Retirement Properties-service charges

My other half is thinking of buying a retirement flat outright with a view to renting it.
He has some money sitting in the bank and obviously it's earning nothing at the moment. We are getting conflicting feedback from estate agents regarding the service charges with some saying the service charge has to be paid by the landlord and cannot be included in the rent?
We know that the service charge has to be paid by him when the place is empty but when it's occupied surely the service charge should be included in the overall rent.
15:40 Thu 01st Mar 2012
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If it was me I would include it in the rent and then pay it myself out of the rent. That way you are sure it's paid.
I don't see how you can tell if it is or not....I mean you just charge x amount for the rent and then do what you like with the money......
I Don't honestly know but tax wise is the service charge not an offset against the income rental charged. Whereas if you include it in the rental you will be paying more tax on the income.
the owner HAS to pay it. However, they can up the rent to include it. Is it a retirement property or an investment for his retirement. If the former, just remember there will be only a certain category of people who can live there, and there might be a big payment to be made when it's sold
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Bednobs, it's for him to rent out, although he is over 60 so could use it if he wanted to. He was thinking in terms of charging it on the rent and then paying it from there himself from that, but as mentioned conflicting views from the estate agents made us wonder.
We understand that only certain people can live there, which is why he is interested. He feels older people will respect the property and the tuenover of tenanta is likely to be lower. he's not looking to charge excessive rent, just in line with the market.
He is already retired (early) so it's an investment for him to supplement his current occupational pension which is only £280 a month-he has another 5 years before he gets his state pension. Obviously any tax liability will be declared but he just wants to make sure it's all above board. Thanks to everyone for their answers

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