Service Charge Percentage Wrong

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    Service Charge Percentage Wrong

    Dear all,
    I hope this forum can guide me to the next step. I have a leasehold apartment, which I purchased in July 2007. I have never been able to go through the whole lease esp the page no1, which clearly defines the service charges as 1%. I am however been charged 2%( extra 1% for communal areas, not applicable to my apartment as it has an independent entrance and doesn't have any communal area, lifts etc). I have now discovered through another similar owner near my apartment block who has a similar apartment and pays only 1% service charges since 2004. I have copy of both service charges which I have sent to the Management company but they are using delaying tactics and not giving me a clear answer( three months of phone calls and emails).
    I estimate that for past 12 yrs, plus interest at 8%, I am owed about £ 5000.
    My Qs are- am I able to claim refund of overpayment and interest at 8% for 12 yrs, if so , how should I next proceed. I am not really keen to go via lawyers unless I have no choice left.
    Many thanks for help in advance.

    #2
    Are you paying 1% of the charge for the whole expense of running the whole building (which includes an amount you think you should not be paying for lifts etc). How many flats in the building?

    The fact that you have an independent entrance does not mean you do not pay for lifts (unless the lease explicitly says that).

    Is this person you are comparing to in a different block?

    Comment


      #3
      The word "never" in the second sentence doesn't seem to make sense in context. You cannot start claiming you've overpaid until you have read and understood the whole lease, including page 1.

      I think it is more normal to include the percentage in a schedule near the end, not on page 1.

      As others have implied, whether or not you use communal areas is irrelevant to what service charge you have to pay, if there are specific rules about the proportion of service charge payable.

      Comment


        #4
        You have to apply to the FTT for any change to your service charge payment.

        Download the details for application to FTT from www.lease-advice.org

        Comment


          #5
          AndrewDod,

          I have a similar apartment owner who pays 1%, exact same lease and exact same apartment with again no communal area- how do I explain that?

          leaseholder64,

          The service charge is only on page one, I never saw that, I carried on paying as I did not know what any other similar property was paying.

          Gordon999,

          Can I go via small claims court for a refund? I have copies of both service charges( one mine and another from a similar apartment), thanks

          Comment


            #6
            Without seeing all the relevant parts of your lease (and having answers to questions you have been asked) we really can't respond in any meaningful way.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
              Is this person you are comparing to in a different block?
              In a different block but identical to my block

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                Without seeing all the relevant parts of your lease (and having answers to questions you have been asked) we really can't respond in any meaningful way.
                I can anonymise and post relevant parts if you want ? Thanks

                Comment


                  #9
                  You have to make application , submit with copy of your lease and last 12 years billing of service of charges to FTT for a decision as to whether you are entitle to claim a refund.

                  After you have that FTT decision , the management company will make the refund . But if they still refuse , then you apply to the small claims court.

                  https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-...-other-issues/

                  https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-...perty-chamber/

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks very much. I dont think I have all 12 yrs
                    service charge demand notices but I can get them fro. The company itself, I am still waiting for them to give me an answer and rectify this.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You first need an adjudication that they are billing you incorrectly in principle, so 12 years worth is not relevant now. That is not clear at all so far. OP claims lease does not involve maintenance to common parts, but I bet you it does. Not is it likely there would be two separate billing of 1% each for common and non-common (whatever that is). The other lease OP has examined is irrelevant.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If £5,000 after simple interest at 8% corresponds to 12 years; equivalent service charge, it means your correct service charge is of the order of £250 a year, which is exceeding low. In London, it would hardly cover the cost of a managing agent.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          AndrewDod,

                          I will post with details that will make this quite clear

                          Comment


                            #14
                            leaseholder64,

                            That’s the amount in excess of what I should be paying ideally - total I pay is close to 2K will post detailed figures as mentioned above, thanks

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Here is a recap.
                              Service charges capped as per my lease, mentioned clearly on the first page, Estate 0.99 %, Block or apartment maintenance etc 1.1 % = about £ 1500; I am paying extra 1% for internal cleaning and internal lift maintenance( I have no internal areas for communal use), total I have been paying is about £ 1950; hence about £ 450 extra for past 12 yrs, hence the refund @ £450/yr and compound interest at 8%( as mentioned in the low cost claim guide).
                              My other apartment owner- same type of flat- also doesn't pay this 1% for internal maintenance.
                              Hence i have asked for reason for overcharging me and a refund? Does this make sense? Thanks

                              Comment

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