You can contact us if you disagree with any part of your day-to-day or major works service charge invoice or if there are problems with some of the work that was carried out.
Sections in this guide (click title to view)
- 1. Stage 1: Raise a query about your service charge bill
- 2. Stage 2: Formal complaints
- 3. Stage 3: Review of complaints
- 4. Other organisations
1. Stage 1: Raise a query about your service charge bill
If you think part of your service charge invoice is incorrect, you should speak to our Collections Team first.
Their contact details are printed on the bill. You should give as much detail as possible about why you think the bill is wrong, and let us know the best way to contact you in case we need any more information.
If you contact us in writing, by email, or through our online form enquiry form, we’ll try and acknowledge your query within one working day. You should follow the same process if there is a problem with the way work was carried out. We’ll respond to you as soon possible.
If you’re still unhappy with the response, you can ask for the query to be escalated to the team manager as a formal complaint.
We also offer an appointment service for homeowners at the Brixton Customer Service Centre.
You'll be able to speak to officers from the Home Ownership Customer Services and Collections teams. The Collections Team will be available to give advice about service charges, invoices and ways to pay. Our Customer Service officers will be able assist you with a broad range of home ownership enquires.
2. Stage 2: Formal complaints
The team manager will review and investigate your query. We’ll aim to send you an initial response within 10 working days.
It might be necessary to spend more time if we need to find more information, but if this happens we’ll let you know.
If you’re still unhappy with the response, you can escalate the query again to the Customer Response Team. You’ll need to make sure that you have made a query at the previous stages before you do this.
3. Stage 3: Review of complaints
To escalate the query you should contact the Customer Response Team. They will review the handling of the case so far.
We’ll acknowledge your query within one working day.
The Customer Response team will try and respond to your query within 20 working days. If we need more time, we’ll let you know.
If you’re still unhappy with the response, then as a leaseholder there are several more routes available to you.
You can write to us by email at HMReview@lambeth.gov.uk or send a letter by post to:
Customer Response Team - Service Improvement
P.O. Box 734
4. Other organisations
The First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)
The First Tier Tribunal is a legal body that handles disputes relating to property and land. This includes leasehold disputes and matters relating to service charges.
The tribunal is independent and usually consists of three members: two professionals (a lawyer and a valuer) and one lay person. Although you don’t need to be represented by a lawyer at the tribunal, it’s a good idea to get legal advice before you apply.
You can read a detailed guide to applying to the First Tier Tribunal.
The Housing Ombudsman
The Housing Ombudsman is an independent service that deals with disputes between landlords and tenants. If you’ve already gone through our complaints procedure and are not happy with our response, the Housing Ombudsman may review your complaint.
There are a number of different ways of contacting the Housing Ombudsman:
Contacting the Housing Ombudsman through a designated person
If you’ve gone through our complaints procedure, you can refer your complaint to a designated person.
This can be either:
- an MP
- a local councillor
- a recognised tenant panel.
The designated person can try and resolve the problem in any way they think is best. If the problem is not resolved after eight weeks, then the designated person or the leaseholder can refer the complaint in writing to the Housing Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman will confirm that the complaint comes under their jurisdiction. If it does, they will first try and resolve it through their early resolution process. If after a further two months there has been no resolution, they will investigate the complaint.
Contacting the Housing Ombudsman directly
You can also contact the Housing Ombudsman directly to ask that they consider your complaint. However, you’ll have to wait eight weeks from the end of our own complaints procedure before you apply.