Service charge Tribunal application

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    Service charge Tribunal application

    I have a long running dispute with my Freeholder, which dates back to 2013. I have decided its time to get this resolved by applying to the Tribunal. The application form allows for only six years of disputed charges to be entered. Can anyone advise what happens to the charges that are over six years old please.
    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    This is because of the statute of limitation time bars recovering debts over 6 years or 12 years in some cases. It is, I understand, based on the last time you wrote to them or made a payment.

    Why have you waited so long to resolve issues? Depending upon the circumstances the court may not allow you to dispute aged service charges (I assume you are referring to service charges). I suspect you will need to show you clearly disputed charges within a reasonable time scale giving reasons as to why they were not payable under the lease (if this was the case) or unreasonable (if this was the issue).

    Further, I wonder why the freeholder has not taken action.

    If you let us know more, there are others on this forum that will likely provide insights.


      Tribunals have been known to go back more than 6 years but please let us have more information. It is usually best to pay what you consider to be reasonable and let the freeholder take action if it wishes to recover the balance.


        Hi, thank you for your responses.
        The Freeholder changed managing agents in 2013, and they changed the percentage used to calculate my service charge. I wrote to them straight away, advising them of the mistake, and again 12 months later when the percentage had still not ben corrected. I received no acknowledgement of either letter. With the second letter I included a cheque for the ground rent, which was banked. I have continued to pay my ground rent, as this is not subject to the service charge percentage.
        I don't have an adequate explanation as to why I've not done anything sooner.


          The Freeholder has the right to recover service charge debt up to 6 years or 12 years, depending on the wording in the lease.

          Better to show the claim going back to 2013 and let the Tribunal decide whether 6 years or longer .


            As the issue appears to be the percentage used to calculate your service charge, the first thing to do is check your lease to ensure the percentage you believe it should be is correct (you probably have done this). Ideally, you should have continued to pay the percentage of service charge due. A query or dispute about one matter does not provide wholesale right to withhold all service charges.

            As eagle suggested you should now pay the sum you believe is rightly due. I would instruct a solicitor to write a letter providing payment of sum due and again disputing the balance. It will then be up to the freeholder to take action. You might want to contact LEASE for advice and check the website for standard letters which might be available.


              What does your lease say? Does it mention a fixed percentage of costs? If so and the freeholder has made an error, you should simply pay the correct proportion.
              Or does the lease say that the freeholder may charge a reasonable sum? If so, Tribunals tend to allow a freeholder to charge on any basis which it is able to expain.
              Have you paid any service charges? Paying the amount which you agree will always count in your favour.
              Is that your only objection to the service charges?


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