Homeowner's arbitration service

Southwark Council is one of the few social landlords to offer a free binding arbitration service available to both tenants and leaseholders and there are separate rules for each. 

The arbitration process has been designed to enable the tribunal to act independently and has proved to be a quick and easy way to resolve housing related disputes between its tenants and homeowners and the council. In order to be eligible an applicant must have exhausted Southwark’s formal complaints process prior to a case being heard by the panel.

Tenant and leasehold arbitration panel

For homeowners the tenant and leasehold arbitration panel deal with disputes relating to:

  • the standard of works
  • breaches of lease/covenant
  • poor delivery of service relating to the Right to Buy process

The panel is formed of elected member/councillors a leaseholder, independent chair arbitration officer and external legal representative.

Homeowners service charge arbitration panel

The panel was established in 2017 to support homeowners where they are in dispute regarding their service charges from 2014/2015 onward. The arbitration panel and can hear disputes relating to:

  • the reasonableness of those service charges (whether the sum of money charged is reasonable)
  • the quality of any works or services, whether they were satisfactory and of a good quality and whether the payment requested was appropriate
  • whether the works carried out were necessary

The arbitration panel are unable to consider issues relating to:

  • any issues of law or contractual issues in relation to the provision and obligations imposed under the lease
  • disputes relating to major works invoices
  • any service charge that is currently subject to legal proceedings
  • any service charge that has previously been referred for legal proceedings or has been previously determined by the court, First- tier Tribunal, or its predecessor the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal, or the Upper Tier Tribunal

If you would like to find out more information regarding our arbitration service please email: arbitration@southwark.gov.uk

Page last updated: 16 November 2017