Jump to content


style="text-align: center;">  

Thread Locked

because no one has posted on it for the last 3681 days.

If you need to add something to this thread then

 

Please click the "Report " link

 

at the bottom of one of the posts.

 

If you want to post a new story then

Please

Start your own new thread

That way you will attract more attention to your story and get more visitors and more help 

 

Thanks

Recommended Posts

Please could someone give me some guidance

 

I own a flat and the maintenace company s charges are so high and they keep on adding surcharges for non payment, is there a body that i can contact to see if the charges they are leving are fair.

 

many Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there.

 

I assume that you own the flat and that it is leasehold, you are the leasehol;der and you have been sent these charges (refered to as Service Charges) by the freehold/landlord or perhaps a management company (normally acting on his behalf).

 

Service Charges are amounts payable as per the terms of your lease, you only have to pay for items listed within the lease, unfortunatly many leases are very old or are written in legalese and hard to understand.

 

Your first steps are:=-

 

1. Read your lease and 'try' to have a good understanding of it.

 

2. Visit Leasehold Advisory Service Site (http://www.lease-advice.org/), they offer easy to understand advice and can be contacted via phone/email/visit.

 

3. Most of the relevant laws about this are S18-30 of The Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70) have a quick read.

 

4. If you dispute certain items in the service charge you can apply to the LVT for a decision, they have the power to stop the freeholder charging for amounts or reduce them, see (http://www.rpts.gov.uk/)

 

What items are you disputing ?

 

There are many laws for the freeholder to comply with reagrding demands for ground rent and service charges and it is easy for them to mess up and not comply, you can then legally withold payment.

 

As for 'surcharges' these are known as admistration charges and unless the lease allows them, they may be unpayable or in any event a LVt may reduce them (I for example had a freeholder charging me £75 and £130 for simple letters, the LVT reduced these to £25).

 

Perhaps you could scan (as pdf) the demands sent to you and I could have a quick look to see if there are any problems with them .

 

Andy

Link to post
Share on other sites

You say that "they keep on adding surcharges for non payment"

 

Is it that you are paying late, if so, why?

 

Or is that you are not paying at all? If so, what is the sum due and over what period of time does it relate?

 

Also, how long have you lived there, or do you sublet, and what has your track record of payment been like in your time there?

As for me, happy to help out. I am not a Landlord, but I have been in the past. I am not an Agent, but I have been in the past. I am, therefore, a has been, so always seek independent and suitably qualified advice elsewhere before relying upon whatever has been posted here :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Dear Andy

 

I made an application to the LVT and in the directions they have asked me to give a detailed summary of my claims by the 19 April 2011, i haven't got aclue what to do, i did approach the law scholl but they were unable to help.

 

I would be grateful if you could assist me to draft the detailed summary.

 

many thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. I can try to help, can you break down the maintenance charges ? Which ones do you think are high ?

 

You will need to scan your lease and the demands for payments. Ill PM you my email addy so you can send them.

 

Andy

Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion, a service charge dispute is not a suitable topic for attempting to resolve on a self-help forum such as this.

 

Such disputes involve a frightening degree of legal complexity; so much so that, in my experience, only a Solicitor can possibly win such a case. You are evidently baffled even by a simple request to particularise your claim.

 

Sorry to disagree Andy, but much more law is involved than just the 1985 Act. Have you looked at some of the reported decisions on the lease-advice.org website? Try table #6 - http://www.lease-advice.org/lvtdecisions/tables.asp?table=6 - dealing with breaches of the lease. Remember to open the hidden columns with the red link on their page.

 

 

Read this thread: General guidance relating to service charge disputes

 

Read this thread: Building works

 

Basically, you would have to be refusing to pay the service charge item in dispute on one of the legal grounds mentioned in those threads.

Edited by Ed999

Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

If you've found my suggestions useful, please click on my star and add a comment

Link to post
Share on other sites
In my opinion, a service charge dispute is not a suitable topic for attempting to resolve on a self-help forum such as this.

 

Such disputes involve a frightening degree of legal complexity; so much so that, in my experience, only a Solicitor can possibly win such a case. You are evidently baffled even by a simple request to particularise your claim.

 

Sorry to disagree Andy, but much more law is involved than just the 1985 Act. Have you looked at some of the reported decisions on the lease-advice.org website? Try table #6 - http://www.lease-advice.org/lvtdecisions/tables.asp?table=6 - dealing with breaches of the lease. Remember to open the hidden columns with the red link on their page.

 

 

Read this thread: General guidance relating to service charge disputes

 

Read this thread: Building works

 

Basically, you would have to be refusing to pay the service charge item in dispute on one of the legal grounds mentioned in those threads.

 

On the contary, the LVT was designed as a low cost, informal, simple® system suitable for litigants-in-person, I know in practise it doesnt quite work out like that but it is supposed to be. Yes, I always read through the latest LVT decisions, (incidently your link goes to the Breaches of Lease section, it would be better to view the LTA 1985/1987 section), claiming only those represented by a solicitor win is simply untrue, you will find that many tenants do represent themselves and the Tribunal often (but not always) do realise this and help them if possible.

 

Certainly it isnt easy and does involve a lot of hard work and research, but it can be worth it, I was mostly succesful in my application and have various amounts refunded to me.

 

Whilst there are other bits of law that affect it, the majority of laws will be found within the Landlord & Tenant Act, plus the changes/additions made by The Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002.

 

Of more importance than the law is the wording of the lease, very often though, disputes are as a result of vague wording and it often takes a LVT to finally decide on any vagueries, as in my case.

 

This site is all about self-help and whilst in an ideal world we would all have a solicitor, vgery often people just cant afford it, especially in cases such as LVT ones where the cost of a solicitor would often outweigh any gains made.

 

Yes, Id already read the above links, the first one is a good run through of the various laws and rights, although I would recommend the Leasehold Advisory Site as the first port of call as they explain th8ings well, the 2nd link whilst good deals with building works and the S20 process which I dont t5hink applies to the OP.

 

Andy

Edited by andydd
Link to post
Share on other sites

No, he wasn't asking about building works; but I always include both links, because problems over service charges often do concern building works, and other tenants than just the o/p will read this.

 

In practice, the landlord will almost ALWAYS be legally represented at the Tribunal, so an unrepresented tenant is at a huge disadvantage from the first.

 

 

the LVT was designed as a low cost, informal, simple® system suitable for litigants-in-person, I know in practise it doesnt quite work out like that but it is supposed to be.

 

On that much, at least, we agree.

 

I am old enough to remember that when the County Courts were introduced, exactly the same was said. And the same was said of the first Industrial Tribunals. Now the same lie is being perpetuated in regard to Leasehold Tribunals.

Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

If you've found my suggestions useful, please click on my star and add a comment

Link to post
Share on other sites
No, he wasn't asking about building works; but I always include both links, because problems over service charges often do concern building works, and other tenants than just the o/p will read this.

 

In practice, the landlord will almost ALWAYS be legally represented at the Tribunal, so an unrepresented tenant is at a huge disadvantage from the first.

 

 

 

 

On that much, at least, we agree.

 

I am old enough to remember that when the County Courts were introduced, exactly the same was said. And the same was said of the first Industrial Tribunals. Now the same lie is being perpetuated in regard to Leasehold Tribunals.

 

But the fact that the landlord has representattion doesn't mean that he is any good, a quick read through LVT results and you will see that very often (in fact probably the majority of the time), the tenant wins, it is very common for landlords to be represented by a solicitor who is rather clueless in service charge issues, for example my landlord hires a local surveyor to represent him at LVT's, this surveyor likes to think of himself as a bit of an expert but he isnt....every demand my landlord has sent to me (and I believe thousands of others) is invalid, only due to a small technicality, but enough to make it non payable, neither he, his solicitor or his so called expert have picked up on it yet....at a recent court date I offered to tell him why but he stormed off.

 

In my opinion the greatest worry with LVT's is the inconsistency of decisions, they vary widely and very often the tenant has little clue as to whichg way the LVT hearing their case will go..in my case I often plenty of previous LVT examples but the LVT choose to ignore them and actually made a point of putting in writing that they are not bound by them, which is true, but it makes it difficult for the tenant.

 

So LVT';s are here so we have to try and work with them, personally I'm of the opinion that if you think you are being vastly overcharged you should make an application, there are many sources of free help..the Lease Advisory Service being one.

 

Andy

Link to post
Share on other sites

You are overlooking a vastly important point!

 

Nearly all service charge clauses contain a provision for the tenant to pay all legal fees incurred by the landlord. All it needs is the lease to contain the magic word 'solicitor' or the magic words 'legal fees', and the tenant will incur that liability.

 

If the tenant disputes the service charge, and loses, he is going to be faced with a mountainous legal bill - thousands of pounds, perhaps - even though he had no solicitor himself.

 

If he wins, the Tribunal can make an order on request, banning the landlord from adding legal fees of the case to the service charge; but the tenant's prospects of winning are rarely better than 50/50, because the Tribunals are bloody useless - full of cretins who are incapable of grasping the notion that similar fact cases should be decided consistently with each other.

Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

If you've found my suggestions useful, please click on my star and add a comment

Link to post
Share on other sites
You are overlooking a vastly important point!

 

Nearly all service charge clauses contain a provision for the tenant to pay all legal fees incurred by the landlord. All it needs is the lease to contain the magic word 'solicitor' or the magic words 'legal fees', and the tenant will incur that liability.

 

If the tenant disputes the service charge, and loses, he is going to be faced with a mountainous legal bill - thousands of pounds, perhaps - even though he had no solicitor himself.

 

If he wins, the Tribunal can make an order on request, banning the landlord from adding legal fees of the case to the service charge; but the tenant's prospects of winning are rarely better than 50/50, because the Tribunals are bloody useless - full of cretins who are incapable of grasping the notion that similar fact cases should be decided consistently with each other.

 

Not mine :).....although I did apply for a S20C order which the LVT granted anyway. Of course whether a S20C is granted is all down to how succesful the tenant has been (they dont have to be 100% succesful), reading through LVT decisions, they often are granted if the tenant has been succesful in getting at least some amounts reduced or judged not recoverable, but yes, it can be a bit of risk, incidently it can then start to get a bit strange, i.e. one tenant goes to an LVT, a S20C is not granted and the legal costs are added to the service charge but it is added the the service charge as a whole, so all the tenants pay a share which may or may not be a large amount depending on how many flats there are.

 

Andy

Edited by andydd
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it can lead to a lot of bad feeling, because if one tenant in a block sues the landlord - or is sued by the landlord - and the tenant loses the case, or partly loses the case, all of the landlord's legal fees will be added to the service charge for that period, and so will fall on all the tenants in the block - even those who were not at fault, or who had no interest at stake in the court action.

 

The tenant in question can find his popularity fall rapidly, and all the other tenants may end up ganging-up on him.

Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

If you've found my suggestions useful, please click on my star and add a comment

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...