In his very informative article in the most recent edition of News on the Block magazine, Blockinsure’s  David Williams highlighted the importance of making sure your legal expenses insurance covers you for proceedings at the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT). David’s article references the increase in LVT applications and determinations and this is backed up by Brady Solicitors’ recent Property Management Survey, where over 70% of property managers told us that leaseholders are being more aggressive in defending their non-payment of service charge arrears.

We encourage our clients to take out legal expenses insurance for the peace of mind that it can bring. However if you are facing proceedings and you don’t yet have insurance in place, then all may not necessarily be lost. Brady Solicitors has helped a number of clients to recover all costs at the LVT.

Our first step is always to check the terms of the lease to see whether or not costs can be claimed. Costs can most likely be claimed if:

a)     the case was originally a service charge claim against the leaseholder in the County Court which has been transferred to the LVT or

b)     where the landlord or RMC issued the LVT proceedings.

The general message is that nine times out of ten costs can be recovered in LVT proceedings provided the landlord or the RMC are the Applicant and the lease terms permit cost recovery.

So to maximise your chances of cost recovery, firstly follow David Williams’ advice and get that legal expenses insurance in place. Secondly, make sure that your legal representatives understand this complex area of law and can ensure your leases support costs recovery. Brady Solicitors has successfully amended leases for a number of property management clients to help them recover costs at the County Court and LVT.

For a friendly and informative chat about your leases or other issues raised in this blog, call us on 0115 985 3453 or drop us an email.