We are 3 x 125 year leased flats contesting new service charges. There is a shop on the ground floor which covers more than 25% of the building, which is in excellent repair and 400 years old.
3 years ago, When we bought the flat the original landowner signed a lease with us that included service charges but instead let us do our own management and only charged ground rent and buildings insurance. 2 years ago they sold to another landlord who we know nothing about but who’s agent we sat down with last year to agree the same terms verbally. This year the agent has come back saying the landlord wishes to discontinue the verbal agreement and reassert the original lease which we signed only with the original owner. They have quoted us exorbitant amounts £5k each for what we have managed at very little cost, carrying out nearly all the work ourselves – painting, tile repair, leak repair, cleaning. Together, in a joint letter, we have written back once already saying we wish to continue the verbal agreement but they have come back again saying we must pay. What can we do? Very Grateful for help.