Q&As

A landlord of a residential property proposes to charge the service charge on demand, as and when required, rather than the usual process of providing an annual estimate, requesting bi-annual payments on account, with a balancing payment at the end of the year. Is this allowed?

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Published on LexisPSL on 13/04/2015

The following Property Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A landlord of a residential property proposes to charge the service charge on demand, as and when required, rather than the usual process of providing an annual estimate, requesting bi-annual payments on account, with a balancing payment at the end of the year. Is this allowed?
  • Statutory consultation procedure
  • Code of Practice (Residential Management) (Service Charges) (England) Order 2009

The statutory provisions found in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (LTA 1985) regulating service charges apply to all dwellings and cover all residential leases, except where LTA 1985, s 26 applies. Section 26 provides for an exception in the case of tenants of certain public authorities.

Under LTA 1985 a tenant may be entitled to withhold payment of service charge if any one of the following applies:

  1. demand for payment was not made within 18 months of the relevant costs being incurred and the tenant had not been notified within that period that he would be liable to contribute to them

  2. the demand was not accompanied by a summary of the tenant's rights and obligations in relation to service charge

  3. the landlord has failed to supply the tenant with a statement of account in writing for each service charge accounting

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