At Charles Cox Ltd, the main task that we do is issuing the service charge demands. Service charge collection can be a time-consuming task especially when collection of arrears is involved. There are usually many reasons why leaseholders do not pay a service charge promptly or choose to dispute it. In summary the main two reasons are normally either they can’t afford to pay and they wish to ignore the problem or they are in dispute over the amount they are being asked to pay. Naturally there are also people that simply forget or it slips their mind.
In the case of those who simply cannot afford to pay we have a number of solutions including setting up direct debit payment plans or giving a period of grace all of which are subject to our clients or freeholders approval however we normally find that a viable solution can be found. Naturally this tends to occur when the budget is either increased or an extra demand for an unusual item such as external redecoration is sent to the leaseholder. In normal circumstances we would try to avoid this by building up a reserve fund but as one might expect this is not always possible and even when the reserve fund is in place it may not be sufficient enough to cover the works that are proposed. It would be a suggestion that upon receipt that you feel you may have difficulty in paying that you contact us and discuss the matter that way everything is open in the air and will avoid unnecessary administration costs or legal proceedings.
On the other hand from time to time we do get leaseholders simply disputing the costs rather than a case of they can’t afford it. It’s more they dispute the amount they are being asked for. In this case it may be that we are able to resolve the problem by mediating or discussing it over the phone. However from time to time then may be the need for us to go to the First tier tribunal property chamber (FFTPC) and discuss the matter or ask for formal guidance as to the reasonableness of the amount being asked for.
Having said all this generally speaking the collection of service charge if uncontentious is generally a simple process although one has to be geared up for the inevitable non-payments or disputes which arise from time to time. Our head of accounts Janine Usher is well practised in resolving these matters or progressing them accordingly if you have any questions about your property or a property we don’t currently manage to which you are having difficulty on collection of monies please give Janine a call on (01323) 894400 and press option three and ask for Janine Usher. For legal and tribunal advice we would suggest you contact Matthew Cox on the same number as above then press option 2.