This case acts as a stark reminder that failure to follow the specific terms of the lease can land you in hot water! In this instance, the Landlord, did not follow the exact provisions set out in the lease in calculating and demanding the service charge.
The Lessee was quick to point out that the accounts provided did not adhere to the provisions set out in the lease and thus she was not liable to pay the service charges as demanded. The FTT concluded that no service charges were due as the lease terms had not been met.
The Landlord appealed to the Upper Tribunal but the decision was upheld thus clearly demonstrating that Landlord’s must read and comply with the lease to the letter! It is not good enough to merely read the lease and get a ‘gist’ of what is needed and provide it in your own form. Managing Agents, Landlords MUST read, understand and comply or risk the wrath of the courts!