The freeholder sends us a 6 monthly bill for the service charge, which we find difficult to manage. Are we entitled to pay the charge monthly?
Reply from Service Charge Dispute Guide
1. To answer this question you will need to check your Lease.
2. Leases normally state when a Landlord may issue a Service Charge bill and when those bills should be paid. Some Leases specifically state that monthly payments are allowed, others state simply that the invoice must be paid within a certain number of days after it is issued.
3. There is nothing in Law which gives a Leaseholder an entitlement to pay a Service Charge bill in instalments if their Lease does not state that they may do so.
4. Often these types of situation are resolved without reference to the law. Some Landlords will respond kindly to a polite written request to be allowed to pay by instalment even if they are not legally obliged to offer the facility. In the first instance your approach should be to write a letter explaining your problems and asking whether it might be possible for you to pay the bills by instalments. If your Landlord is a Local Authority or a Housing Association they should consider your request on the basis that they have a social obligation to help their residents, and a complaint made to a Local Councillor or MP may help remind them of that obligation if they respond unhelpfully in the first instance.
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