We manage our own block, and it all works well, except for one lessee who persistently fails to pay his service charges, and is currently building up considerable arrears. We would prefer not to consult a solicitor at this stage. Can you suggest how to write a firm legal warning to the offender.
The FPRA replies:
I suggest the text for your letter should be as follows:
“It is noted that you are in arrears with the payment of service charges due under your lease [quote relevant lease provisions]. Those arrears amount to £[ ], as shown in the attached statement.
Your failure to pay the service charges has a number of consequences not only in relation to the day to day running of the estate but also in terms of your lease itself. As we are sure you will appreciate failure to pay service charges due is a breach of the terms of your lease and that breach may result in the lease being terminated.
In the circumstances you are requested to take immediate steps to clear your arrears.
Should you fail to do so within 14 days we will, with regret, have no option but to consult our solicitors to take action to collect payment of the arrears and interest thereon and/or to begin the process for terminating your lease. We will seek reimbursement of the cost of this process from you.