The following Property Disputes Q&A produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
A residential lease, if properly drafted, will usually contain provisions enabling the landlord to recover from the tenant legal costs incurred in enforcing any covenant contained in the lease, such as a failure to pay service charges, or arising out of an action for forfeiture. The question of how these costs are recoverable is likely to depend upon a number of factors.
Legal costs can, depending on the wording of the lease, amount to a ‘cost of management’, thus falling within the definition of a service charge in section 18(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985: Iperion Investments v Broadwalk House Residents. However, if these costs form part of the service charge, they are subject to the requirement for reasonableness and are therefore open to challenge at the First-tier Property Tribunal. It is necessary to consider the construction of the clause in the lease: Arnold v Britton, as th
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