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 - Stephen Desmond

Stephen Desmond has been delivering training for over 15 years during which time he has delivered more than 1,800 CPD events to lawyers from a variety of backgrounds. Delegates at these events have included practitioners from a variety of size of firms, ranging from sole practitioners to City Solicitors. 

Stephen is a contributing editor to Butterworths Property Law Service, published by Lexis Nexis, writing on the complex law relating to long and short leases.  He writes for the Solicitors Group on the subject of commercial property. 
He has run a university-accredited distance-learning course for aspiring paralegals in the subject of residential conveyancing.

A former practicing Solicitor with several years post-qualification experience, Stephen has represented many business and private clients, including property investors and local authorities.

Course Curriculum

recorded webinars

  • Part 1
  • Part 2


  • Slides
    19 Page