Bedford Court Mansions Limited v. Dr M Ribiere and Mr T Warner and Others [2017] UKUT 202 (LC): Service Charge Apportionment

In this case the leases provided that the service charge was to be apportioned on the relative rateable values unless that became impossible or impractical in which case service charges should be apportioned on a method which was fair and reasonable.

A method of apportionment had been in force since 2008 although in 2015 the freeholder wished to adopt a different method. The FTT determined that the freeholder could not introduce the new method and was bound by the 2008 method.

The Upper Tribunal dismissed the freeholders appeal. This accepted that the 2008 basis was fair and equitable. The judgement provided that it was for the FTT to decide under Section 27A(1) the amount of service charge payable and therefore it had to determine the fair and equitable basis of apportionment.

The Upper Tribunal upheld the FTT decision that the 2008 method was fair and equitable. The Upper Tribunal did make clear that it may be possible in future years to adopt a different method provided this was fair and equitable and to achieve this it would need to address the areas of concern raised in the present case.

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