Landlord and tenant: service charge increase for improvements

A decision in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) will increase the administrative burden on landlords to show that they have considered both alternative approaches and the financial impact on tenants of improvements before proceeding. Failure to do so may provide disgruntled tenants with ammunition to challenge high service charge bills.

The tribunal held that, when considering whether service charge costs for improvements (as distinct from repairs) are reasonable, the landlord must show that it has considered the availability of an alternative and less expensive remedy, and the views and the financial means of the tenants who will be required to pay for the works.

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