If you think your service charges are too high you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to have them verified or reduced. It may take a while but if you have a good case it is well worth doing. The fact that Southwark do not send a detailed breakdown of charges has to be rectified and they have to be seen to be treating leasholders fairly and not expecting them to subsidise tenants, which at the moment seems to be the case.
I'm a leaseholder at Boarley House in SE17 and we just got the adjustment of the service charges. By the way, we bought our property in November and therefore the charges do not even apply to us!!
The so called adjustment means it's almost double the estimate (no water or heating included)! Can they do this? I find it just scandalous, especially considering the building is not exactly in good nick. For example, the neon light outside our door has been out of order at least since we got in and there's the same dirt patch on the landing's wall (no one's cleaning methinks).
Anyone else in our same position? Can we challenge the costs? It seems to me we are asked to subsidise the council tenants who, in most cases, are the ones dumping rubbish everywhere and generally not caring about the property.
We just bought the flat but we are already thinking of selling. I've had enough already.
In my case no water or heating included. They have e-mailed a breakdown of the charges, in which 400 pounds are "unitemised repairs". It's 4 times the amount it was last year. Definitely going to apply to the LVT for re-evaluation.