With well over 50% of service charge arrears recovery cases being settled at the LBA (Letter before Action) stage for the first quarter of 2014, Brady Solicitors’ service charge specialists explain how this has been achieved.

“We all know that service charge arrears dent cash flow and hamper good block management, and that getting the cash back into your bank as quickly as possible is a top priority for any property manager.

“Our focus is to achieve – wherever possible – early resolution on service charge disputes and encourage leaseholders to settle without the need for lengthy litigation. We’ve found that open lines of communication dramatically speed up the service charge recovery process.

“Firstly we always seek to understand the reasons behind non-payment of service charges, which can be seen in an earlier Brady Solicitors blog post ‘service charge arrears: can’t pay, won’t pay’. We can then work out the best approach when contacting the leaseholder.

“Essentially we see ourselves as more than just a debt collection partner – Bradys act as an extension of our clients’ brands and we focus on improving leaseholder relations by taking a more sophisticated approach and educating leaseholders about their service charge demands and how non-payment can really impact upon how their block is managed.

“And finally, our intelligent systems and transparent reporting also help us to achieve the earliest possible settlement times by keeping the client fully in the picture and identifying the steps they may need to take to encourage prompt settlement.