LEASE_Svc_Chgs_PP_2_ILA - Islington Leaseholders Association

Service Charges and
Ground Rent
Christopher Last and
Nadeem Hussain
Leasehold Advisory Service
Key statutes
• Landlord and Tenant Act 1985,
• Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
• Housing Act 1996
• Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002
Provision of information
• The tenant should be provided with an address for service
of notices including notices in proceedings
• Section 48 LTA 1987
• Any demand for service charges should contain the
landlord’s name and address
• Section 47 LTA 1987
• Beitov Properties Limited v.Elliston Bentley Martin[2012]
UKUT 133 (LC)
• Address of agent not sufficient
• Payment not due until compliance with Sections 47 and
Ground rent – Some housekeeping
• Section 48 of LTA 1987
• Section 166 of the 2002 Act
• Ground rent not payable under long lease unless leaseholder given
a notice in the prescribed form
• Landlord and Tenant(Notice of Rent)(England)
Regulations 2004/3096
• Landlord and Tenant (Notice of Rent)(Wales)Regulations
• 2005/1355
What’s in the prescribed notice of
ground rent?
• Amount of ground rent due
• Date it should be paid
• Not less than 30 days or more than 60 days after day on which
notice given
• Name of leaseholder
• Period covered by demand
• Details of to whom money should be paid
• Summary information relating to Section 167 of 2002 Act
• Landlord barred from forfeiting for ground rent unless sums owed
exceed £350 or have been outstanding for more than three years
• Note different summary information in England and Wales
Service charges – what’s in the
• Advance payments?
• And when due?
• Certification?
• And by whom ?
• Audited accounts required ?
• When do final accounts have to be sent out?
• Leonora Investment Co.Ltd.v.Mott Macdonald Ltd.[2008]
EWCA Civ 857
• “The leases prescribe the contractual route down which the
landlord must travel to be entitled to payment.”
What is a service charge?
• An amount payable by a tenant as part of or in addition to
the rent which is
• Payable directly or indirectly for services, repairs, maintenance,
improvements or insurance or the landlord’s costs of management,
• The whole or part of which varies or may vary according to relevant
• Section 18(1) LTA 1985
Service charge demands
• Sections 47 and 48 LTA 1987
• Section 21B LTA 1985 introduced by the 2002 Act
• Landlord must provide with each service charge demand
a summary of rights and obligations
• Prescribed content
• Printed or typewritten in a font no smaller than 10 point
• Non-compliance means right to withhold payment and the
terms in the lease for enforcement such as interest do not
apply until summary served
Summary of rights and obligations
• Summary of Rights and Obligations,and Transitional
Provisions (England) Regulations 2007/1257
• Summary of Rights and Obligations,and Transitional
Provisions (Wales) Regulations 2007/3160
• Amourgam v.Valepark Properties Ltd [2011] UKUT
• Section 21B applies where costs incurred on or after 1st October
• Tingdene Holiday Parks Ltd v Cox and others[2011]
UKUT 310(LC)
• Section 21B information must accompany the demands and not be
a copy of the relevant statutory instrument
Consultation for major works
• Section 20 LTA 1985
• As amended by Section 151 of the 2002 Act
• Provision of information and costs to tenants
• Requirement to seek views and nomination of contractors
before proceeding
• No right of recovery beyond costs limit if work started
before completion of process
Consultation for major works
• £250 limit
• Three-stage process
• 30 day periods for response
• Seeking dispensation order from the leasehold valuation
Consents for dispensations
• Section 20ZA(i) LTA 1985
• Jurisdiction of the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (“LVT”)
• Urgent works
• Advance applications
• Impracticality of obtaining more than one estimate, etc
• Daejan v Benson
• Court of Appeal decision of 28th January 2011 going to the
Supreme Court in December 2012
• Guidelines
Demands must be within time
Section 20B LTA 1985
• Costs cannot be recovered if incurred 18 months before
demand for payment
• Unless notice served within 18 months then costs incurred and
will be payable
• London Borough of Brent v.Shulem B Association Limited
[2011] EWHC 1663 (Ch)
• Demand for payment must be in accordance with the terms of the
• OM Property Management Limited v.Burr [2012] UKUT 2(LC)
• When are costs incurred?
• Date of bill or date of payment?
NB Limitation Act 1980 - reserved as rent?
Service charges – they must be
• Section 19 LTA 1985
• Relevant costs shall be taken into account in determining
the amount of a service charge payable for a period
• Only to the extent that they are reasonably incurred, and
• Where they are incurred on the provision of services or the carrying
out of works, only if the services or works are of a reasonable
Recovering ground rent
• Check what the lease says
• Check compliance with Section 48 LTA 1987 and Section
166 of the 2002 Act
• Chasewood Park Residents Ltd.v.Kim [2010] EWHC 579
• Landlord must plead and prove compliance with Section 166.
Recovering service charges
• Check compliance with Sections 47 and 48 LTA 1987
• Check summary of rights and obligations accompanies
the service charge demand
• In time?
• Section 20B of the LTA 1985
• Proper consultation under Section 20 of the LTA 1985
Recovering service charges – LVT
• Section 27A of the LTA 1985
• Leasehold Valuation Tribunals (Procedure) (England) Regulations
• Leasehold Valuation Tribunals (Procedure)(Wales)Regulations
• Freeholder or lessee can seek ruling on payability or
reasonableness of service charges both past and
• Download application form
• Appeal lies to Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) with
leave of the LVT and/or the Upper Tribunal
Forfeiture of lease-service charges
• Section 81 of the Housing Act 1996
• Cannot forfeit unless
• Admission that service charges are payable
• Final determination of payability by LVT, court or arbitral tribunal
• Section 146 notice served where not reserved as rent
• Service not less than 14 days after final determination under
• Is a default judgment in county court such a final
• Yes - Church Commissioners for England v.Koyale Enterprises
Limited and another 2011 in the Central London County Court
Southall Court ( Residents) Limited v
Tiwari & Others [2011] UKUT 218 (LC)
“It is strongly to be hoped that any future disagreements
about service charges payable will be resolved by
negotiation rather than litigation, if necessary with the
assistance of mediation. For all landlords and tenants,
recourse to courts or tribunals should be a last resort and
certainly not an inevitability.”
• Alternative Dispute Resolution including mediation
The Leasehold Advisory Service
020 7383 9800
[email protected]
Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road
London W1T 7BN

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