610. Service charges and the Rent Act 1977 and Housing Act 1988.

Whether a service charge1 is contractually a rent or not, for the purposes of the Rent Act 1977 it is to be regarded as rent2. Special statutory provisions3, therefore, were needed to prevent escalations in service charges from bringing tenancies which would otherwise be tenancies at low rents into the protection of the 1977 Act, and thus inhibiting the charging of premiums (on the grant of a tenancy or its assignment, for example), whenever the total of the ground rent plus the service charge exceeded the low rent formula of that Act.

In respect of long tenancies4 only, for the