Where does the apportionment of service charges appear in a lease?

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    Where does the apportionment of service charges appear in a lease?

    Hello forum,
    I've read that the proprotion of service charges assigned to a lessee are specified in leases. I have several leases and one of them doesn't specify the percentage (or propotion) which is allocatable to my leasehold property. In the other leases I have, it appears in the Particulars at the beginning of the lease (e.g. 'Tenant's Share of Total Expediture Twenty per Centum').

    Do some leases simply not give proportions? In which case, how are they determined - can the freeholder allocate costs as they see fit? If so, when I and my fellow leaseholder buy the freehold, can we vary teh percentage allocation that our current landlord has been using for over 15-years?

    Thanks

    #2
    I assume the lease allows maintanence costs to be recovered ? What does it say ?
    Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

    I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

    It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

    Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

    Comment


      #3
      Yes, the lease has all the usual wording in terms of mainteannce costs etc. But nowehere does it say the proportion of the total costs that each leaseholder has to pay. The service charges I receive from the freehold assign a percentage, but it's not a logical one and not mentioned in the lease. The property is a converted 3 storey terraced house with garden. Basement flat and a ground floor/first floor maisonette (with sole use of the garden). I woudl expect either 50% each or 33.33r%/66.66r%, but i) this is not the case and ii) if it's not expressly mentioned, is the freeholder free to apportion as they see fit? The lease just doesn't say anything about apportionment at all.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by armstrom69 View Post
        ii) if it's not expressly mentioned, is the freeholder free to apportion as they see fit? The lease just doesn't say anything about apportionment at all.
        I would assume that if the lease states that the lessor has a responsibility to maintain the property and that the lessee has a responsibility to pay for this and that the same wording is used in all the other leases for this property, then the fact that the lease is totally quiet as to what percentage of the total cost each of the lessees has to pay would be deemed to be missed out unintentionally. This I think would mean that the lease would be treated as defective and each party could apply under s.36 LTA 1987 to have it rectified. Which way it would be rectified would (I believe) then depend on what is reasonable in the circumstances - which could be either as percentages of heads (e.g. 8 leases - each paying 1/8) or as percentages of square footage or something similar.

        Comment


          #5
          I would of thought in the absence of any provision then it may be reasonable to demand a percenatge each, ie. if 10 flats then 10% each, the FH would be on shaky ground if he started using other 'wierd' formulas to decide on each LH'er share.

          It would be interesting if the OP could post the exact wording, it may be that the lease is faulty and doesnt allow anything to be recovered.

          In my lease there are two parts, part one makes a clear obligation for the FH to maintain the building and communal driveway, it then later goes on to say the building costs are split 50/50 between the two flat owners but is silent about any other costs. (It wouldnt be correct IMO to assume a 50/50 split as the communal driveway leads to 4 garages used by the two LHer and one other owns the remaining two.. (The FH previoulsy tried to charge a third each but when questioned how this was calculated went quiet).
          Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

          I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

          It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

          Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by andydd View Post
            I would have thought in the absence of any provision then it may be reasonable to demand a percentage each, ie. if 10 flats then 10% each, the FH would be on shaky ground if he started using other 'weird' formulas to decide on each LH'er share.
            And there it begins - the big discussion about reasonableness

            I could see good reasons to support your view of having simple shares as per number of leases (10 flats, 10% each). But then what if there are 5 one bed flats and 5 four bed flats - should there still be 10% each, or rather some other split?

            Who knows.

            Comment


              #7
              In the absence of a fixed sum, and assuming the lease allows recovery of costs, you would expect to find a brief wording such as fair or fair and reasonable proportion or an amount determined by the landlord(surveyor), or tucked away on an obscure basis such as "like proportion" related to ground rents or rateable vales.

              the trick is that unless the lease is modern with clear particulars on the front pages, you have to read the lease carefully front to back- it could be anywhere in any clause.

              You can of course in the meantime drop a line to the Landlord and say that you cant really understand the % allocated can you please explain.
              Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

              Comment


                #8
                mattl,

                Tru..although most older leases are a strict % split, rooms and sq feet calculations are more of a modern invention, plus It could be argued that the numbers of rooms or the size of a flat has little relevance when it comes to the cost of maintanence of the building, the communal areas and even insurance.
                Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

                I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

                It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

                Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by andydd View Post
                  mattl,

                  Tru..although most older leases are a strict % split, rooms and sq feet calculations are more of a modern invention, plus It could be argued that the numbers of rooms or the size of a flat has little relevance when it comes to the cost of maintanence of the building, the communal areas and even insurance.
                  And it could likewise be argued that

                  (a) a one bed flat will have less inhabitants than a five bed flat so less people will use the communal areas
                  (b) a one bed flat will use less space in the building than a five bed flat so the roof would be disproportionately enjoyed by the bigger flats
                  (c) ...

                  You see where this is going - slippery slope

                  Comment


                    #10
                    More windows and walls in bigger flats. Also if the flats had be rebuilt due to fire, the larger flats would receive a greater portion of the insurance.

                    Where there is a large difference in size of flats, it is fairer to base it on square footage. Of course those with the larger flats will always argue against it.

                    It is the same gripe as the ground floor flat contributing to lift maintenance when they dont use it.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yes..I see where this is going but roofs dont wear out due to the number of occupants or bedrooms below them, Ive always thought the square footage area cost is a bit dumb.

                      If I were on an FTT panel (there's time yet ) I'd simply say..right everyone pays a 1/4 each now bugger off, next case please.
                      Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

                      I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

                      It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

                      Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

                      Comment

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