Get it right!
Issuing demands for service charges and ground rents can be a tricky matter as recent legislation has imposed certain obligations on landlords and managing agents, which if not observed, could result in the service charge or ground rent not being due or payable until the demands are sent correctly. This obviously causes unnecessary delays and impacts on the credit control for the site with all the negative consequences that entails.
The following are some non-exhaustive guidelines for correct demands:
- All demands for service charge must be in writing
- The landlord’s name and address in England and Wales must be given (or an address for service in England and Wales)
- A Summary of Tenants Rights and Obligations must accompany the demand (n.b. there is case law to say it must be sent at same time and not a few days later)
- A service charge is not payable by tenant until the demand is given in the correct format
- Check the wording of the lease as to service of the demand and follow it
- Demands for administration charges must be demanded in writing
- The amounts must be reasonable
- Demands for administration charges must also be accompanied by a Summary of Tenants’ Rights and Obligations (this is a different summary than the one for service charges so make sure you use the correct one)
Demands for ground rent must be in writing and contain prescribed information:
- The amount of rent due
- The date the tenant is liable to pay the rent – or if the demand is sent after the due date the date on which the rent would have been payable under the lease
- The payment date must be no fewer than 30 and no more than 60 days after the date of service of the demand
- The payment date must not be stated to be a date before the date stipulated for payment under the lease
- The name of the tenant
- The period the rent demanded relates to
- The name and address of the landlord (in England and Wales or an address for service in England and Wales)
- Must contain the ‘Notice for Leaseholders’ in the prescribed format (check for updates)
If you have any queries about your service charge demands or ground rent notices then please instruct us to check these on your behalf or simply call us on a no-obligation basis and we will be happy to help.