Section 81 (Procedure After Giving Notice of a Management Audit)
1. This section sets out the legal obligations of a Landlord following the issuing of a notice by qualifying tenants (under Section 80) exercising their right to have a management audit carried out on their behalf.
Inspection of the Property
1. Section 80 states that if the tenants’ notice mentions a date for an inspection, then the Landlord must within 1 month of the date they receive that notice either:
i. Agree on that date.
ii. Suggest another date which is within 2 months of the date they receive the notice.
Supply, inspection and copying of documents
1. Section 80 states that a Landlord must do the following within 1 month of the date they receive the tenant’s notice:
i. Supply the auditor with a copy of any summary that the Landlord is required to produce under Section 21 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and facilities to copy or inspect this summary. It is though worth noting that this part of Section 80 is at present (August 2014) redundant as no regulations have been made under Section 21 regarding such summaries.
ii. Either provide the auditor with facilities to inspect or take copies of any other documents as are mentioned in the tenants’ notice OR state reasons why they object to this request.
2. The same rules apply if the tenants’ notice is given to relevant person other than the Landlord such as someone who collects the Service Charge on behalf of the Landlord.
What happens if a Landlord fails to comply?
1. An application made be made to a court or First Tier Tribunal for an Order compelling the Landlord to comply with the requirements of the tenants’ notice.
2. Section 80 does though place some restrictions on such an application:
i. The court or tribunal must be satisfied that the documents required are relevant to the purpose of the management audit before an Order is made.
ii. The Court or Tribunal will only make an Order for an inspection to be carried at the end of a two month period following the date the tenants’ notice was given to the landlord, or relevant person.
iii. The application must be made before the end of a four month period following the giving of the tenants’ notice to the Landlord or relevant person.
Click on the link to read more about the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993