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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 16655
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I also have a question regarding service charge issues so I

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I also have a question regarding service charge issues so I pay £1500 a year and they are responsible for general maintenance of the communal areas, cleaning once a month in communal area aswell as window cleaning and upkeep of the front garden. For the past year no window cleaning has been done there’s been no upkeep of the front garden and for 4 months now the downstairs front door hasn’t been shutting they’ve been made aware of this but still haven’t done anything. Can I withhold service charge payment each month until these things are done as they are getting money when they are not doing anything to the property

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer.

I am one of the legal experts on the site and I am a dual-qualified solicitor (UK & Republic of Ireland)

Thank you for the question, I am reviewing the details now and I will aim to resolve it as quickly as possible for you.

Sorry to hear of the issue.

If you withhold service charges there is a risk of forfeiture of your lease (your lease is a contract and it will say you are liable to pay service charges).

You can however ask your local First Tier Property Tribunal to make a determination as to the reasonableness of your service charges. This is free to do and only takes a few weeks.

It is one form which you will need to complete and send by post or email to your regional tribunal.

The tribunal will then make a decision and indeed it has the power to appoint or remove a management company for another one to ensure good management of the property.

The Tribunal is made up of 3 people: A lawyer (Chairman), a surveyor/valuer (who could also be Chairman), and a lay person (member of the public).

You can present the dispute to them in person or use a law firm (such as either of these law firms : https://www.bishopslaw.co.uk/first-tier-tribunal-property-chamber-advice/ or https://www.bradysolicitors.com which has specialist department for these Tribunal claims).

The latter firm also offers a free guide on how to change managing agents : Click Here

The hearing itself is quite informal.

Once made, the order is then binding - if the order is ignored then the county court will recognise it and you can apply for an injunction to force them to comply.

You will need to fill out the relevant form and then email it to your regional Tribunal. The Tribunal should then make a decision within 6-8 weeks.

The form to use is this one :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-leasehold-3-application-for-a-determination-of-liability-to-pay-and-reasonableness-of-service-charges

Your regional tribunal would be listed on this site : Click Here & Scroll Down

I hope this helps

It was a pleasure to assist you today and I hope this answers the question.

If you have any follow up questions or if you would like me to clarify anything I have said, please let me know and I will be happy to help.

Many thanks,

Jim

Just a final note that if you would like to reconnect with me at a later date, simply add me as a favourite expert and you can then tag me in a question by typing @JimLawyer.

Thanks again,

Jim



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