Victory for Halifax leaseholders after 10-year service charge dispute

Leasehold owners of 14 flats have spoken of their relief at winning a 10-year service charge dispute. The leaseholders were not conveyancing clients of the Fridaysmove Halifax Conveyancing team.

Leaseholders at Carlton Mill, Sowerby Bridge, took their managing agents to tribunal over their poor management  of the six-storey block of flats .

Structural repairs were outstanding and AVL Management Company said they did not have the tens of thousands of pounds to fund the works. The leaseholders also felt they were unfairly paying for service charges  that should have been contributed to by the commercial leaseholders, Calderdale Council.

Ernie Pickering, a resident who led the action, said: "It is a very intense process and there is a feeling of general relief now that it is over. We feel vindicated”.

The tribunal, held in Halifax, said: "This application would not have been necessary but for the failure of AVL to get to grips with the admittedly limping contractual arrangement that they willingly inherited. "

The tribunal also found the management services provided by AVL was at the "lower end" of what the residents should expect.

The tribunal recommended the 14 residential flats covered 58 per cent of service charge costs, with the council's contribution going towards the remaining 42 per cent. Residents will now meet the managing agents to discuss a way forward for all parties. This should bring an end to the service charge dispute.

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