Landlords should protect themselves from service charge disputes by using the tips and advice in this blog to ensure that their requests are fair and ‘reasonably incurred’.
When tenants fall into arrears with their service charge payments it is often because they are unhappy with a service that is being provided or don’t feel that a charge is fair or reasonable.
According to Section 19 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, tenants should only be charged for works and services that have been ‘reasonably incurred’.
Valid charges include those that are fair, necessary, and offer tenants good value for money.
Tips for ensuring service charges are ‘reasonably incurred’
The term ‘reasonably incurred’ is somewhat ambiguous, so we’ve put together some tips and advice to help landlords to ensure that their service charge fees would be considered reasonable at a tribunal.
- Maintenance should be carried out as and when necessary, not excessively.
- Work charged for should benefit all tenants collectively, not one individual or a select few.
- The standard of the work carried out should be good value.
- Landlords should shop around and compare the market to get a good deal.
- Landlords should carry out spot checks on the quality of the work being completed by all regular service providers to ensure standards are consistently being met.
- Landlords should communicate clearly with tenants and listen to their feedback.
- It’s important to keep organised and comprehensive documentation of all services and work undertaken in case you are required to produce it as proof or evidence in the event of a dispute.
If you require any help or advice with recovering service charge arrears, get in touch with our team of experts here at Debt Squared by giving us a call on 0800 002 9049.