However, in October 2014, the Court of Appeal overturned this decision, so that the re-establishment of the „sets“ approach, i.e. the Section 20 consultation, should apply to individual series of qualified works without reference to periods or years of service charges. The definition also includes „senior landlords,“ so that expenses provided by the entire free owner of a mixed residential and commercial development, to which tenants are required to make contributions (directly or indirectly) through their leases, are subject to consultation when the qualification criteria are met. The main learning point in this case is to consider the minimum duration of an agreement to determine whether it is a qualified long-term agreement within the meaning of the 1985 Act. The duration must be less than 12 months and the agreement should not be expected to be extended beyond this period. If they wish to waive the consulting obligations, owners must ensure that agreements of less than 12 months are concluded. If an ongoing contract is to be concluded, the termination provisions must be carefully developed so that the contract can be terminated within 12 months. First, there are a considerable number of administrative agreements (or, at the very least, included – there may have been a frantic haste to change the wording of existing administrative agreements or to conclude new administrative arrangements), similar provisions regarding the duration of the agreement. There is therefore a good chance that there will be a whole series of management agreements that were assumed to not be QLTAs at the time of their creation, but were in fact QLTAs. The consequences are explained below.
A tenant should also check whether a qualified long-term agreement is a very good way to manage their building or land. Just because the law allows for long-term agreements does not mean that they are a good idea. There are also a whole series of other mistakes renters make. For example, estimates before the first phase of the consultation process (not after) should be consulted or the true nature of the proposed agreements should not be described in the notices. You cannot be said to have consulted someone if you did not tell them what you were doing. The Court of Appeal also gave guidance on the factors to be considered in determining a single set of qualified work. This is a question of fact and degree, and all relevant circumstances should be taken into account.