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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12181
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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- If the summary of the accounts that the landlord

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Hi - If the summary of the accounts that the landlord provided does not comply with Section 21 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, can they demand charges based on that summary?

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi. The story of your website! Every two questions I ask one you cannot find an expert to respond. I will wait for a response.

Thank you

Thank you for your question.
The tenant is entitled to withhold the service charge for the relevant period until section 20 is complied with.
I hope this helps.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. Did you mean section 21?


The landlord are claiming legal fees for a hearing in relation to a withheld amount of service charges which I have now paid them. However I have now been advised that the summary of the service charge account for that period does not comply with SECTION 21. Can I argue that technically they cannot claim this legal fee from me because they took me to court for charges based on a summary that was unlawful?

Thank you

Sorry section 21A:
F3321A Withholding of service charges
[F34(1)A tenant may withhold payment of a service charge if—
(a)the landlord has not provided him with information or a report—
(i)at the time at which, or
(ii)(as the case may be) by the time by which,he is required to provide it by virtue of section 21, or
(b)the form or content of information or a report which the landlord has provided him with by virtue of that section (at any time) does not conform exactly or substantially with the requirements prescribed by regulations under that section.]
(2)The maximum amount which the tenant may withhold is an amount equal to the aggregate of—
(a)the service charges paid by him in the [F35period to which the information or report] concerned would or does relate, and
[F36(b)amounts standing to the tenant's credit in relation to the service charges at the beginning of that period.]
(3)An amount may not be withheld under this section—
(a)in a case within paragraph (a) of subsection (1), after the [F37information or report concerned has been provided] to the tenant by the landlord, or
[F38(b)in a case within paragraph (b) of that subsection, after information or a report conforming exactly or substantially with requirements prescribed by regulations under section 21 has been provided to the tenant by the landlord by way of replacement of that previously provided.]
(4)If, on an application made by the landlord to a leasehold valuation tribunal, the tribunal determines that the landlord has a reasonable excuse for a failure giving rise to the right of a tenant to withhold an amount under this section, the tenant may not withhold the amount after the determination is made.
(5)Where a tenant withholds a service charge under this section, any provisions of the tenancy relating to non-payment or late payment of service charges do not have effect in relation to the period for which he so withholds it.
They can't claim fees for an illegal claim.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks a lot for very informative response you provided.

Could this also mean that any other legal fees in relation to other tenants in the block charged to our service charge account for different reasons such as non payment of their service charges or illegal sublets and so on could be refunded back if I argued that these legal fees were charged while the summary was not in compliance with S21 of LTA 1985?

Yes that is correct.
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12181
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
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