Service Charge Dispute - questions in Residential and Commercial lettings/Freehold issues Posted July 19, 2020 Good afternoon, I hope you are well and staying safe. I am currently in the middle of a long and exhausting conversation with my landlord (I rent a flat), regarding service charges, and have some preliminary questions - I am hoping someone is able to give me some advice: 1. The contract does not have a specific are re the lease, it has a (glued on) list of line items, and amounts, and then sections below stating accountant's certificates are needed and some other terms re the service charge. Does the fact the line items have been glued on have an effect of the validity of the contract? Under the section that says "Service Charge" a separate piece of paper has been glued on with the table of line items, and the costs to pay for that period. No accountant's certificate has ever been provided - including after section 21 requests - does this make the demands invalid? The contract does not split each line item in to what can and cannot be claimed; it is simply a glued on table, with amounts for that particular accounting period. 2. Caretaker's salaries are included, but there is nothing in the accounts to show how much is paid out The salaries cover tall caretakers across the whole business and all properties (spread out across the flats) As the amounts cannot be evidenced, does this have an impact on the validity of the charges? 3. Charges have been included for live-in caretakers rent, council tax and water As my block does not have a live-in caretaker, am I liable to pay towards these? 4. Management Charge The landlord has no separate management company, however charges a standard 10%, however this is not in the accounts and they cannot provide evidence of costs incurred. Am I liable to pay this if they cannot evidence - it works out to almost £500,000 a year across al flats, which I feel is excessive for the list of items they have told me if covers, especially as most of them are standard parts of their business. 5. A previous first tier tribunal claim was made for something not directly related to my issues, however, the ruling mentioned the landlord provided no evidence of the caretaking salaries, so they used assumptions with their calculations - these calculations are obvious out of date and a lot lower than they are using for mine. The landlord has advised the tribunal used incorrect figures, but I have pointed out the decision was not appealed, and therefore stands. I know first tier rulings do not set precedents, so I was wondering how this effects the fact that no evidence of the caretaking salaries was produced at that hearing?