Q&As

Where a landlord of a commercial property firstly fails to demand payment of service charge for a number of years and secondly fails to issue service charge certificates at the end of each year in accordance with the terms of the lease, will the landlord be precluded from recovering the service charge?

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Published on LexisPSL on 07/06/2018

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

  • Where a landlord of a commercial property firstly fails to demand payment of service charge for a number of years and secondly fails to issue service charge certificates at the end of each year in accordance with the terms of the lease, will the landlord be precluded from recovering the service charge?

This Q&A arises in the context of a commercial lease so that the various statutory requirements which must be met when claiming service charges of residential premises and the restrictions upon what may be claimed do not apply.

In respect of the first issue, a service charge will usually only arise in the context of a long lease. It will likely therefore have been granted by deed (as required by sections 52(1), (2) and 54(2) of the Law of Property Act 1925 in the case of leases for longer than three years). If the service charge is payable under a deed, then a claim for its recovery will be a claim under a specialty and subject therefore to a 12–year limitation period (section 8(1) of the Limitation Act 1980 (LA 1980)). Where however, the service charge is reserved as rent, then the limitation period is six years. The shorter period in respect of a claim for rent applies, notwithstanding that arises under a deed.

In each case, however, LA 1980 places a bar upon th

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