Challenging Service Charges

Challenging Service Charges

If you are a leaseholder of a residential flat and your service charge seems to be constantly increasing for no apparent reason there is a mechanism by which you can challenge it. You can make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal for a determination as to whether the service charge is reasonable (this may still be possible even if you have paid the service charge).

 What is the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (“LVT”)?
  • It is part of the Residential Property Tribunal Service and is intended to be a relatively informal way to resolve residential leasehold disputes
  • Proceedings are semi informal
  • The LVT usually consists of a three person panel – a lawyer, a valuer and a lay person

An application cannot be made to the LVT in the following circumstances:-

  • Where the issue has been admitted by the leaseholder
  • Where it has been determined by a Court
  • Where it has been referred to arbitration
 What is reasonable?

 There is no simple definition of what is reasonable, but consideration needs to be given to questions such as:-

  • Are (or were) the works or services necessary?
  • What were the Landlord’s procedures for costing the works and services?
  • Was (or is) the standard of the works or services appropriate?
 The Procedure 
  • Application made to LVT on designated form
  • Upon receipt LVT send a copy to the Landlord
  • The LVT may issue directions to the parties (such as in respect of exchange of evidence)
  • The LVT will notify other parties likely to be significantly affected (such as other leaseholders in the building) and give them the opportunity to join in the application
  • The LVT may hold a pre-trial review
  • The LVT do not always hold a hearing and can decide the application upon the basis of written submissions
  • If there is a hearing it will be along general court lines with the presentation of experts and witnesses

The costs in a LVT can be significant, therefore the more leaseholders who join in the application to the LVT, the lower each individual’s costs will be, a collective approach can be more effective than individual approaches.  It is important that the leaseholders have available and provide all relevant service charge documentation as well as details of and reasons for the items in dispute.

If you require any further information please contact a member of our Property Team.

Upcoming Events

Supply Chain Supper Club – February 2020


This event is invite only. If you would like to receive an invite, please…

Read More
News Posts

Gotelee welcomes Sian Walker…


We are delighted to welcome Sian Walker as a trainee solicitor within Gotelee Solicitors…

Read More


"“ This is the second time we have used Tracey for the conveyancing to buy our new home. She is always completely approachable, she has helped us along the way with advice and useful tips that has helped lessen the stress. We have complete confidence in her and would not hesitate to recommend her to our friends and family”.  - Peter Dawes, Cater Dawes Financial Planning "


"Approachable, very efficient, always willing to take my calls and update me."

- SH

"Jade made the process of buying our first home quick, easy and took the stress out of a new chapter of our lives"


"I don't think this house sale would have pulled together without Jo's determination and expertise. Excellent!"

- MT

"We found Rachel Dawson outstanding, polite, professional and caring."


"I would like to say thank you for your help, support and guidance over the last two and a half years. Obviously should I need further assistance in the future I shall not hesitate to call you guys."


"Jade Shelton was absolutely fantastic!! Professional and proactive at all times."

- JH

"Prompt, helpful, polite and very professional service"


"The ease that we could access and speak to Pat Smith - Thank you"


"We were very pleased to have Jade as our solicitor, the service was excellent and we felt kept in the loop which minimised stress"

- CT

    Please select preferred method of contact

    * We will only contact you by telephone if you select this as primary form of contact. All web enquiries will be stored on our website for 30 days.