Service charges can often be the cause of disputes between both landlords and leaseholders. In some cases, these disputes can prove to be incredibly disruptive, highlighting the importance of an efficient resolution.
At Preston Redman, our service charge dispute solicitors in Bournemouth can provide comprehensive legal advice to both landlords and tenants. We help to find amicable solutions that suit both parties and reduce the potential for further conflict, without the need for court proceedings wherever possible.
Our service charge dispute solicitors at Preston Redman regularly work with clients across Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset and other areas throughout the country. No matter your circumstances, our team will be able to accommodate you. We can advise you via phone, email and through videoconferencing software, in addition to in person where needed.
To speak to one of our friendly, highly experienced solicitors about service charge disputes in Bournemouth, please contact our Bournemouth office on 01202 292 424 or fill in our online enquiry form for a quick response.
How our service charge dispute solicitors in Bournemouth can help you
Service charge disputes for landlords
The costs of repairs and maintenance on a property can be significant, particularly those that are carried out as an emergency. These fees can be covered by the leaseholder under the terms of the lease. However, enforcing the contractual obligation for a leaseholder to pay a service charge can often prove challenging, especially where there are disagreements over the precise terms of the lease.
Our service charge dispute solicitors provide detailed legal advice to landlords and housing associations who are seeking to recover service charges. We can also advise on your contractual duties in relation to service charges, including reviewing any leases which are already in place, and help you to defend against applications which are made to the First-Tier Tribunal.
Service charge disputes for leaseholders
As a leaseholder, your landlord is required to follow strict service charge laws under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002. Where you believe that you have been overcharged for services or your landlord failed to follow the correct procedures when seeking service charge payments, you may be able to take action.
Our service charge dispute solicitors can advise you on your current situation, assessing whether you have been overcharged and whether the charges were reasonable in relation to the work rendered. We can then advise you on your options for seeking relief from unfair charges, which may include making an application to the First-Tier Tribunal.
Common questions about service charge disputes
What is a service charge?
A service charge is a fee that is payable to a landlord by the leaseholder. They relate to services a landlord is obliged to provide under the terms of the lease.
Service charges often include matters such as maintenance and repair of a property, and occasionally general improvement.
When is a service charge payable?
The lease should clearly stipulate when the service charge is payable. Typically, it will be payable yearly or twice a year at either the beginning of the calendar year, or the financial year.
Leases will often allow for a service charge to be payable in advance of a landlord incurring the costs. Leases may also allow for recovery in arrears.
Who pays for a service charge?
The lease will set out the way the service charge is organised. It may be the case that the landlord decides to pay the service charge, using the rent to cover the cost, or they choose to split the cost between themselves and the tenant. The agreement should be included clearly in the lease so there is no confusion.
Can you refuse to pay a service charge?
A leaseholder will be required by the terms of their lease to pay the service charges. Any non-payment will usually be considered to be a breach of the lease.
However, there may be a situation where you can challenge service charges. This could be where the charges are too high, the work has not been completed sufficiently, or you are charged for services that are not included in the lease.
Why choose Preston Redman’s service charge dispute solicitors?
Preston Redman Solicitors has over 140 years of expertise with substantial experience in providing our clients with comprehensive solutions to various types of landlord and tenant disputes. We aim to handle each service charge dispute proactively and pragmatically to achieve the best possible resolution that suits your interests.
We act for a variety of clients, including a large number of letting agents in the Bournemouth and Poole area, as well as charities, developers, property owning companies, landowners and individuals. Whether you are a landlord or leaseholder involved in a service charge dispute, our specialist solicitors can assist.
Our service charge and leasehold dispute solicitors’ fees
For most service charge disputes, we will be able to offer a fee estimate for the likely cost of advising on your matter. This means that any legal fees required for your case will be agreed upon from the outset and, should your circumstances remain the same, the price will not change.
For more complex service charge disputes, hourly rates may be more suitable. The relevant rate will be determined by the level of expertise and support required by our clients.
Get in touch with our service charge and leasehold dispute solicitors in Bournemouth
To speak to one of our friendly, highly experienced service charge dispute solicitors, please speak with Hugo Haub or John McCarthy at our Bournemouth office on 01202 292 424 or fill in our online enquiry form for a quick response.