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How can I challenge my landlord’s administration fees?

Many leases allow the landlord to claim an administration charge – for example, for providing information about subletting a property.  

If you are uncertain about an administration charge, ask your landlord to highlight the clause in the lease which allows them to charge this. . 

If the lease has such a clause, it should also tell you whether the charge is variable or fixed.  

Challenging a variable charge 

If the charge is variable, you may apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), or the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal if the property is in Wales, for a determination as to whether the amount charged is reasonable and whether you are required to pay it. 

Challenging a fixed charge 

If the charge is fixed by the lease or a formula in the lease, you may apply to the tribunal to vary the lease, on the grounds that the charge or formula is unreasonable. If you are successful, the tribunal may make an order to vary the lease to a reasonable charge or formula, either as requested by you or as it finds appropriate. 

When you cannot apply 

Please note that you cannot apply to the tribunal if you have agreed or admitted the administration charges, or the case is under arbitration or another court or tribunal has decided on the issue already. 

Other ways to settle a dispute 

You do not have to go to tribunal to settle your dispute about an administration charge. Sometimes you may be able to come to an informal agreement with the landlord about what a reasonable charge would be. 

You could also try mediation through an impartial third party to help you reach an agreement. 

Going to tribunal is a last resort, for which you should get legal advice.

More information you might find useful:

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LEASE is governed by a board, appointed as individuals by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.