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Solicitor needed

Myself and another leaseholder are looking to contest a service charge so are looking for possible representation if we go to a tribunal. Long shot but I don't suppose anyone on here is, or knows, a solicitor that specialises in this area?


  • Try this,
  • Very few solicitors do, because in general the amount of money involved is too small to make it worthwhile incurring legal costs.

    If you look at the recent decisions of the Lands Tribunal on service charges most of the leaseholders represent themselves.

    These guys provide free advice to leaseholders.
  • Thanks, rang lease-advice this morning but only gave general info that I was already aware of. Expect we'll have to represent ourselves.
  • What are you being charged for and how much?

    Has the freeholder served you with a Section 20 notice?

    If they don't follow exactly the prescribed timetables for consultation and allowed you to provide alternative estimates then they've no chance of getting the money off you - unless it's emergency work.

    If it's just because their service costs have gone up and it's below the Section 20 threshold (which I think is about £150 per flat) then you have to pay up.
  • Hi Addickted,

    We're being charged for the usual stuff, insurance, repairs and maintenance, management charges, gardening, accountancy. Yes we have had a section 20 notice. The reason we're not happy is the amount we now have to pay has gone up 100% since 2008 to £563.96 every 6 months.
    Aside from a rise in building insurance very little else has changed, hardly anything gets done to the flats apart from gardening. We had a meeting with them last year and agreed to reduce gardening from weekly to fortnightly to reduce costs but even though this has happened it has not been reflected in the costs as we're still being charged the same amount.
    I'd like to take them to tribunal but obviously wouldn't if there weren't sufficient grounds.
  • How many paying this service charge? I can do the maths and logistics and give you an idea of your chances. I do not have legal training but have been quite succesful with this sort of thing. The problem in trying to do it yourself is that you also have an emotional involvement. Facts and truth without personal gripes are essential if you wish to prevail. I'm happy to help anytime.
  • Cheers baby lol :)

    There are 3 blocks of 4 flats, some are run by the council but I don't know how many. Most are rented out so getting to speak to each owner isn't easy (a couple we have spoken to weren't that bothered). One we spoke to last night was in agreement with us that she thinks it's too high but she lives in Birmingham so can't really help much aside from adding her name to the mix.

    What is really getting my goat is the gardening issue, I have letters from the agents saying that after our meeting in 2011 it has been agreed the gardening will be reduced in order to lower costs. Garden maintenance for 2011 was £2431. The work has been reduced by 50% over the last year so the cost should be approx £1215. Yet our service charge remains the same. Haven't been able to compare the accounts yet as they are only just being finalised but will be interesting to see how they jusitfy this.

  • £3 a day does sound excessive for a block of that size.
  • Talal (sweetheart) You'll have to have everyone onside otherwise it's a non starter. It's very difficult to defend your corner when nobody else gives a shit. In saying this I would still ask them how they justify the same garden maintainence as inflation wouldnt bare out their argument.
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