Hi, I have an urgent problem that I would like some advice about because I really have no idea where to start. Please bear with me, there’s quite a bit of history but here goes...
I have recently been summons for a court appearance for areas on my mortgage account. I do have arrears on my mortgage account (1 month) but have an agreement in place with my mortgage provider (GMAC RFC now Paratus AMC) to repay the arrears owing which we have kept up to date with (I pay £50 a month towards the areas + my normal mortgage repayment amount). This arrangement is all up-to-date.
On questioning the mortgage provider about this they have said that the particulars in the summons was a mistake and the real reason for the summons is due to outstanding ground rent and service charges owing to the company managing the property (they say a company called News service). They have now decided to change the particulars of the summons and will be contacting the court to make the amendment.
They say that they have been contacted by the managing companies solicitors (Altermans Landlord and Tenants Solicitor’s ) and told that we were in areas with our ground rent and service charges totalling just under £2000. They (the mortgage provider) are also in the process of preparing a cheque to be sent out to the managing company for the amount that they say is outstanding and plan on suing us for the amount that they are going to pay them. They have also said that they were contacted before by the management company a few years ago and issued a cheque out to them for £11000!! This, they say was for the same reasons, ground rent/service charges and this amount has been added to our mortgage account!!
We have had problems with the management company for our property ever since we moved in which was about 5 years ago. The first company (Chattams I believe) went into administration about 6 months after we moved in. We didn’t hear anything from any company after that for a couple of years. We then had a letter through the post saying that management of the property had been taken over by News Service mentioned above. Since that letter we have received no further contact from them, no requests for payment of ground rent (it should be £300 PA according to our original mortgage agreement) or any breakdown of service charges etc.
Also during this time there has been no servicing of the communal areas in our flat. There is no lighting in the hall ways, the fire alarms do not work and all the communal areas are in disrepair.
Now to add to all of this we have recently received a letter from another management company, Salter Rex saying that they have now been appointed to manage our property by BDO Stoy Hayward who are currently handling the administration of News Service!!!
The letter from Salter Rex stated that they are the management company appointed by BDO Stoy Hayward to maintain the communal areas of the property. It stated that they have no keys to the communal areas of the property and asked if they can obtain a copy. This was received January this year.
I called Salter Rex up today, attempting to explain the situation to them and at least get a break down of their costs and a schedule of what they would be charging us for services and details for when we should pay the ground rent. They then told me that they were the ones who appointed Alterman’s to pursue land rent and service charges for our property and that they had been managing our property since 2008!!!
I’m really confused now and I’m not sure how to deal with this. We have our mortgage company suing us for service charges and ground rent arrears, who have already added £11000 to our mortgage account for the same reason. Our ground rent is £300 PA so over the 4 year period which we have been out of contact with any management company we should have owed £1200 in ground rent. So the management company who haven’t stepped foot in the apartment have managed to get our mortgage provider to pay out £9800 in services charges! This management company seem to believe they have been managing the property since 2008, however they are only now asking for the keys to the property in January 2011!!
Could anybody please advise me on what to do next? The mortgage company has stated that they will not cancel action until they get written confirmation that we have come to an agreement with the management company. The management company has said that we need to consult with their solicitors. The Solicitors have said that we need to sent them an email.
I feel as though we have been totally [problem]med am am very worried that this could result in up losing our property. Any advise that anyone can give would be greatly appreciated. L