In most Warner leases there are no service charges because the leaseholder has responsibility for maintenance. But generally its more common for the freeholder to have the responsibility, and to recover costs from the leaseholder either as a fixed annual charge, or a notice of major works.
If the charge seems unreasonable the best way to challenge it is to form a Recognised Tenants Association. In leasehold law, the leaseholder is referred to as a tenant and the freeholder as the landlord. And this speaks volumes about the unequal status of the parties when it comes to resolving disputes!
The benefit of forming an RTA and getting it formally recognised is the right to inspect the managing agent’s accounts and get much needed transparency over how service charges are spent. If 60% of residents in a building are members, the managing agent has to recognise the group.
Notice of major works must be given under Section 20 of the Landlord & Tenant Act. It must give the RTA or leaseholder an opportunity to propose names of contractors to provide quotes. The RTA and leaseholder has a right to see the quotes, and to be given a reason if the cheapest is not used.