Service Charge Headaches for Conveyancers

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Course Overview

Service charges in blocks of flats and apartments are the most common form of dispute between residential landlords and tenants.

Conveyancers acting on behalf of purchasers are expected to make the usual pre-contract enquiries. However, there will be a number of issues that will inevitably fall outside the scope of a typical conveyancing transaction.

During this course experienced lecturer Stephen Desmond will consider the issues arising from the lease or the replies to enquiries with a view to examining ways of better advising the client. This course will also serve to highlight those issues that are not part of your normal retainer.

What are the requirements?

Learning Outcomes

  • On completion of this course you will:

    • Have a thorough understanding of the following topics:
      • General Considerations; Recover expenses, expenses incurred or to be incurred
      • Mandatory versus discretion
      • Sinking Funds & Reserve Funds; General principles, examples from case law
      • Catch-all provisions: specific list or wide discretion?
      • Service charge apportionment between tenants
      • Interim versus final service charge
      • Repairs versus improvements
      • Extent of common parts/exterior
      • Structure/main structure
      • Demand for payment
      • Construction of service charge provisions
    • Feel confident when advising the client on the topics detailed above
    • Be able to identify potential pitfalls and know how to avoid them

What is the target audience?

  • Conveyancing practitioners




About Instructor - James Driscoll

Professor James Driscoll is a solicitor and a writer who for 20 years was a consultant with Trowers & Hamlins. James is a prolific author of property and housing law books.  He is a regular contributor to the Estates Gazette, the New Law Journal and other journals.  James is a Judge, First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and an accredited mediator.

Course Curriculum

recorded webinars

  • Part 1
  • Part 2


  • Slides
    19 Page