Hi, sorry in a bit of a rush before. The freeholder of the property, who I'll call A has a number of rules they have to follow when issuing service charges. It is a pretty complex area, but there could be a technical defense if it did go so far as to court, because they may not have followed the rules. Unless I'm mistaken, when it comes to lease forfeiture it's the Land Valuation Tribunal that deals with these cases anyway. It isn't a case of them applying to the tribunal and A being granted forfeiture. There is a hearing, and provided you went along with a reasonable offer that should be accepted. If you have attempted to reach agreement and they have been awkward about things, keep a record. Basically they should accept a reasonable offer. This could be £25 a month on top of your usual service charge, it will take 6 years, but provided you have at least 8 years remaining on the lease this is reasonable amount. The best way of doing these things is to sit down at the weekend and go through your income and expenditure, including everything from utilities to lunches at work, to petrol, mot and so on. If you go to the step change or national debt line website you will find some sample financial statements which should give you an idea of the detail needed. Be accurate though because in my experience most people underestimate their outgoings. When you can see how much you can afford to pay back, that is the offer you should make. I always tell clients to try to negotiate for less than they think they can afford. For example if you can afford 60 pounds a month on top of the usual service charge, offer 30. You can always pay more than agreed, but you will be in an even worse situation if you offer 60 and miss payments. Hope this helps. If you need further advice try Shelter adviceline.
Right, I’ve misunderstood in that case. Beg your pardon. It is a service charge. Apologies. This is for the gardens around the apartment and the cleaning of the communal areas, lights etc. Not a lease. Sorry.
jon is that true that paying it back over 6 years is viewed as reasonable? I'm on the committee for the block I live in, Service charge is based on incurred costs, so how is the block meant to function with debt being paid back over years? Argh! We have a non payer and it's a nightmare, the other flats are effectively subsidising that one.