunities customers have not been invited to propose their own preferred supplier.