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How can I find out what my service charge is being used for?

Under Sections 21 and 22 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (LTA 1985) you have the right to request a summary of the service charge account and to inspect receipts, accounts etc in relation to the last accounting year, or where accounts are not kept by accounting years, the past 12 months preceding the request.

You need to write to your landlord or managing agent and request a summary under Section 21 LTA 1985. The summary should be provided within one month of your request (or within six months of the end of the accounting period whichever is the later) and should be certified by a qualified accountant if there are more than four dwellings.

Download a template for a leaseholder’s request for written summary of relevant costs incurred under section 21 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985

Once you have received the summary, you have the right under Section 22 of the LTA 1985 to inspect documents as a follow-up to provide more detail on the summary. Within six months of receipt of the summary you may write to the landlord or managing agent requiring them to allow you access to inspect the accounts, receipts and any other documents relevant to the service charge information in the summary and to provide facilities for them to be copied. Facilities for inspecting the documents should be provided within one month of your request and should be available for two months.

You may have additional rights to information under the terms of your lease and other legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act.

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