Service Charge Disputes
Service charges are variable charges payable directly or indirectly for services, repairs, maintenance, improvements or insurance, or the landlord’s costs of management in respect of a dwelling.
A landlord must provide certain information and documents when s/he makes a demand for service charges. Below are the contents that must be provided to the tenant:
- Name and address
- Notice of tenant’s rights
- Compliance with the lease.
Unfortunately, tenants who are liable to service charges are often in disagreement in the amount or the associated costs in a services charge and this can lead to a service charge dispute between tenants and landlords.
Contact our Litigation Solicitors:
If you would like to enquire for any matters regarding service charge disputes please complete our online contact form here or send an email to us at [email protected] and one of our solicitors shall call you back.
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Under Sections 21 and 22 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (LTA 1985) you have the right to request a summary of the service charge account and to inspect receipts, accounts etc in relation to the last accounting year, or where accounts are not kept by accounting years, the past 12 months preceding the request.
Leaseholders have a right to challenge their service charge if they are not happy with it. This right is afforded by Section 27A(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. This allows a Tribunal to determine whether a Service Charge is payable, who it is payable by and to, how much is payable, when it is payable and how it is payable.
A request for payment of service charges must be made in writing and feature the name and address of the landlord, or a management company that is named on the lease and should receive direct payment. If sums are owed retrospectively for works, an 18-month time limit applies within which the making of the expense. If the tenant is not given notice that payment is due within this period, the landlord cannot recover.
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