Residential Service Charges—How Long Have You Got to Challenge Them?

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Residential service charges are subject to a multitude of statutory regulations many of which must be complied with if the landlord is to be able to recover the sums contractually due under the lease. If a tenant wishes to challenge whether a particular element of his service charge is payable, he can bring an application in the First Tier Tribunal for a determination under s.27A of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Such an application can be made irrespective of whether the service charge has already been paid which means the tenant can, and often does, seek a refund many years after the landlord thought the account had been settled. The question of whether there is a time limit on seeking a determination under s.27A is one which has troubled the Property Chamber Tribunals on a number of occasions in recent years, but has received no clear answer. We are, however, one step nearer to the imposition of a deadline with the case of Cain v Islington LBC [2015] UKUT 542 (LC).

This article has been published in the Landlord & Tenant Review - Issue 6 by Nicola Muir.

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