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wingrovebuyer
wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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Hello, I own a leasehold flat in Liverpool and the management

Customer Question

Hello,

I own a leasehold flat in Liverpool and the management company have been charging excessive service charge and have not been carrying out any of the work needed on the property.

There are 10 flats in the block and an estate agent and a basement that is not in use (28 exchange street east, L23PH) you can see it on the street view. All the leaseholders are very upset with the management company, but they simply don't care about all the issues to the common areas other than to make money from it. The service charge is at 3000 per flat.

I paid 1500 in serive charge Feb and they send another bill in March, followed by two more letters and now a letter from a solicitors that they will take me to court.

All the leaseholders are very angry with the situation and would to address this in the most effective manner, what options do we have as leaseholders.

The freeholder is a company in British Virgin Island and we don't have contact details, other than the address on the deed. We would like to apply for right to a mange or appoint a neutral reputable management company.

The commercial property is as less than 25%, but if we include the basement, which is disused but used to be a nightclub ( very long time ago) it might be be over 25%.

Can you please let me know what options we have to resolve this nightmare situation.

Thanks
Dua
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 4 years ago.

wingrovebuyer : Hello. If you're worried that you won't quality for the right to manage, you can challenge the service charge via the Leasehold Valuations Tribunal. I attach a link to some official evidence about this below. Basically, you could come together as a collective group and complain to the LVT that the charges are unreasonable. The freeholder / management company will get an opportunity to try to justify the charges and the LVT will decide what is reasonable. Before you do this, I think you should advise the management company that you will go to the LVT unless they provide full justification for the charges. Don't forget, just because the charges are high, it doesn't necessarily mean there is some mistake or fraud.
wingrovebuyer : https://www.gov.uk/housing-tribunals/leasehold-valuation-tribunal-changes-to-your-lease
JACUSTOMER-yt1hc7lt- : Thanks, can I hold the service charge payment, until this is resolved. They have now sent me a letter from a solicitor threatening me to take me court. Should I pay up?
wingrovebuyer : Sorry, but I think you should pay it, because until the LVT confirms otherwise, they are entitled to charge this sum. When you pay, I suggest you write that you are paying under protest and without prejudice to your right to query the service charge and complain to the LVT.
wingrovebuyer : Hello. Do you require further assistance? If not, please leave a rating or JA won't pay me for helping you. Best wishes, WB