Can I challenge service charges?
If you pay service charges that are variable and consider that you should not have to pay for an item, that the quality of work is inadequate, or that a charge is not reasonable, then you may have the right to challenge that part of your service charge at a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT). You can also seek a determination on works or services that are proposed in the future.
When am I not allowed to apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal LVT?
No application may be made to a LVT if:
- the service charges have previously been agreed or admitted by the leaseholder
- the service charge has been determined by a court or an arbitral tribunal where agreement to go to arbitration has been reached after a particular dispute has arisen
- the matter has been the subject of determination by an arbitral tribunal where agreement to go to arbitration was reached after a particular dispute has arisen.
However, the tenant is not to be taken as having agreed or admitted any matter solely because they have made a payment. Consideration should be given to seeking independent legal advice in cases where payment has been made.
we can, of course, first check your lease to see if your landlord can charge for all the services billed. You should then discuss the problem with your landlord, as you may be able to negotiate a reduction or an improved service.
For further information and advice concerning service charge disputes please contact our leasehold conveyancing team who can put you in touch with our service charge specialist.