Contact specialist property disputes solicitor, Mike Hansom on 01225 462871. Alternatively, you can email him or complete the Contact Form at the foot of this page.
Service charges are payable by tenants to landlords for services that the landlord is obliged to provide under the terms of the lease. Typically, they cover such things as maintenance and repair costs, building insurance and management costs.
Details of service charges are set out in the lease, and its wording will define what is and what is not recoverable from the tenant. Unlike in residential property leases, there are no terms implied that the service charges must be ‘reasonable’, nor statutory consultation procedures for major works.
“Mike Hansom was brilliant…I must thank BLB for the work you have done. Very much obliged.” SC, September 2019
Where a landlord or tenant stands in a service charge disagreement will largely depend on the wording of the lease. Often the tenant is required to pay a sum in advance following preparation of the landlord’s estimate, with a balancing payment being demanded at the end of the accounting year if the actual expenditure exceeds the estimate.
Typical disputes revolve around allegations of:
- failure to follow the procedures set out in the lease;
- charges levied to pay for services not covered by the lease;
- substandard maintenance and repair work;
- interruption to the tenant’s business by landlord’s works.
“I am thrilled to inform you Mike that the money was received by the deadline. May I convey my very many thanks for everything you have all done to bring this unfortunate situation to a close.” AS, February 2018
Whether you are a landlord or tenant, a service charge dispute is likely to be unwelcome. We can advise where you stand legally, and devise the best course of action based on your needs and objectives.