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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34902
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have a service charge query. I am a long leaseholder of a

Customer Question

I have a service charge query. I am a long leaseholder of a flat in a large block. I do not occupy the flat and never have since purchase. There is a residential sub tenant in occupation. Under my lease the landlord is entitled to carryout repairs to the block and communal grounds. The Landlord entered into a major works contract 2 years ago and carried out substantial works costing each long leaseholder over £4000 each.Do I have any grounds to refuse to pay on the basis of failure on the Landlord to properly serve me with the Notices?Is the Landlord only required to serve the Notice at the Flat address?What are the rules of service for matters of this nature, are they governed by the Lease and addresses filed at the Land Registry or is service subject to general Court rules/procedure?Is the Landlord required to properly serve all Leaseholders at say both addresses and if they fail to do so is this a sufficient ground to exonerate me from payment?If I have a defence and proceed to a Tribunal for determination and fail, will the Landlords be entitled to their legal costs ( I believe the lease allows them to recover litigation fees as an expense of service charges) and accordingly how do they enforce it? Will they need to take proceedings for registration and enforcement at the County Court?I look forward to hearing from you.SK
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In order to provide some further background to my earlier question please note;My main concern is over service of a s20 Major Works Notice. At no time was I served with papers at the correct address. To explain, the landlord received official Notices from my solicitor when I purchased the flat 8 years ago stating the address for service was indeed the flat address. The Land registry title deed also shows this as the service address. However I notified the landlords and their managing agents almost immediately after purchasing of my correct address for service of all correspondence. Ever since then I have received all correspondence at the correct address and the landlords accept this. However curiously the landlords served the s20 Major Works Notice at the flat address 2 years ago when clearly through previous course of dealing they were aware of my correct address. The Lease is silent over service other than requiring a Notice of Transfer.Had I been aware of the works I could have objected/ made representations and perhaps budgeted for some of the costs. I lost this opportunity because of wrongful service. I have tried to reason with the landlords but they say the Notices were served at the correct address.
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes ok please advise if you can provide an answer by 5 pm Saturday 27 February 2016 if not please cancel the question and repay the fee to me.SK
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you. If you have not received an answer by your deadline I will make the refund.
Thank you for your patience,
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is***** shall do my best to help you but I need some further information firstWhat is the address on record at the Land Registry?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
HiThe address at the Land Registry is the flat address.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Then I am afraid that that is where all Notices have to be served - so provided they sent the Notices to the address given on the Land Register then that was all they needed to do.If you defend and lose then yes the Landlords can recover their costs from you and it will be enforceable in all the usual ways - including forfeiting the property if necessaryPlease ask if you need further detailsClare