‘A Practical Guide to Commercial Property Service Charges’ by Rachel Garton


Paperback: 978-1-914608-83-4
Published: August 2023
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Disputes over commercial service charges are increasing in number each year. The inherent conflict of interest between landlords and tenants has led it to be a heavily litigated area with recent cases being of concern for both parties.

This book aims to provide an introduction to commercial service charge with an overview of the matters that need to be considered when dealing with service charge disputes. It provides insight into the application of the Service Charge Code as well as reviewing what should be included within a service charge clause both to ensure recovery of sums due and avoid disputes. It seeks to serve as a useful initial reference guide for surveyors and solicitors alike and encompasses an overview of relevant case law to assist both with drafting service charge clauses and in dealing with disputes.


Rachel Garton is a consultant solicitor for Nexa Law, specialising in property dispute resolution.

Her work comprises of all areas of commercial and residential property litigation and landlord and tenant matters, including: tenants right to first refusal, residential leasehold enfranchisement, service charges, lease renewal litigation, commercial and residential possession proceedings and debt recovery.

She has a niche specialism in service charge disputes and has dealt with numerous service charge disputes from commercial and residential clients over the last 15 years as well as delivering a number of seminars on this topic for MBL Seminars.


Part One – General Principles Applicable to Service Charges

Chapter One – the Construction of the Service Charge Clause
Chapter Two – Sinking or Reserve Funds
Chapter Three – the Court’s Interpretation of a Service Charge Clause
Chapter Four – Complying With the Mechanics of a Service Charge Clause
Chapter Five – Factors Applicable to Both Commercial and Residential Property in Considering if Service Charges Are Payable

Part Two – Principles Applicable to Commercial Service Charges

Chapter Six – Factors to Consider in Determining Whether Commercial Service Charges Claimed Are Payable Under the Lease
Chapter Seven – the Impact of the Service Charge Code: Professional Statement

Part Three – Miscellaneous Points to Consider

Chapter Eight – Tax and Indexation
Chapter Nine – Mixed Use Premises
Chapter Ten – Variations to the Lease Terms and Changes in Identity of the Parties

Part Four – Disputes and Remedies

Chapter Eleven – Alternative Dispute Resolution
Chapter Twelve – Application for a Declaration
Chapter Thirteen – Tenant’s Remedies for Non-Performance of the Landlord’s Obligations
Chapter Fourteen – Landlord’s Remedies for Non-Payment of Service Charges
Chapter Fifteen – Legal Costs
Chapter Sixteen – Summary