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Hello all …. advice please on DCA and managing agent activity in respect of leaseholder service charge arrears


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I registered with CAG a few days ago and I have to say that there is loads of support, advice and assistance here from contributors :). Keep up the good work guys!

 

I am not sure where to post this request for advice :???: so I thought the “Welcome to the Consumer Forums” would be an obvious starting point as I am a CAG newbie!

 

I have read a number of discussion threads here which relate in part to the problem that I have and this has added to my previous knowledge from my own occupation as a housing manager at a local authority and other research on the Internet.

 

However, I do need clarification on some points …. and of course any other helpful suggestions and recommendations that you can wing my way!

 

Here is a summary of the issues ..... sorry, it is a long story!

 

· I am a leaseholder resident in a block of flats and under the terms of the lease there is an obligation to pay service charges in respect of the usual expected items including contract maintenance.

 

· Following the purchase of my flat in February 2002, xxxxx were instructed to act as managing agents on behalf of xxxxx Management Company Limited.

 

· xxxxx took over the role of managing agents in November 2007.

 

· There has been a long-term dispute over the standard of contract maintenance, specifically window cleaning only partially undertaken or not undertaken at all and a catalogue of excuses and non-responses to complaints.

 

· I withheld a proportion of service charges in 2006 and 2007 as a last resort due to xxxxx’s refusal to ensure a high quality and value for money service in accordance with the lease obligations.

 

· I calculate my service charge arrears to be £373.91. I have made numerous offers to immediately pay any outstanding balance following a refund for the poor and absent service.

 

· A letter issued on 19th February 2009 by a DCA on behalf of xxxxx Management Company Limited and the managing agents xxxxx claims an amount of £805.01 including their costs of £146.88 (for sending one letter!). The letter states that solicitors will be instructed to act in taking debt recovery proceedings in the County Court and that my mortgage lender will be advised of the arrears.

 

· The only written notice from the managing agents xxxxx regarding the arrears was on 18th December 2007 with a reminder on 21st February 2008.

 

· There has been no other notification in the last year other than a very bullying verbal threat in a public and open AGM of xxxxx Management Company Limited the day prior to the letter from the DCA.

 

· The managing agents xxxxx have consistently refused to enter in to any discussion regarding the service charge arrears, the basis for them, the offer of a refund/credit for the absent service made by the former managing agents xxxxx in July 2007 or my offer to pay any balance following the refund/credit.

 

· The alleged service charge arrears do not account for all the service charge payments that I have made since 2002 and the managing agents xxxxx have refused to provide a proper statement of account showing those payments.

 

· The managing agents xxxxx have refused to acknowledge a request for a 1-2-1 meeting at their offices to discuss the issues or, in the absence of that, a facilitated Leasehold Advisory Service mediation session.

 

· The DCA have now sent me 5 separate threatening letters regarding this matter and have refused to acknowledge that there are 2 ongoing disputes around the promised refund in respect of poor and absent contract maintenance and service charge payments that have not been accounted for.

 

I am proposing to take the following action:

 

· Submit an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal for a determination of the reasonableness of the service charges and the liability to pay them. Before doing so, I am also investigating other aspects of the service charge demands, both their legal content and the value for money of contract maintenance, insurance, management fees, etc. I am aware of my legal rights here and how to progress an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. However, does anyone know of any other action that I can take against the managing agents? The DCA is not a member of ARMA and nor have they subscribed to the Housing Ombudsman service …. I wonder why!

 

· With regard to the DCA, I have read the OFT guidance on debt collection (and there are some clear breaches, not least in pursuing an alleged debt that is in dispute) and I am aware that both the Financial Ombudsman Service and Trading Standards have jurisdiction to deal with complaints against DCAs licenced under the Consumer Credit Act. However, does anyone know if the OFT'S debt collection guidance applies to the type of circumstances I have described or is the scope of that guidance limited to contracts under the Consumer Credit Act (e.g. store credit agreements, credit card agreements, etc.)? Obviously I do not want to waste time compiling and submitting complaints to the OFT, the Financial Ombudsman Service and Trading Standards if the debt collection guidance is not applicable to my situation.

 

I would be extremely grateful for any advice that anyone can offer.

 

I have gone through the panic stage :shock: when I received the first DCA letter warning of County Court proceedings but I am now getting exceedingly annoyed at this matter consuming my life :mad: …. and my printer!

 

Richard

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Hello and Welcome, richew.

 

I'll move this thread to where I think you'll get the best responce, if you don't, I'll move it again :rolleyes:(and blame someone else) :)

 

Regards.

 

Scott.

Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.:)

If in doubt, you should seek the opinion of a Qualified Professional.

If you can, please donate to this site.

Help keep it up and active, helping people like you.

If you no longer require help, please do what you can to help others

RIP: Rooster-UK - MARTIN3030 - cerberusalert

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  • 3 weeks later...
I registered with CAG a few days ago and I have to say that there is loads of support, advice and assistance here from contributors :). Keep up the good work guys!

 

I am not sure where to post this request for advice :???: so I thought the “Welcome to the Consumer Forums” would be an obvious starting point as I am a CAG newbie!

 

I have read a number of discussion threads here which relate in part to the problem that I have and this has added to my previous knowledge from my own occupation as a housing manager at a local authority and other research on the Internet.

 

However, I do need clarification on some points …. and of course any other helpful suggestions and recommendations that you can wing my way!

 

Here is a summary of the issues ..... sorry, it is a long story!

 

· I am a leaseholder resident in a block of flats and under the terms of the lease there is an obligation to pay service charges in respect of the usual expected items including contract maintenance.

 

· Following the purchase of my flat in February 2002, xxxxx were instructed to act as managing agents on behalf of xxxxx Management Company Limited.

 

· xxxxx took over the role of managing agents in November 2007.

 

· There has been a long-term dispute over the standard of contract maintenance, specifically window cleaning only partially undertaken or not undertaken at all and a catalogue of excuses and non-responses to complaints.

 

· I withheld a proportion of service charges in 2006 and 2007 as a last resort due to xxxxx’s refusal to ensure a high quality and value for money service in accordance with the lease obligations.

 

· I calculate my service charge arrears to be £373.91. I have made numerous offers to immediately pay any outstanding balance following a refund for the poor and absent service.

 

· A letter issued on 19th February 2009 by a DCA on behalf of xxxxx Management Company Limited and the managing agents xxxxx claims an amount of £805.01 including their costs of £146.88 (for sending one letter!). The letter states that solicitors will be instructed to act in taking debt recovery proceedings in the County Court and that my mortgage lender will be advised of the arrears.

 

· The only written notice from the managing agents xxxxx regarding the arrears was on 18th December 2007 with a reminder on 21st February 2008.

 

· There has been no other notification in the last year other than a very bullying verbal threat in a public and open AGM of xxxxx Management Company Limited the day prior to the letter from the DCA.

 

· The managing agents xxxxx have consistently refused to enter in to any discussion regarding the service charge arrears, the basis for them, the offer of a refund/credit for the absent service made by the former managing agents xxxxx in July 2007 or my offer to pay any balance following the refund/credit.

 

· The alleged service charge arrears do not account for all the service charge payments that I have made since 2002 and the managing agents xxxxx have refused to provide a proper statement of account showing those payments.

 

· The managing agents xxxxx have refused to acknowledge a request for a 1-2-1 meeting at their offices to discuss the issues or, in the absence of that, a facilitated Leasehold Advisory Service mediation session.

 

· The DCA have now sent me 5 separate threatening letters regarding this matter and have refused to acknowledge that there are 2 ongoing disputes around the promised refund in respect of poor and absent contract maintenance and service charge payments that have not been accounted for.

 

I am proposing to take the following action:

 

· Submit an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal for a determination of the reasonableness of the service charges and the liability to pay them. Before doing so, I am also investigating other aspects of the service charge demands, both their legal content and the value for money of contract maintenance, insurance, management fees, etc. I am aware of my legal rights here and how to progress an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. However, does anyone know of any other action that I can take against the managing agents? The DCA is not a member of ARMA and nor have they subscribed to the Housing Ombudsman service …. I wonder why!

 

· With regard to the DCA, I have read the OFT guidance on debt collection (and there are some clear breaches, not least in pursuing an alleged debt that is in dispute) and I am aware that both the Financial Ombudsman Service and Trading Standards have jurisdiction to deal with complaints against DCAs licenced under the Consumer Credit Act. However, does anyone know if the OFT'S debt collection guidance applies to the type of circumstances I have described or is the scope of that guidance limited to contracts under the Consumer Credit Act (e.g. store credit agreements, credit card agreements, etc.)? Obviously I do not want to waste time compiling and submitting complaints to the OFT, the Financial Ombudsman Service and Trading Standards if the debt collection guidance is not applicable to my situation.

 

I would be extremely grateful for any advice that anyone can offer.

 

I have gone through the panic stage :shock: when I received the first DCA letter warning of County Court proceedings but I am now getting exceedingly annoyed at this matter consuming my life :mad: …. and my printer!

 

Richard

 

Hi.

 

I'd just stick with LVT for time being, its designed to be simple and low cost, u may be able to apply to county courts for other reasons but it may get tricky and expensive.

 

Im pretty certain that you can complain about a DCA irrelevant of 'how' they claim you owe the money, in fact they prob dont know or care, they just want to chase you for money..thats their only goal.

 

Good Luck

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