When is a service charge cost incurred?
In a recent update, Optima Legal reported the case of OM Property Management Limited v Burr. OM had mistakenly paid EDF Energy for gas and EDF Energy passed this on to the correct supplier, Total Energy . However, there was still a shortfall in the region of £100,000. This sum was put through the service charge and demanded from the tenants. One of the tenants claimed that as the costs had been ‘incurred’ more than 18 months before the service charges demand had been sent and were therefore irrecoverable. A Leasehold Valuation Tribunal agreed with him but the Upper Tribunal overturned that decision, as it decided that the cost for the fuel had not been incurred until the supplier had presented its bill. The Court of Appeal dismissed the tenant’s appeal,stating that the Upper Tribunal was correct that a cost became incurred on the presentation of an invoice or when it is paid (by the landlord).
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