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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I live in a block of 22 flats, are the service charges required

Resolved Question:

I live in a block of 22 flats, are the service charges required to be audited by a certified accountant and where is this stated in the landlord and tenant act.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

May I ask if the landlord (freeholder) is a limited trading company or is it a private individual or nominee landlord company (i.e. a limited company only for owning the freehold) please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The freeholder is a limited trading company and has been managing/ providing maintenance for the building for the last 8 years and has now provided a summary account of the yearly costs.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much for the above. There is no requirement in the Landlord and Tenant Act for service charge accounts to be audited. Service charge accounts only need to be audited if the leases terms require them to be audited. A large number of residential leases do require this particularly for larger developments but by no means all and smaller developments rarely have this requirement as it adds a disproportionate cost on to the leaseholders bills. A 22 flat development could fit either group but on balance is still probably not large enough to justiy the additional costs of audit. However this is irrelevant because either the lease will or will not contain an audit requirement which condition will be determinative.In terms of your rights regarding service charge, no invoice is payable unless it also contains a summary of your rights and obligations in relation to service charges prescribed by statute. In addition you can also demand the landlord provides a summary of service charges paid under the lease at any time by serving a s21 notice on the landlord demaning this information under the Landlord and Tenant Act. After that if you are still not satisied you then have the right to demand further information backing up the summary by serving a s22 notice. If the landlord does not provide the information requested then he can be liable for prosecution and a fine of up to £2500. The local authority can assist in prosecution if necessary. Either before or after obtaining such information as you can reasonably require you can challenge both the reasonbleness of the service charges already demanded and any current service charges now demanded by applying to a Property Tribunal using the following form:http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/leasehold-003-eng.docI hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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