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    • So they have not actually issued a Court claim yet ? If they did that, then it would enable you time to seek advice, defend, go through mediation and then come to an affordable repayment arrangement. They are just trying to frighten you into finding ways to come up with money to pay them.   In regard to Solicitors/legal fees, you would need to check the leasehold agreement, which should include details of the ground rent/maintenance arrangement with a management company. The leasehold agreement you sign may make you liable for reasonable legal fees incurred by the management company.    If you can afford to pay the ground rent element, then that might be a sensible thing to do and pay this to the management company directly.   Do you have financial breakdown information showing how much is ground rent, what the maintenance fees cover, how much is management companies fees etc? You are entitled to this information, so should ask the management company for it.   Have you contacted your local Council Authority about help available ? Depending on your financial situation, there may be help available.  Government  have provided Councils with extra money to help those who have suffered financially because of Covid. There are discretionary Housing funds that you can apply for.          
    • Hi everyone, I am new to this forum. I am HOPING you can give me some advice that can help me. I am 68 years old and I currently own a leasehold property for which I have to pay (extortionate) monthly fees for Ground rent and Maintenance to a management company. During 2020, I managed to pay only for 6 months and then ended up in financial difficulty due to Covid. I was barely able to make ends meet. I stopped paying the maintenance fees around June 2020. My plan was to pay them a lump sum at the end of the year, when things go back to normal and my financial situation improved. Government advised things would go back to normal but unfortunately this didn't happen and I ended up in a lot of debt. I even had to sell my car to pay back money I had borrowed from family members. I live alone and this whole pandemic situation has really affected me mentally. To make matters worse, because I wasn't able to pay the lump sum as I originally had planned, the management company consulted a solicitor (Realty Law) to help them recover this outstanding debt. The initial debt was £596.00 + £36.15 for interest (no idea where this interest came from). The solicitors have now added on legal fees of £721.50 increasing the total debt to £1353.65. I contacted them via email and offered to pay £50 a month for the time being until I can improve my financial situation, at which point I would pay them more. Their response was the following: 'Our client has advised that they cannot honour a payment plan for that duration and therefore we have been instructed to continue our recovery process and request judgment if payment has not been made by 2pm on 29th October 2021. As such, we request that you please make full payment of £1353.65 as per the attached arrears schedule by 2pm on 29th October 2021. If payment or correspondence has not been received by then, then we shall be continuing with further recovery action and issuing a county court judgement (CCJ) which will incur additional fees. You are entitled to seek your own legal advice.'   The whole idea of court proceedings and CCJs and ADDITIONAL FEES has really elevated my anxiety levels to the point I am struggling to get to sleep at night. I borrowed money from family members and used some money that I had saved to pay off the initial £596.00, but its not possible for me to come up with the £700+ for the solicitor fees by 29th October. How is it even acceptable to charge someone £700+ in legal fees for a few letters?    Can someone please give me some advise on what on earth to do or who on earth I can speak to. I am desperate here.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance  
    • Please also take photos of the sign at the entrance as well as any signs inside the car park especially any that are different. Please take them from a distance where we can read them and if there is a payment machine, the sign on the machine or very close to it that explains their T&Cs for the machine.
    • Thanks for getting the signage posted up so quickly. The sign on entry should explain their T&Cs. As they don't it means that  what they have given you is  an offer to treat, not a contract. For there to be a contract they would have had to put their offer at the entrance.  You cannot put a notice saying that their T&Cs are inside the car park and expect motorists to be subject to those T&Cs when they are unaware what the terms are.. They have to be able to read them and understand them before they can accept them. My feeling is that the sign that includes the charge of £100 is too small to be acceptable On top of that the sign at the entrance is for Parking Control Solutions while the signs inside are from HX Management-a completely different animal. To strengthen your case for not paying them is the fact that their PCN is not compliant.  Under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 there are certain wordings in  the NTK  that by Law must comply with the Act. They don't  have to quote that part of the Act in their PCN but the relevant wording has to be included. PoFA Schedule 4 paragraph 9 [2]   the notice must  [f]   warn the keeper that if, after the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the notice is given— (i)the amount of the unpaid parking charges specified under paragraph (d) has not been paid in full, and (ii)the creditor does not know both the name of the driver and a current address for service for the driver, the creditor will (if all the applicable conditions under this Schedule are met) have the right to recover from the keeper so much of that amount as remains unpaid;   Your  NTK does not include  [if all the applicable conditions  under the Schedule have been met ]thus rendering the NTK non compliant.  
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Why on earth should your landlord offer you anything more than the original deposit, in full and final settlement? Do you think that he has a legal obligation to offer you more? I am at a loss as to why either you, or a Judge, would expect such a thing?

 

You now ask if your landlord can claim against you for repair costs, in response to your claim. To answer your question, I must ask you, has he at any point formally lodged a counter-claim in response to your original claim?

 

If he didn't ever lodge a counter-claim originally, then he can collect all the witness statements under the sun. It can amount to nothing, directly, if he has not made the requisite counter claim.

 

But please, if this proves to be the case, and it would appear that your landlord indeed has no direct recourse to claim for repair damages against you, then do not go blabbing this back to him in response when you next have the opportunity, as so many inexperienced litigants tend to do. You would only be giving your game away to him. Remember, silence is power. Instead, if this does turn out to be the case, as I suspect it probably will, then you should simply make a detailed note for your court file, and then remember to mention the point calmly and politely in your defence, should the matter ever be brought up at the final court hearing.

 

I would say wholeheartedly that your Judge's recommendation to settle the matter outside of court is entirely inappropriate. Why on earth would you do that, when the Housing Act provides for a punitive resolution, which the landlord is under no obligation to meet, outside of any official direction.

 

So in summary, on the basis of what you have so briefly described on this thread, it would seem that you would do best to simply ignore what both the Judge and the defendant are saying at this stage, and continue forthright with your original claim.

 

Also, it would be nice to know what the outcome of your previous online enquiries has been. Did you pursue the normal money claim route, rather than the possession claim route, after all?

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I have filed using the N208 few months ago. and my hearing is not far off. My LL has not made any counter claim yet but is saying that he will do one if I go to the court and do not accept his offer of original deposit only!!

Edited by want to be a happy Tenant
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  • 2 weeks later...

My LL has offered me the original deposit only. I have not accepted his offeres so now he is saying that he will submit counter claim and will claim for loss and damges I have made (which is completly untrue) during the tenancy, his time for attending the court etc.

 

Can he claim any money through counter claim.

 

Does he not have to submit separate claim for damages etc. if he wishes to ??? As this claim is for TDS non-compliance and it is submitted by me.

 

for info: I left the place in much better condition than what was given to me.

 

I am not worried that he is trying to counter claim but as he is untruly trying to claim damages and trying to scare me. So I wanted to know that is it that easy for him to do? Does not he also have to go through the new claim process if he wants me to scare!!!!

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Does he not have to submit separate claim for damages etc. if he wishes to ??? As this claim is for TDS non-compliance and it is submitted by me.

 

 

My understanding is that he cant, and I believe his counterclaim will actually strengthen your position. Remember its just another consequence you as a good tenant has had to go through as a result of him not abiding by his statutory requirements as a LL.

 

See Stankova v Glassonbury (2008) | Deposits | Case Law

 

Note the judge accepted the tenant’s argument that the award was a strict liability penalty, and that consequently there was no provision for counterclaim for outstanding rent arrears or other arguments about the return or retention of the deposit on the basis that a statutory scheme included arbitration for disputed about returning or retaining deposit monies.

 

In other words, why should a tenant have to pay for legal advice, spend time preparing etc when there is a perfectly good and free service provided by each of the TDS's and the only reason you cant use this free service is because the LL hasnt met his statutory obligations.

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Hi DisgruntledTenant,

 

thanks for the reply. Could you please reply to the PM I sent you,

 

regarding the details of 6 TDS cases that you have. plz reply soon.

 

My understanding is that he cant, and I believe his counterclaim will actually strengthen your position. Remember its just another consequence you as a good tenant has had to go through as a result of him not abiding by his statutory requirements as a LL.

 

See Stankova v Glassonbury (2008) | Deposits | Case Law

 

Note the judge accepted the tenant’s argument that the award was a strict liability penalty, and that consequently there was no provision for counterclaim for outstanding rent arrears or other arguments about the return or retention of the deposit on the basis that a statutory scheme included arbitration for disputed about returning or retaining deposit monies.

 

In other words, why should a tenant have to pay for legal advice, spend time preparing etc when there is a perfectly good and free service provided by each of the TDS's and the only reason you cant use this free service is because the LL hasnt met his statutory obligations.

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DisgruntledTenant is absolutely right.

 

Any counter-claim would be an entirely separate matter altogether, and could not be netted-off against the sums which you as tenant would stand to be awarded due to the landlord not meeting his TDS obligations under the Housing Act.

 

Furthermore, if I were a betting man, I would wager that this landlord would never actually go to the trouble of submitting and pursuing a counter-claim, following the court awarding you the TDS penalty. He will just cut his losses and move on to the next unsuspecting tenant, rather than try and wrangle any further with you. Base human nature.

 

Good luck!

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Thanks for the replies.

 

But I am suspecting from his e-mails to me that he is going to prepare a letter addressing to the judge mentioning all the untrue damages and losses etc. but with witness statement etc. even the though the matter he is making up is completely untrue but unfortunately there are people who would write and sign for him.

 

Is there any offcial rule that I can refer to point out the fact that he can not claim any money therough this cliam as it was submitted by me. And he will have to file a separate one if he wishes to..

Edited by want to be a happy Tenant
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