Freeholder refuses section 22 request

by Readers Question

2 months ago

Freeholder refuses section 22 request

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Freeholder refuses section 22 request

I served a section 22 request on a freeholder by which they are required to provide their invoice and other evidence for last year service charge calculation for free within a month. However. instead of sending me all their invoices etc they offered their office visit (saying will provide all I need for inspection) or copy of invoices at 20p per page. They argued they consulted their lawyer and they don’t need to send copy invoices to me, but office visit is enough.

This is from a very dodgy freeholder and their management company, who had a lot of “over the edge of law” practices before. I can tell they are deliberately making this review process difficult, what action I can take to put them right?

Thanks

Mike

Section 22 request below:

“Under Section 22(3) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 you are obliged to forward this request to the landlord as soon as may be.

You are required to provide me with reasonable facilities free of charge for inspecting the accounts, receipts and other documents supporting the summary, and for taking copies or extracts from them.

You are required to make such facilities available for a period of two months beginning not later that one month after this request is made.

A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to perform a duty imposed on them under Section 22 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 commits a summary offence and is liable on conviction to pay a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale

The local housing authority has the power to bring a prosecution.”

Comments

Neil Patterson

2 months ago

Hi Mike form the Landlord and Tenant act 1985 it is not 100% clear on this especially the last section about costs See >> http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/22

"Request to inspect supporting accounts &c.

(1)This section applies where a tenant, or the secretary of a recognised tenants’ association, has obtained such a summary as is referred to in section 21(1) (summary of relevant costs), whether in pursuance of that section or otherwise.

(2)The tenant, or the secretary with the consent of the tenant, may within six months of obtaining the summary require the landlord in writing to afford him reasonable facilities—

(a)for inspecting the accounts, receipts and other documents supporting the summary, and

(b)for taking copies or extracts from them.

(3)A request under this section is duly served on the landlord if it is served on—

(a)an agent of the landlord named as such in the rent book or similar document, or

(b)the person who receives the rent of behalf of the landlord;

and a person on whom a request is so served shall forward it as soon as may be to the landlord.

(4)The landlord shall make such facilities available to the tenant or secretary for a period of two months beginning not later than one month after the request is made.

[F1(5)The landlord shall—

(a)where such facilities are for the inspection of any documents, make them so available free of charge;

(b)where such facilities are for the taking of copies or extracts, be entitled to make them so available on payment of such reasonable charge as he may determine.

(6)The requirement imposed on the landlord by subsection (5)(a) to make any facilities available to a person free of charge shall not be construed as precluding the landlord from treating as part of his costs of management any costs incurred by him in connection with making those facilities so available."

May therefore be worth seeking advice from the Leasehold Advisory Service >> https://www.lease-advice.org/

David Atkins

2 months ago

‘Free of charge’ means they shouldn’t profit from the service. Any reasonable costs such as time and photocopying can be passed on. Is there a specific reason why you need the invoices? I’m a qualified block manager.

Mike Wang

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Atkins at 12/02/2018 - 11:34
Hi David, thanks for you reply. Well I simply need a copy of all doc for processing. There is no way process all doc within limited time in their office, nor one can mentally scan all doc in mind, which I suspect may have been their intention to make it difficult.
I’m aware of other management firm simply provide soft copy on requests, not this one.
The question really is whether they are allowed to offer office visit ONLY but charge for soft copy under section 22.


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