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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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We have taken over as managing agents for a small block of

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We have taken over as managing agents for a small block of flats as the previous manager died last year. He was ill for a while and some of the service charge requests were not sent out which we have been trying to collect retrospectively. One of the tenants is withholding 2 payments from 2011 and 2013 on the basis that formal notification for works done in the common parts of the building in 2006 was not received. We do not know whether this is true or not as it is such a long time ago and the records have not been kept. Does he have a legitimate case?

I am afraid it appears that this tenant has a legitimate case.

Under S. 20B of the Landlord and Tenant Act, demands for service charge must be made within 18 months of the costs having been incurred.

If the work was done in 2006and you have no records whether demands were issued within the 18 month period, then it is too late to claim these amounts now.

UKSolicitorJA and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Service charge demands were issued and paid in 2006,2007,2008 and 2009. The tenant is withholding 2011 and 2013 payments which he agrees he owes but is offsetting these against the alleged failure on behalf of the previous managing agent to issue proper notification of proposed works in 2006. Hope I've made this a bit clearer thanks
There is a requirement to consult tenants where major works costing more than 250pounds are to be carried out.

If there is no proof that notification was issued of these works in 2006 then it would be a problem normally, however, as the tenant paid for the same in 2006, they would be time barred now in 2014 to set off this amount and you should claim it for them.

May I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
When you say "claim it FOR them" do you mean that the tenant cannot offset 2011 and 2013 service charges as he is suggesting and that there is a time bar period in these matters?
No the tenant cannot do so unless it is written in the lease that they can do so.
Hope this clarifies. Please leave feedback
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you very much for all your help- BIG smiley face!
Welcome and good luck. Please leave a review.Also the tenant paid the bill in 2006 so there is a presumption that he was served notice.