My Lords, I am most grateful to the Minister for her reply and, indeed, to the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, for his very helpful assessment of what I was trying to get over. I am grateful to the Minister and her preparedness to look into the matter but I will be even happier if she is prepared to go away and have a careful look at this issue and then follow it up with a meeting of interested parties between now and Third Reading. If that would satisfy her, I will be happy to withdraw my amendment.
Amendment 50F withdrawn.
Moved by Baroness Gardner of Parkes
50G: After Clause 86, insert the following new Clause—
“Lettings and property management disputes: costs
In the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, after section 20C (limitation of service charges: costs of proceedings), insert—
“20D Unenforceable service charges: costs of proceedings
(1) Every contract or leasehold agreement between a landlord and a tenant, who is not leasing property in the course of business, is to be treated as including a term that all or any of the costs incurred, or to be incurred, by the landlord in connection with proceedings before a court, residential property tribunal or leasehold valuation tribunal or the First-tier Tribunal, or the Upper Tribunal, or in connection with arbitration proceedings, are not to be regarded as relevant costs to be taken into account in determining the amount of any service charge payable by the tenant.
(2) Unless there is express provision to the contrary, this section shall apply to contracts or leasehold agreements that were made before the commencement of this section and the provisions of this section may not be excluded in any extensions, variations or renewals of such contracts and leasehold agreements or in any subsequent contracts of leasehold agreements.””