Service charges and other issues
A guide to service charges, administration charges, ground rent, recognised tenants associations and forfeiture.
Many leases may provide that the landlord can claim an administration charge such as fees for provision of information for subletting the property. It is worth asking the landlord in the first instance to highlight the clause in the lease which they think allows them to charge any administration charges.
If the lease has such a clause, you have two courses of remedy, depending on whether the charge is variable or fixed in the lease:
- if the charge is variable, you may make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), or the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal if the property is in Wales, to ask the Tribunal to decide whether the amount required is reasonable;
- if the charge is fixed by the lease or a formula in the lease, you may make an application to the Tribunal to vary the lease, on the grounds that the amount specified is unreasonable or that the formula is unreasonable. If you are successful and the Tribunal decides to vary the lease, it may make an order to vary the lease, ask the parties to do so and substitute the current amount in the lease with a reasonable amount or amend the formula, either as requested by you or as the Tribunal finds appropriate.
Please note that you cannot apply to the Tribunal to vary the lease if you have agreed or admitted the administration charges, or the case has been or will be referred to arbitration or another court has decided on the issue already.
More information you might find useful:
- Service Charges and other issues: Administration charges
- Application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)
- Application Form – Application for a determination as to liability to pay an administration charge or for the variation of a fixed administration charge
- I am in dispute with my landlord but I do not want to go to Court or Tribunal. Is there an alternative?
- More Frequently Asked Questions on Administration Charges
- Resolutions for service charge disputes
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