Proud to be celebrating 170 years in business

Rent and Service Charge Recovery Residential Property

Tenants occupying under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (or in some cases Assured or Rent Act tenancies) will be required to pay rent on a periodic basis, usually weekly or monthly. 

If your tenant has not made these payments, you may be able to recover the rent arrears, either through possession proceedings or as a debt.

Residential leaseholders will usually have to pay ground rent and service charges as defined in their lease.  Where ground rent is not paid to you by the tenant, you may be able to forfeit the lease or seek to recover the arrears as a debt. Service charges are made in addition to ground rent to cover services, repairs, maintenance, insurance, improvements or costs of management and the amount may vary according to the costs incurred or to be incurred.  You must ensure these service charges are reasonable, as well as the administration fees; if they are considered to be unreasonable in amount or unreasonably incurred, your tenant may challenge these costs in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

As a landlord you may, from time to time, need to carry out ‘works on a building or other premises’ – that is works of repair, maintenance or improvement; or enter into qualifying long-term agreements with a wholly independent organisation or contractor for a period of more than 12 months.  Detailed regulations were produced under section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended by s.151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002) which set out the precise procedures you must follow, including sending consultation notices both to individual leaseholders and to any recognised tenants association. This must be done before the works begin.

If you fail to comply with the section 20 statutory procedure and do not consult with the leaseholders who are required to contribute to the cost of the works under the terms of their leases, you may only be able to recover £250 of the costs from each leaseholder.

If you are seeking payment of rent, ground rent or service charges from residential tenants, we can help advise on the most appropriate course of action for you.

For further information, or if you wish to obtain advice about a claim, or defend a clam being brought against you, please contact our expert Kevin Richardson on 02392 660261 or


For further information or to speak to one of our experts, please get in touch