Blocks of modern residential flats with a blue sky. I own a flat in a development.  My landlord has sent me a service charge bill for thousands of pounds.  I have no idea what it’s for and have not been given any information about this.  I have asked for more details but the charges are now due.  Can I simply refuse to pay?

Can I refuse to pay my service charge?—The Sunday Times

Pauline Lam, Senior associate in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, property litigation team.
Pauline Lam
1 min Read
Senior associate Pauline Lam has provided a response to a reader's question in The Sunday Times Home Help feature, addressing a common concern faced by leaseholders regarding unexpected and unexplained service charge bills and their rights. In this response, Pauline highlights the importance of the right to challenge charges, and explores potential grounds for dispute, including issues related to major works and statutory consultation processes. The article also touches on the ongoing Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill, regarding potential changes in the landscape of service charges for leaseholders.
In most cases, the prudent thing to do is to pay the charges “under protest”, putting your landlord on notice that your payment should not be interpreted to mean that you agree that the charges are properly due and that you reserve your right to challenge these when you are in a position to do so."
Pauline Lam, Senior associate in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, property litigation team.
Pauline Lam • Senior associate

The full article is available to read online at The Sunday Times, by subscription only. 

Pauline Lam is a senior associate in the property litigation team. She advises businesses, charities and individuals on property disputes and avoidance. She increasingly advises on cases involving cladding remediation, building defects and issues arising from the Building Safety Act 2022 for groups of leaseholders, resident management and right-to-manage companies, commercial tenants as well as landlords and developers.

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