Service Charges

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    Service Charges

    I have been helping a friend with a long term dispute about service charges

    They never agreed to have a communal aerial fitted on their maisonette and wouldnt pay as her aerial in the loft worked fine and there never before been a communal aerial plus Digital UK said that in this area it was unlikely a new aerial would ne needed once analogue was switched off. . The landlord (a social landlord) strung it out for 6 years before issuing a possession claim and a suspended order was granted. I helped her get leave to appeal and then at the actual appeal before the circuit judge it was decided to remove the suspended possession order but leave the debt intact with liberty to restore the possession proceedings if the 3.60 a week payments are not kept to

    My friend had a property tribunal (what was called the LVT) case started on this service charge which was adjourned awaiting the appeal outcome but the circuit judge at appeal decided the service charge is a fixed (not variable) charge and so now the tribunal will refuse to deal with the case

    I should like advice from anyone as to whether the tenancy wording amounts to fixed or variable

    "We may charge for services on the basis either of reasonable costs incurred during the previous accounting period or of estimates for the current or next accounting period. The difference between any estimate and the actual cost may be carried forward

    It reads to me at least as though it is variable as there is a link between the costs accrued/anticipated and the charge made to the tenant but I should appreciate a view.

    Any ideas ??

    It is a variable charge and you are going to have to appeal as the FTT formerly the LVT cannot override a higher determination. Thats why Judges should not be allowed to deal with matters they clearly know little about. Like the Chancellor of the High Court.

    Of course now you tell them that it is a fixed charge so they cannot vary it and let them appeal the decision. If they take future action the appeal decision will stand over new proceedings, they cannot have it both ways.
    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.


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