The law provides that a leaseholder has the right to seek a summary of service charge accounts at the end of the year.
The landlord must set out the costs in a way which shows how they have been demanded or if not demanded yet how will these costs will be reflected in future demands for service charges.
The summary should show;
- any items for which the landlord did not receive a demand for payment during the accounting period
- these will be bills that were paid by the landlord within the accounting period but accrued before the accounting period began;
- any items for which a demand was received and for which no payment was made during the accounting period;
- this requires the landlord to outline any bills which remain unpaid at the end of the accounting period;
- any items for which a demand was received and for which payment was made during the accounting period;
- this requires the landlord to outline bills which accrued and were paid during the accounting period;
- whether any of the costs relate to works for which an improvement grant has been or is to be paid; and
- to specify the aggregate of the amounts received by the landlord down to the end of the accounting period and still stand to the credit of the leaseholders;
- these would be any interim service charges paid by the leaseholders to the landlord by the end of the accounting period in respect of the service charges costs for that year.
If the landlord fails to provide this information within the time limits, without an excuse, they will be committing an offence, which is punishable by a fine.
More information you might find useful:
- Service Charges and other issues: Summary of service charges accounts
- Resolutions for service charge disputes
- More Frequently Asked Questions on Service Charges
- Download a template for the leaseholder’s request for written summary of relevant costs incurred under section 21 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
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