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Leaseholder service charge disputes on the increase

Solicitors in London

News article published on: 20th June 2012

Channel 4’s Dispatches programme last night highlighted the problems which can be experienced when purchasing a leasehold property, in particular, landlords charging unreasonable service charges.

The programme identified that there was a 46% increase in the number of service charge complaints in the last two years and these were set to increase as the number of people purchasing leasehold properties was also increasing, 40% of new builds being leaseholds.

When you are purchasing a leasehold property you are purchasing a temporary right to hold land or property by way of a lease from the landlord. It is therefore important when purchasing a leasehold property that you understand exactly what you are buying and the possible future costs that you are likely to be responsible for where the landlord might undertake major works in the future.

Whilst there are duties on the landlord to consult with the tenants where they propose to undertake major works, it is thought that this process is open to abuse and does not prevent extortionate charges being raised. The programme focused on the difficulties for lessees who have to establish whether the works are necessary and the service charges reasonable.

How Osbornes solicitors can help?

If you intend to purchase or already own a leasehold property and would like advice on yours and your landlord’s obligations under the lease then please feel free to contact our expert property solicitors. If you are in dispute with your landlord over service charges or any other leasehold issue please contact ourProperty Litigation Team.

Our Property department can also help you if you would like to extend your leaseor begin a right to manage action

For further advice please contact Guy Osborn or Shilpa Mathuradas by:

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Livery House, 9 Pratt Street, London NW1 0AE
Tel: 020 7485 8811 Fax: 020 7485 5660
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28A Hampstead High Street, Hampstead, NW3 1QA
Tel: 020 7485 8811 Fax: 020 7485 5660

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