Understanding service charge accounts

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    Understanding service charge accounts

    Hi all,

    Our lease states a covenant on part of the management company is keeping proper records of all costs charges and expenses incurred in carrying out the obligations imposed by the schedule and appointing a qualified accountant for the purpose of auditing the accounts in respect of the maintenance expenses and certifying their total amount for the period to which the account relates.

    Would this allow the managing agent to produce service charge accounts; an income and expenditure account, a balance sheet, managing agent report and then get a report of factual findings from an independent accountant.

    Included in the managing agent report they certify that in their opinion the statement is a fair summary complying with section 21(3)(a) of the L&TA 1985. The annexed statement is sufficiently supported by reports, receipts and other documents that have been produced to us.
    Our work has been undertaken to enable us to make this report to the members and for no other purpose.

    This is like no other service charge account I have received in the past, any ideas?

    #2
    Originally posted by josepha333 View Post
    Would this allow the managing agent to produce service charge accounts; an income and expenditure account, a balance sheet, managing agent report and then get a report of factual findings from an independent accountant.
    Yes. But I can't do succinct answers, so...

    Where the lease says "audit" this is usually not a literal audit by the ind. accountant because of the cost - but, as you say, a Report of Factual Findings. Managers may take the lease literally, mind, and always have an audit, if that is what it says.

    The managing agent sets the budget per the lease (usually charged on account?) and at the year end must account to leaseholders.

    If you read the free ICAEW Tech 03/11 binding guidance, you will learn that 'accrual accounts' are not prescribed by any law, but they are used glibly as if ordinary lay people can interpret them.

    The agent's book-keeper supplies the accountant with whatever the accountant asks, and the agent self-certifies their own records. What you may not appreciate is that, if it is a pooled client account, the ind. accountant doing the RFF sees no bank statement, just a control account spreadsheet supplied by the agent with spreadsheets and a few of the bigger invoices if asked for them.

    This is the serious flaw in accrual accounting for service charges -the people who must pay, unlike organisations and businesses who get accrual accounts - see no cash book book-keeping and have no control over the chequebook, and meanwhile the accountant sees no bank statements to 'draw a line' at the year end.

    Basically, as chartered accountants will admit if pressed, the accrual accounts leaseholders get may bear no relation to actual money held at any bank, just the figures 'balance'. 'Balance' does not mean complete or accurate!

    Per Tech 03/11 you should get an Income & Expenditure statement and a Balance Sheet and a few notes (if you are lucky). The agents signs as fair and true and the accountant certifies.

    You could try asking for the spreadsheets of raw data stripped of identification of the payers, and also a copy of the Extended Trial Balance. Like me over many years you may then begin to see the fiction behind service charge annual accrual accounts.

    There are many ways the accrual 'adjustments' can be tweaked - the main ones I find are including year expenditure adjustments that increase expenses but not bringing the same amounts forward to the next year to adjust out.

    Unless you learn the black arts of accrual accounting and press for the raw data, it's a lost cause to try to unravel the usual year end accrual accounts. Even popping down and looking at a few invoices won't be much help.

    When you say 'this is like no other service charge account I have received' what you describe sounds like pretty much all the SC accounts I have ever received?

    The issue is surely whether you think the figures are incorrect? I wouldn't bother trying to ask a tribunal to glean whether the accounts are accurate as accounts - they seem to limit their interest in accounts to whether the cleaning etc is 'reasonable' and overlook the wide open possibility of false or inflated accruals or creditor adjustments one year inflating a balancing charge and being tippexed out the next year in the b/fwd adjustments.

    If I could change one thing in SC accounting it would be a legal requirement that all leaseholders must receive as standard a complete 'Trial Balance' that - like utility bills - must explain what the figures mean in layman language with examples, and where to look for the carry-forward story from year to year.

    Without this awareness, the accrual accounts are pretty useless because unlike businesses leaseholders have no idea what actually happened with the actual 'cash book' transactions during the year.
    Do not read my offerings, based purely on my research or experience as a lessee, as legal advice. If you need legal advice please see a solicitor.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by MrSoffit View Post
      The issue is surely whether you think the figures are incorrect?
      Hi,

      In reply to that, in short yes. Thank you for your reply and level of information provided.

      My other points being the lease calls for a summary of maintenance expenses and the certificate of the accountant to be served on the lessee within 6 months of year end. As already stated it calls for the maintenance expenses to be audited, this is a 2006 lease.

      No mention of s.21 L&TA 1985 in the lease and no request has been made to my knowledge. Also I observe Tech 03/11 sees this as being undertaken by an auditor and on page 35 I see the certificate;

      Certificate
      I certify that:
      (a) In my opinion the service charge statement is a fair summary complying with the requirements of
      section 21(5) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
      (b) The summary is sufficiently supported by accounts, receipts and other documents which have been produced to me.

      However this is not contained within my service charge accounts, however some of the wording has been used in the managing agents report, prior to a report of factual findings by an independent accountant as found in Tech 03/11 page 32.

      Should I see this as a way around not auditing the service charge accounts as per the lease or not?

      Comment


        #4
        Maybe, but not having a full audit every year saves you and your neighbours money. Technically you are correct, a lease drawn up after 1980 should be obeyed 'literally' as to the accounting (see below).

        Per Tech 03/11 you are also correct that a specific s21 request from a lessee is what requires a s21 response. However, the 'sign off' by the RFF accountant will likely mention s21(5) of the LTA 1985 to, I assume, offset any later request for a s21 summary.

        What you can expect is a signed statement by the managing agent on the balance sheet to the effect that the figures are based on fair and true records.

        As RTM landlord we have yet to see the sort of instruction letter between agent and accountant as contained in Appendix H of Tech 03/11. I suspect many agents and accountants never read Tech 03/11 until the 2016 Rics code mentioned it, and even then maybe not. This is leasehold management after all.

        Bottom line...a full and literal audit is an expensive beast. People use the word 'audit' without thinking what it really means. An RFF is more common, I think. Demand a full audit and your neighbours may not thank you, as they and you will pay more. More sensible I'd say to request the cash book income and expenditure data (no reason not to supply this info as it is mouse click reports in most accounting software) and be certain there is a good reason to pay the extra.

        The 35 page Tech 03/11 is all the info you need, wouldn't want to replicate it in detail on a thread, so here are a few 'relevant' (my words) extracts:

        -The requirements of the lease MUST be followed.

        -All lessees should get annual statement within six months of year end (lease may well say this anyway)

        -Annual statement = income and expenditure account, balance sheet prepared on accruals basis.

        -Annual statement should be examined by independent accountant before issue.

        -Two alternative types of examination that may be undertaken by the independent accountant depending upon the terms of the lease: audit or RFF.

        Quotes:
        2.1 no recognised accounting framework for the service charge statement. Section 21(5), LTA 1985 sets out the requirements for a summary of costs prepared in accordance with a request made by a lessee under s21(1), but the requirements do not equate to accruals based accounting and there is no requirement for any sort of balance sheet.


        2.2 This guidance recommends that service charge accounts are prepared on the accruals basis and the accounts should include a balance sheet for the service charge fund as well as an income and expenditure account and explanatory notes. [...]

        3.1.4 Where a lease that has been drawn up since 1980 refers to an audit then this is what should be undertaken. A decision to procure another type of examination could be challenged by a lessee and if the case were taken to a leasehold valuation tribunal, the landlord/agent might fail to recover service charges on this basis.

        3.1.5 If the terms of the lease require, or are construed as requiring, an audit, or the landlord or managing agent requires an audit to be carried out, International Standard on Auditing 800 (ISA 800) Special Considerations – Audits of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance with Special Purpose Frameworks, provides a framework for the audit of service charge accounts prepared in accordance with this guidance. Guidance on the application of ISA 800 to the audit of service charge accounts is included at Appendix E.

        You have right on your side. Whether you should exercise it is a matter of cost and context, surely?

        Edit: To caution further...even if you paid for a full audit, the 'independent' accountant may not be what you assume. Prior to RTM we had accounts certified by an 'independent' accountant who we researched and discovered was retired and worked for nobody else but the then managing agent and used the agent's offices and computers. We made the mistake of thinking a tribunal would be mildly interested in this, but the tribunal slapped us down as reaching above ourselves playing at being 'Perry Masons'. The leasehold 'industry' can feel like a closed shop. Though this might just be cynicism.

        You could pay more and be none the wiser that you could trust the figures better!
        Do not read my offerings, based purely on my research or experience as a lessee, as legal advice. If you need legal advice please see a solicitor.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by MrSoffit View Post
          However, the 'sign off' by the RFF accountant will likely mention s21(5) of the LTA 1985 to, I assume
          Hi,

          Thanks again for quick reply but no the Report of Factual Findings makes no reference to L&TA 1985 it is just as Tech 03/11 page 32, to the word. The only use of the wording is contained in the managing agent report and surely they cannot certify their own accounts?

          As regards the cost of the audit, yes I agree it will be an extra expense, but then there are 39 flats whose legal entity is an RMC whose members are apathetic and allow one owner that does not reside at the development to rule the roost. I think they may change attitude once hit with increased service charges to cover the Tribunal costs?

          Again on considering an audit, transparency may still not be forthcoming so may not be the answer, but is there any way of receiving what you are paying for? As you previously stated Tribunals consider costs to be allowed if contained within the service charge account, especially when certified (?), irrespective of whether they have actually been incurred and the service provided.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by josepha333 View Post
            there are 39 flats whose legal entity is an RMC whose members are apathetic and allow one owner that does not reside at the development to rule the roost.

            You say you are an RMC, Therefore you have directors, and must have more than one director ( two minimum )
            The shareholders hire and fire the directors, so you could remove the offending directors and replace them.

            You can also contact he agent and state they are not complying, but it is up to the directors of the RMC company to ensure accounts are prepared correctly.

            Not having seen how the accounts are printed, we cant comment, but on service charge issue, they should look similar to the last 2 items at http://ram2.hostbyet2.com/

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by MrSoffit View Post
              The issue is surely whether you think the figures are incorrect? I wouldn't bother trying to ask a tribunal to glean whether the accounts are accurate as accounts - they seem to limit their interest in accounts to whether the cleaning etc is 'reasonable' and overlook the wide open possibility of false or inflated accruals or creditor adjustments one year inflating a balancing charge and being tippexed out the next year in the b/fwd adjustments.
              If I could change one thing in SC accounting it would be a legal requirement that all leaseholders must receive as standard a complete 'Trial Balance' that - like utility bills - must explain what the figures mean in layman language with examples, and where to look for the carry-forward story from year to year.
              I agree with all you say with regard to the way in which the sham operates. Indeed auditing/certifying can be far worse than nothing because it provides a sheen of credibility to a non-transparent sham or even outright fraud. Accountants may (dare I suggest OFTEN do) collude with fraud.

              However with regard to your bit above,
              see this FTT case
              http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup...method=boolean

              and read especially point 13 of the judgment (the rest of the judgment contains other instructive and amusing aspects)

              I happen to have inside information on this case -- the FTT did direct that the respondents produce line-by-line ledgers (the respondents failed to do so).

              Further the accountancy guidances you have already referred to do contain explicit guidance for production of certified (as opposed to audited accounts). These guidances include fundamental elements such as the responsibility to make sure that the accounts match the accountancy aspects of the lease, that invoices are examined and so on. I think one could argue that if guidance is not obeyed, then the accountancy fee itself is not refundable by way of service charge (as in this case), but further than the accountants in question (I think I can mention their name since it is in a court judgment and I am not saying anything about them in this post -- Pinnick Lewis Accountants of Edgware) should be referred to their professional regulator, and further that it should be insisted that any fees paid to that Accountant should be reimbursed to the service charge account by compelling the freeholder to take legal action against the supplier if necessary).

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by MrSoffit View Post
                The issue is surely whether you think the figures are incorrect? I wouldn't bother trying to ask a tribunal to glean whether the accounts are accurate as accounts - they seem to limit their interest in accounts to whether the cleaning etc is 'reasonable' and overlook the wide open possibility of false or inflated accruals or creditor adjustments one year inflating a balancing charge and being tippexed out the next year in the b/fwd adjustments.
                If I could change one thing in SC accounting it would be a legal requirement that all leaseholders must receive as standard a complete 'Trial Balance' that - like utility bills - must explain what the figures mean in layman language with examples, and where to look for the carry-forward story from year to year.
                I agree with all you say with regard to the way in which the sham operates. Indeed auditing/certifying can be far worse than nothing because it provides a sheen of credibility to a non-transparent sham or even outright fraud. Accountants may (dare I suggest OFTEN do) collude with manipuated accounts.

                However with regard to your bit above, the key point and tool is that "reasonableness" applies to the accountancy fee itself as a service charge item
                see this FTT case
                http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup...method=boolean

                and read especially point 13 of the judgment (the rest of the judgment contains other highly instructive and amusing aspects)

                I happen to have inside information on this case -- the FTT did direct that the respondents produce line-by-line ledgers (the respondents failed to do so).

                Further the accountancy guidances you have already referred to do contain explicit guidance for production of certified (as opposed to audited accounts). These guidances include fundamental elements such as the responsibility to make sure that the accounts match the accountancy aspects of the lease, that invoices are examined and so on. I think one could argue that if guidance is not obeyed, then the accountancy fee itself is not refundable by way of service charge (as in this case), but further than the accountants in question (I think I can mention their name since it is in a court judgment and I am not saying anything about them in this post -- Pinnick Lewis Accountants of Edgware) should be referred to their professional regulator, and further that it should be insisted that any fees paid to that Accountant should be reimbursed to the service charge account by compelling the freeholder to take legal action against the supplier if necessary).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by MrSoffit View Post
                  The issue is surely whether you think the figures are incorrect? I wouldn't bother trying to ask a tribunal to glean whether the accounts are accurate as accounts - they seem to limit their interest in accounts to whether the cleaning etc is 'reasonable' and overlook the wide open possibility of false or inflated accruals or creditor adjustments one year inflating a balancing charge and being tippexed out the next year in the b/fwd adjustments.
                  I agree with all you say with regard to the way in which the sham operates. Indeed auditing/certifying can be far worse than nothing because it provides a sheen of credibility to a non-transparent sham or even outright fraud. Accountants may (dare I suggest OFTEN do) collude with manipuated accounts.

                  However with regard to your bit above - the key tool to use is that accountancy fees as part of a service charge are in and of themselves subject to a reasonableness test:

                  see this FTT case
                  http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup...method=boolean

                  and read especially point 13 of the judgment (the rest of the judgment contains other instructive and amusing aspects)

                  I happen to have inside information on this case -- the FTT did direct that the respondents produce line-by-line ledgers (the respondents failed to do so).

                  Further the accountancy guidances you have already referred to do contain explicit guidance for production of certified (as opposed to audited accounts). These guidances include fundamental elements such as the responsibility to make sure that the accounts match the accountancy aspects of the lease, that invoices are examined and so on. I think one could argue that if guidance is not obeyed, then the accountancy fee itself is not refundable by way of service charge (as in this case), but further than the accountants in question (I think I can mention their name since it is in a court judgment and I am not saying anything about them in this post -- Pinnick Lewis Accountants of Edgware) should be referred to their professional regulator, and further that it should be insisted that any fees paid to that Accountant should be reimbursed to the service charge account by compelling the freeholder to take legal action against the supplier if necessary).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post

                    especially point 13 of the judgment (the rest of the judgment contains other instructive and amusing aspects)

                    I happen to have inside information on this case -- the FTT did direct that the respondents produce line-by-line ledgers (the respondents failed to do so).

                    Further the accountancy guidances you have already referred to do contain explicit guidance for production of certified (as opposed to audited accounts). These guidances include fundamental elements such as the responsibility to make sure that the accounts match the accountancy aspects of the lease, that invoices are examined and so on. I think one could argue that if guidance is not obeyed, then the accountancy fee itself is not refundable by way of service charge (as in this case), but further than the accountants in question (I think I can mention their name since it is in a court judgment and I am not saying anything about them in this post -- Pinnick Lewis Accountants of Edgware) should be referred to their professional regulator, and further that it should be insisted that any fees paid to that Accountant should be reimbursed to the service charge account by compelling the freeholder to take legal action against the supplier if necessary).
                    Our accountants charge under £400 a year for preparing the annual accounts for two dozen flats.

                    Nice to see a tribunal being emphatic, but can't help thinking the facts were ones even they couldn't ignore? My experience of the old LVT lay panel tribunal before we got RTM was far different. Maybe the judge-led tribunals are better?
                    Do not read my offerings, based purely on my research or experience as a lessee, as legal advice. If you need legal advice please see a solicitor.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      In case anyone doesn't want to go to the effort of downloading the pdf of the above judgment, here is the key point extracted:

                      13. The 2015 accounts include a charge of £600 for accountancy services.
                      This is an amount owed to Pinnick Lewis LLP, together with another
                      charge of £600, for their preparation of the 2014 and 2015 accounts.
                      Whether it is Pinnick Lewis’s fault or the Respondent’s fault for failing
                      to provide the relevant information, but the accounts are clearly not
                      worth a payment of that amount. As aforementioned, they fail to take
                      account of past uncollected service charges and include sums which
                      should not be there. Aside from that, the accounts also involve few
                      transactions and should have been simple to compile. The accounts are
                      not reliable records of what they purport to show and so this charge is
                      not payable.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by MrSoffit View Post
                        Nice to see a tribunal being emphatic, but can't help thinking the facts were ones even they couldn't ignore? My experience of the old LVT lay panel tribunal before we got RTM was far different. Maybe the judge-led tribunals are better?
                        Indeed. But we will not know until more people try using this as a tool at FTT (and also referring accountants to regulators/disciplinary bodies). After all the guidance as to what the accountant is supposed to do is explicit, and reasonableness of the charge (which simply provides a tool) simply involves comparing those guidances to the output.

                        In exactly the same way one would do for a builder hired by the freeholder.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by josepha333 View Post
                          ...is there any way of receiving what you are paying for? As you previously stated Tribunals consider costs to be allowed if contained within the service charge account, especially when certified (?), irrespective of whether they have actually been incurred and the service provided.
                          The problem and your challenge starts long before the year end accounts. RAM hit nail on the head about the pretty common problem exposed on this forum. Lack of management by leaseholders.

                          Service charge 'accounting' is a sick joke among many in leasehold. There's theory, then there's practice.

                          As AndrewDod said, landlords/agents must follow RICs code and Tech 03/11 (and the lease of course). Accountants must follow Tech 03/11. Behind these two guides lies a wealth of legislation.

                          Para 6.3 Rics code - read and laugh, especially: "You should send a written account to your client (or as they direct) for all client money held, paid or received (whether or not there is any payment due to your client) at appropriate intervals agreed with your client but not less than once a year."

                          Having sacked three 'professional agents' in a row for un-transparent accounting, our agent contract now requires these, among other bespoke specs, added to a separate schedule:


                          "Full directional and financial control retained by the RTMCo Board, especially no entering into contracts without prior discussion and written agreement.

                          "Agent to carry out annual review of budget two months before start of accounting year and submit briefing note to RTMCo Board for approval prior to a face to face meeting to discuss and agree. RTM board must receive monthly 'sub-account' ledger reports of the following:-


                          1. Current assets: all bank accounts (full transactions report)
                          2. Assets: Accounts receivable (ledger report for each flat showing b/fwd balance, charges and receipts in period and c/fwd balance.
                          3. Expenses: all expense sub-accounts for current period showing all postings.
                          4. Liabilities: Accounts payable: showing contractor invoices not paid at date of report.
                          5. Bank reconciliation for all bank accounts supplied every thirteen weeks per RICs code.

                          6. Draft annual accounts with full background workings and XTB provided to RTM management team before end of first quarter in following year. RTM Board to agree the draft accounts in writing prior to final sign off by AGM approved accountant."

                          We also insist on Tech 03/11's...

                          "10. It is therefore best practice for landlords or their agents to open a separate bank account for each property/development. That bank account should have the word ‘trust’ or ‘client’ or the name of the property in its title. For example Hazel Court RMCo Limited Trust Account.


                          ... and require a unique client bank account for us, not putting our money into a pooled account where it can vanish into black holes.

                          Does this all work smoothly in practice? Hell no. Constant hassles.

                          If your RMC could achieve the following you might have a sane life:

                          1. Directors willing to direct and acquire competence to direct.

                          2. At least one person willing and able to keep double entry books (the free open source GNUCash software is perfect for service charge book keeping and with a few tweaks you can knock up the accounts too just to confirm the accountant has got it correct). The RMC keeps its own books up to date periodically but at least quarterly and insists the agent supplies it with all the cash book data it needs to do so using the RICs code above quoted.

                          3. Insist the agent opens a unique client bank account per Tech 03/11 best practice, not one of the habitual pooled client accounts that serve nobody but a lazy agent.

                          4. Insist on an online financial portal (Like Blocks online or Resident) where the RMC directors can see all the income and expenditure transactions.

                          5. Insist all transactions run through the "chequing account" so that bank statements will cover everything. Funds put to a reserves account are transferred back to the chequinq account before expending - none of this multiple active accounts malarky that agents seem to love to help blur the edges.


                          Achieve all these things and you may get what you pay for at last.

                          I'm still trying for transparency and accuracy, mind. Funny enough, have yet to find a discrepancy that gave the service charge account mystery extra funds the same way mystery expense 'adjustments' appear.

                          Adjustments are those accruals, creditors and prepayments c/fw and b/fwd. Where the big bodies get buried.
                          Do not read my offerings, based purely on my research or experience as a lessee, as legal advice. If you need legal advice please see a solicitor.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Hi all.

                            Thank you for your replies and the information and links provided of which all will be perused and remembered for future reference.

                            I have also stumbled across an interesting view on a Section 21 report under the provisions of Section 21 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 which stated it is an interesting but possibly useless report of the interim service charge costs, however it might be useful to tenants wishing to make an enquiry into a service charge budget.
                            It continues to discuss why a Section 21 report no longer has a place in the modern and professional regulated property management sector. (?)

                            Under section 21 (1) of the LTA 1985, a tenant (or recognised Tenants’ Association) can request a Landlord to provide a summary of service charge costs. Once the request is received the Landlord must provide the information within one month or within six months of the year end, whichever is later. Failure to meet these deadlines is a criminal offence.

                            Section 21 (5) requires the summary to distinguish between;
                            1, Items/costs for which no payment has been demanded of the Landlord within the accounting period
                            2. Items/costs for which payment has been demanded by the Landlord but not paid in the period
                            3. Items paid in the period by the Landlord
                            Section 21 (6) requires that if there are more than four dwellings then the summary must be certified by a qualified accountant who is also a Registered Auditor.

                            It goes onto state what is wrong with the Section 21 summary, the summary of costs does not add value and the analysis required under section 21 (5) is difficult for the accountant to prepare and almost incomprehensible for the poor lessee to understand.

                            It further states the information presented fails at least two of the qualitative characteristics of valuable financial information in that it is not readily understandable and it does not allow any comparison either with prior year expenditure or budgeted expenditure. The information provided by the summary is incomplete. There is no requirement to provide a balance sheet and although there is a provision under section 21 (6) to account for accruals and creditors there is no provision for prepayments and so the outcome is hybrid form of accounting, combining some aspects of accruals accounting and some aspects of cash accounting. In short, the report is conceptually flawed!

                            Section 21(6) requires the accountant’s certificate to be prepared by a Registered Auditor. This is confusing for the lessee because the work involved in preparing the certificate could not be further away from carrying out an “audit” in accordance with International Auditing Standards. There is no justification for a Registered Auditor preparing this report other than that the legislation says so.

                            The article started by stating that the section 21 summary and report has no value. However, the section 21 report does have posterity value as it reminds us how far the property management sector has come since 1985. The 1985 legislation was designed to protect the lessee from the rogue landlord, who in those days was perceived to have all the power in the relationship between landlord and lessee. There is no question that the section 21 legislation was well intentioned and designed to redress some of this imbalance. However, it no longer has a place in the modern and professionally regulated property management sector.
                            For anybody wishing to see the original you will find it here;

                            http://www.bishopandsewell.co.uk/fla...untants-report

                            I would restate that the managing agents have issued this years service charge accounts in this format to negate the terms set out in the lease and the fact that I have requested that they be audited in accordance with the lease and RICS Service Charge Residential Management Code.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by josepha333 View Post
                              Under section 21 (1) of the LTA 1985, a tenant (or recognised Tenants’ Association) can request a Landlord to provide a summary of service charge costs. Once the request is received the Landlord must provide the information within one month or within six months of the year end, whichever is later. Failure to meet these deadlines is a criminal offence.
                              Ahh yes. One of the great criminal offenses in L&T law that is impossible to actually prosecute in practice.

                              They might as well say "Failure to meet these deadlines is a very silly billy thing to do. You might even be sent to the naughty step."

                              Comment

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