Ground Rent & Service Charges Disputes
Whether you’re a tenant, landlord or property manager, disputes over service charges and ground rent can quickly snowball and become problematic. Non-payment can result in landlords’ cash flow issues, property managers having to deal with unhappy clients and tenants left feeling pressured and confused.
The team here at Nash & Co Solicitors are on hand to ensure that tenants and landlords are aware of their rights and obligations. By ensuring all parties are well informed, our team can help to resolve the dispute and achieve the best outcome for all involved.
Not all disputes can be avoided, but we often find that obtaining early advice and taking pre-emptive steps can certainly help.
What are my rights?
Service charges and ground rent payments are two areas often misunderstood by both landlords and tenants. This confusion can lead to disputes.
Service charges are provided for in the tenancy or lease between the parties. They generally involve a payment from a tenant to the landlord to cover various communal costs. These include general maintenance, insurance, cleaning, and gardening services. Landlords are required to follow different procedures when raising invoices for certain types of work. Where these processes aren’t followed, the monies may not be recoverable.
Similarly, a landlord’s right to recover ground rent is established under the terms of a lease. However, it’s frequently the case that these terms are unclear or the lease itself is no longer available.
Help for landlords and tenants
This can have a knock-on effect, primarily where a landlord relies on this payment to maintain the building. Here at Nash & Co Solicitors, we can offer cost-effective solutions to help landlords recover the sums due. We can often achieve this without the need for the court’s involvement.
We can also help tenants in resolving disputes over service charges and ground rent. Disputes can arise over the service charges requested by the landlord. This often occurs as a tenant feels the amount due is too high for the services provided. Disputes can also arise if they don’t fully understand what the service charges are. Sometimes, this might happen if a landlord has failed to provide the prescribed information. Our solicitors can help tenants understand the purpose of a service charge and how it is calculated. We can advise landlords on the information which they must provide to a tenant. We can also explain the formal procedure where the landlord intends to carry out works which will cost a tenant more than £250.00.
Are you a landlord or a managing agent experiencing difficulties with ground rent non-payment and service charges disputes? If you’re not sure how to proceed, then get in touch with us. Our Commercial Disputes team are more than happy to help.
Or perhaps you’re a tenant in dispute with your landlord or management agent? If so, we’d strongly recommend that you contact Shelter in the first instance. They provide free legal advice to tenants. If that doesn’t help, then please get in touch. You can reach Ceren Fox by phone on 01752 827120 or by email at [email protected].