Service charge accounts
An interview with Andrew Bond, partner at Smith & Williamson. Andrew's work covers a range of assurance related issues such...
As a leaseholder you are always responsible for paying your ground rent and service charges when they are properly demanded and in accordance with the terms of your lease, and in the case of service charges, where they are ‘reasonable’ as defined by the law. With that said, several landlords and property managers are recognising that leaseholders are experiencing financial difficulties right now and they may be prepared to make alternative arrangements such as deferring payments (paying at a later date) or setting up a payment plan (to make smaller regular payments rather than a lump sum).
If you are worried about not being able to pay your ground rent or service charges, you should contact your landlord or property manager as soon as possible to talk through the options available. It is important to ensure that you otherwise keep up with your payments as you could otherwise be in breach of your lease, which could lead to costs and interest being added to your account. If you dispute the reasonableness of the charges or think you might want to dispute them in the future, you may wish to take advice before agreeing any payment plan in order to ensure that your rights are protected.