Late service charge demands and the importance of contemplating forfeiture for recovering legal costs – Nearly Legal

Posted September 6th, 2021 in appeals, costs, housing, landlord & tenant, leases, news, service charges by tracey

‘This was a second appeal to the Court of Appeal from the Upper Tribunal on two issues arising from long running litigation between the freeholder, West India Quay and the head lessee, East Tower Apartments (ETAL) on the arrangements for and charging for utilities for the residential parts of the building (a 33 storey tower, including a hotel). The initial proceedings brought by ETAL had gone through the FTT and the Upper Tribunal and had resulted in a significant reduction in charges. For our purposes, the relevant part of these decisions where that ‘Switch 2) – the utility provider – had levied “standing charges” (actually costs for reading meters and preparing bills) from 2008 onwards. The freeholder had included these charges in the utility charge to the lessee. The FTT had found that they were not recoverable, as there had never been “a contractually valid demand for them as service charges, and it was not open to the Landlord to “re-allocate” them as general service charge.”’

Full Story

Nearly Legal, 5th September 2021