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Service Charge Disputes
If you are involved in a service charge dispute related to either commercial or residential premises, the specialist team at Blackstone Solicitors is here to help bring the dispute to a satisfactory close. We are able to act on behalf of either landlords or tenants, bringing our passion and efficiency to achieve a resolution as quickly as we can.
What are service charges?
Service charges enable landlords to recover the costs they incur when providing services to a property. The charges cover the costs of various matters, including:
- General maintenance
- Insurance of the building
Details regarding the organisation of service charges are set out in the tenant’s lease or tenancy agreement.
Acting for landlords
We have acted in service charge dispute cases for numerous landlords of retail units, often within a larger complex. As part of this work, we have advised landlords regarding their rights and obligations in relation to service charge disputes, and have successfully recovered outstanding service charges from tenants.
Acting for tenants
Whether you’re a residential leaseholder or a commercial tenant, service charges will be regularly demanded by your landlord. You may consider them too high, but challenging such charges can be complex and requires a detailed understanding of the subject. This is why it is imperative you seek expert legal advice to help you better navigate this often complicated area of law.
Legislation to regulate service charges and minimise related disputes has been in place for a considerable period of time. Please note that not all tenancies can rely on this legislation, and we would have to advise on your particular circumstances. However, some of the more important points relating to residential premises are:
- The cost of repairs and maintenance must be reasonably incurred and reasonable in amount
- A landlord must obtain estimates and consult with the tenants for works costing over £250
- A landlord will not be able to recover costs incurred more than 18 months ago if the tenant has not been notified of these costs
- As a tenant you are entitled to inspect documents supporting service charge accounts, provided a request is made within six months of receiving the summary of costs
- The service charges payable by a commercial tenant are dependent on the exact wording of the lease – we would be happy to review this for you, along with the annual service charge schedule
Get in touch
Contact the Blackstone team today to find out more about how we can help bring your dispute to a swift and satisfactory conclusion. Not only do we take on clients from the Manchester, Cheshire and Chester areas, we also help people from across the rest of the UK, including London, and even those living abroad. Call us on 0345 901 0445 or complete our online enquiry form to let us know you’d like to hear from us.