RTM: getting the service charge demands right

There are various restrictions (both contractual and statutory) on the recovery of service charges. One of the statutory restrictions is that a demand for service charges must comply with sections 47 and 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. Demands for service charges must include the name and address of the landlord, and an address for service in England and Wales.

The practical impact of any failure to supply the name and address of the landlord together with an address for service is that the service charges are not due until the information is supplied.

 

Who’s the Landlord?

Service charges are dealt with by sections 18 to 30 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Section 30 of the 1985 Act defines a “landlord” for these purposes to include any person who has the right to enforce payment of a service charge.

Unfortunately, the provisions of the 1987 Act are a little less clear. For the purposes of this Act, “landlord” means the immediate landlord.

 

Impact of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002

Because of provisions contained within the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, references in sections 46 to 48 of the 1987 Act to the landlord include the RTM company.

To comply with sections 47 and 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, it is the RTM company’s name and address, including an address for service, that should be set out on any service charge demand.