Here is some information about living in the building which residents may find helpful. Let us know what else you want to know about and we will add it on here.
Service Charge – An Explanation…
– Service charge is a fund administered under the covenants set out in the Lease for the maintenance and upkeep of QCC. Every Leaseholder contributes on fixed percentages set out in each Lease.
– Service charge is very different from the utility bills you receive. Any domestic bills such as electricity, telephone, Council Tax etc are occupational charges and are based on the use of the utility by the individual. Therefore if your property is tenanted, it is always the occupier who is liable. The end user is the liable person and therefore as a Landlord of a Flat you cannot be held liable for the utility charges of the occupant. You are of course responsible for such charges during periods when the property is unoccupied. Service charge, however, is the liability of the Leaseholder. Any Sub-Tenant cannot be held liable for the service charge. The legal mechanism for recovery of service charge is for the Management Company via its Managing Agent for the Leaseholder. BW has received requests from various Flat owners that we invoice their Sub-Tenant who has agreed to pay the service charge. We cannot do so because the Lease is the legal mechanism for recovery and the Lease Agreement is not with that Sub-Tenant. Whether a Leaseholder has an agreement with their Tenant for them to pay the service charge is entirely up to them but we can only ever invoice the Leaseholder.
– Service charge is payment governed by the Lease and therefore the current Leaseholder (whomever that shall be) is always the liable person. On a sale of a Flat, the Purchaser becomes the Leaseholder and as such becomes responsible for all service charges due on that property including any service charge arrears. This is why it is vital when you sell your Apartment to make sure that your Solicitors will obtain information from the Managing Agent as to whether there are any service charge arrears accrued at the property. This is because the new owner could become responsible for any and all service charge arrears that relate to a previous owner. This is why this is so different from a standard utility bill because a new owner cannot be held responsible for the domestic utility bills of the previous owner but he can in respect of service charge.
Service Charge Arrears…
– Service charges are demanded quarterly in advance and are payable on or before the due date. This is why invoices are usually issued 14 days before the due date to enable you to make payment on the correct date. We do allow payments by standing order on a monthly basis. If a Leaseholder has failed to pay their service charge within 14 days, they will receive a first warning letter from BW. A second warning letter at 21 days and at a month there will be a final warning letter confirming that if payment is not received within a specific time period, then an additional administration fee will be applied to that individual. If the individual Leaseholder still fails to pay, the administration fee will be charged to their service charge account and Solicitors will be instructed to pursue the full amount due plus costs and interest, via the County Court. The formal legal rights of every Leaseholder, is set out on the back of each and every service charge invoice you receive.