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BlurredFX

County Court Claim by Housing Management Company,

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Afternoon All,

 

I have recently been issued with a Court Claim, see links below.

 

Basically there is a management company set up for the owners of our flats, and we appoint a company to manage the communal areas. It is that company that we have appointed that have unilaterally decided to take me to court.

 

POC 2 picture by BlurredFX - Photobucket

 

POC 2 picture by BlurredFX - Photobucket

 

I am proposing the send the below letter, and would appreciate any comments. This is very hard and solitary, and I have been in hospital, so would be grateful for some advice.

 

I am not disputing the money I owe to the company (my neighbours essentially), but I am disputing their (the company that has taken initiated the action without consulting the shareholders) right to take the course of action they have sent. As such I need copies of documentation, and also to place points on the record.

 

In the XXX County Court

Claimant -v- BlurredFX

Claim Number: (CLAIM NUMBER)

 

 

Dear XXX

 

CPR 18 - REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

 

I have received a recent court claim from your organisation.

 

As far as I am aware your organisation has no right to pursue me in this matter. I am a shareholder of XXXX Management Company, and have no knowledge of your right to pursue me in such a manner.

 

I have spoken with other shareholders of the company and they also are unaware of your right to pursue me in such a manner. They have also expressed their dis-approval at your course of action.

 

I have spoken with the Director of the company of which I am a shareholder (his details here, he lives in the flat next door) and he is also unaware of any mandate you may have to take this course of action. He has asked for copies of such from you, verbally, and I understand none have been forthcoming. He has also expressed his concern at your course of action, and that he does not wish this matter to proceed through the Courts.

 

I have been in Hospital recently and am currently signed off from work.

 

In order to file a defence and counter claim I require some information. Given that this matter is now the subject of legal proceedings, you are obliged to disclose under the Civil Procedure Rules, the information and documents detailed below.

 

The information must be furnished within fourteen days of the receipt of this letter. If you fail to comply, this will be reported to the Court, a copy of this letter will be provided as evidence to the same and an Order enforcing your compliance will be sought.

 

1. A true copy of the all the documents you intend to rely upon in Court.

 

2. All records you hold on me relevant to this case, including but not limited to:

 

a. Transcriptions of all telephone conversations recorded and any notes made in relation to telephone conversations by your company.

 

b. Where there has been any event in my account history over this period which has required manual intervention by any person, I require disclosure of any indication or notes which have either caused or resulted in that manual intervention, or other evidence of that manual intervention in relation to my account.

 

c. True copies of any notice of assignment and/or default notice or enforcement notice that you sent me, with a copy of any proof of postage that you hold.

 

 

d. Details of any collection charge added to the account; specifically, the date it was levied, the amount of the charge, a detailed financial breakdown of how the charge was calculated, and what the charge covers.

 

 

f. Specific details of the fees/charges levied by any other agency in respect of this account and a detailed breakdown of said fees/charges and what each charge relates to and on what date said fees/charges were levied.

 

g. A genuine copy of any notice of fair use of my data as required by the Data Protection Act 1998

 

h. A list of third party agencies to whom you have disclosed my personal data and a summary of the nature of the information you have disclosed.

i. Copies of statements for the entire duration of your claim.

 

3. Any other documents you seek to rely on in court.

 

 

I will require this information within the next fourteen days. I must advise you that if the information is not forthcoming, it will be reported to the Court that you are trying to frustrate proceedings and denying me the opportunity to file a defence and counter claim.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

They are claiming for less than £5k, but does this have implications for their claim under s69 of the County Courts Act? Can they apply for this?

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This would appear to be a service charge dispute.

 

What exactly does the POC say ? (I can't read it clearly).

 

Who owns the freehold ? (The land the flats reside on)

 

Have you a copy of your lease ?

 

Have you a breakdown of the costs that you allegedly owe. (P.S. It is important at this stage that you DO NOT formally admit that you owe the amount).

 

I'm assuming the management company concerned is a RTM company that you have jointly set up.

 

Andy

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I owe the money, and want to pay it, I just do not want a CCJ to match, so want it forced down the SC track, or thrown out if possible. I have admited nothing as yet, I want the documents they intend to rely upon.

 

They have not sent me an LBA. Is this a legal requirement do you know?

 

The documents have a breakdown on them, but I have rubbed some of them out.

 

The freehold is held by someone else, but they are not concerned with this issue.

 

I do not have a copy of the lease. The aim of my letter it to get them to produce one and all other documents to prove they are eligible to take me to Court - which I suspect they will not.

Edited by BlurredFX
typo

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Several things:

 

The stuff in the letter about manual intervention is not relevant - that is for bank charge claims and is to do with how much it costs them to, say, not pay a direct debit

 

It is probable that the company can take you to court without approval of the other residents as I suspect that the contractual arrangements are that you pay them these service charges

 

There is no need to let them take you to court - if you agree that you owe the money, talk to them and agree a settelement out of court. THey will then discontinue the claim.

 

Yes, s69 would apply and, if a court found in their favour, they wold be awarded 8% interest from the date of default (ie when you should have paid th echarges) until the date of judgement.


Steven

 

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Any opinions are without prejudice & without liability. Do not take any legal action on my advice alone. Almost everything I know concerning the law I learned from this site.

 

Please note, I will not give advice by PM. Please send a link to your thread and I will do my best to answer there.

 

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They are refusing to stop the action, but have stated that if the Director of the residents company asks them to stop, then they will. He is reluctant to get involed but now he may have to.

 

In the mean time I am going to get the letter off to them and also the court, with the bits removed about the manual intervention. See if we can keep this thing in obeyance for a while until I get sorted!

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If you offer them payment, they have to stop (or they would be very foolish not to as the court would not be impressed). You could make them an offer under CPR Part 36 - PART 36 - OFFERS TO SETTLE - Ministry of Justice


Steven

 

Using CAG Toolbar will generate much needed income - Download Here

 

Confused by Simple Interest? Confounded by Compound Interest? Read my Interest Tutorial

My Wins

 GE Money Won unconditionally May 2007

NatWest Won unconditionally August 2007

Brighthouse Won unconditionally August 2007

Goldfish Won unconditionally April 2008 (including CI on the basis of Sempra)

Clydesdale Financial Services (now BPF) Won unconditionally February 2008

 

Any opinions are without prejudice & without liability. Do not take any legal action on my advice alone. Almost everything I know concerning the law I learned from this site.

 

Please note, I will not give advice by PM. Please send a link to your thread and I will do my best to answer there.

 

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I owe the money, and want to pay it, I just do not want a CCJ to match, so want it forced down the SC track, or thrown out if possible. I have admited nothing as yet, I want the documents they intend to rely upon.

 

They have not sent me an LBA. Is this a legal requirement do you know?

 

The documents have a breakdown on them, but I have rubbed some of them out.

 

The freehold is held by someone else, but they are not concerned with this issue.

 

I do not have a copy of the lease. The aim of my letter it to get them to produce one and all other documents to prove they are eligible to take me to Court - which I suspect they will not.

 

I said about not admitting you owe the money because disputes like this are decided by land tribunal courts (LVT), (County Courts will send landlord/service charge related disputes to an LVT court and when decided it will then pass back to the county court ) BUT if you have at all admitted to any monies owing then you will automatically be liable for it. This is laid down in The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985

 

(2C) No application under subsection (2A) or (2B) may be made in respect of a matter which—

(a) has been agreed or admitted by the tenant,

 

Getting a copy of the lease is most important it will show what, how much , to whom amounts are payable. If yours is lost you can get another from the Land Registry.

 

I'm a bit confused about this, what exactly are you disputing, If you are willing to pay the amount owing then why don't you just pay ?

 

Generally speaking amounts payable for common areas, etc are payable to the freeholder/landlord, they may in turn have passed the day to day running over to a management company, it sounds in your case that you and your fellow flat owners took control of the management side of things via a RTM company, I'm a little unsure if it is then down to the management company or the freeholder/landlord to chase any overdue debts. The usual process is to send you a LBA letters often mentioning serving a section 146 notice (this is the start of repossion proceedings, although in 99.9% of cases it never gets that far, its just a threat).

 

You may like to try The Leasehold Advisory Service - Homepage and Long Leasehold Questions - LandlordZONE Forums

 

Both offer quite in depth info.

 

Andy

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Thanks Guys,

 

I will look at the above and doubtless be back with more questions or queries.

 

The money is owed, and I intend to pay it. The Director the our company has been aware of my situation and said not to worry.

 

But now the company we employ has decided to issue Court proceedings. I am trying to get the Director of our company to tell them to stop the Court action. That is the smiplest way forward I believe.

 

When I spoke to the company that has instigated the proceedings, I told the snotty girl I would be in with a letter to deliver in person due to postal issues and time constraints.

 

I turned up and was greeted my the MD, and this company is a large one! Clearly rattled, he was looking to deal with it himself. He was actually a nice guy once we got down to it. But I do not think he has ever been challenged. This site is a life saver!

 

The easiest thing for me is to get the Director of our company to tell them to stop action, which I am hoping to do.

 

All I want is to make arrangements to pay, and avoid a CCJ. The money is essentially owed to my neighbours and is quite embarassing.

 

I will work on what has been suggested in case I have to go down that route.

 

Thanks guys :):)

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Thanks Guys,

 

I will look at the above and doubtless be back with more questions or queries.

 

The money is owed, and I intend to pay it. The Director the our company has been aware of my situation and said not to worry.

 

But now the company we employ has decided to issue Court proceedings. I am trying to get the Director of our company to tell them to stop the Court action. That is the smiplest way forward I believe.

 

When I spoke to the company that has instigated the proceedings, I told the snotty girl I would be in with a letter to deliver in person due to postal issues and time constraints.

 

I turned up and was greeted my the MD, and this company is a large one! Clearly rattled, he was looking to deal with it himself. He was actually a nice guy once we got down to it. But I do not think he has ever been challenged. This site is a life saver!

 

The easiest thing for me is to get the Director of our company to tell them to stop action, which I am hoping to do.

 

All I want is to make arrangements to pay, and avoid a CCJ. The money is essentially owed to my neighbours and is quite embarassing.

 

I will work on what has been suggested in case I have to go down that route.

 

Thanks guys :):)

 

Ok..The bits I was refering to are more to do when you dispute large bills, Im in this situation with my landlord/freeholder.

You wouldnt be given a CCJ just like that anyway, before it got to that you'd have the opurtunity to question it in court, pay it off (maybe even in installments). Your case does seem a bit strange and isnt something ive come across in my trawl of LVT court case reports.

 

Good luck

 

Andy

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Hi Guys,

 

Well, I have received nothing from the management company we employ, and the Director of the company set up for the residents hasn't received anything either. He really doesn't want to get involved, he is only the Director because someone had to do it. I don't want to have to force his hand as he is a spot on guy. I suppose if it comes to it, I will have to do my best to persuade him, but right now I prefer not to.

 

What is the best course of action?

 

Do I apply to the Court asking for an Order for them to comply with my CPR request?

 

I do I start to make representations along the line of an Embarrased Defence?

 

Or is there another course of action that would be appropriate?

 

All comments and thoughts welcome, naturally!!

 

FX ;-)

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Hi Guys,

 

Well, I have received nothing from the management company we employ, and the Director of the company set up for the residents hasn't received anything either. He really doesn't want to get involved, he is only the Director because someone had to do it. I don't want to have to force his hand as he is a spot on guy. I suppose if it comes to it, I will have to do my best to persuade him, but right now I prefer not to.

 

What is the best course of action?

 

Do I apply to the Court asking for an Order for them to comply with my CPR request?

 

I do I start to make representations along the line of an Embarrased Defence?

 

Or is there another course of action that would be appropriate?

 

All comments and thoughts welcome, naturally!!

 

FX ;-)

 

Im a bit confused here.

If you dont dispute the amounts owing then why dont you just pay ?

 

The way it works is that CC will pass the details onto an LVT court, they will decide if you do indeedy owe the amounts and if they are valid, they have no actual powers to force you to pay so it will then be passed back to the CC for that side of things.

 

Basically you either dispute you owe the money or not, the confusion seems to be that you admit you do owe the money, if you have formally admitted this then its game over.

 

Andy

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Cheers Andy,

 

I have admitted nothing in writing. I want to avoid a CCJ. Are you saying that if I make an agreement to pay then I will not get the CCJ? I would pay if I had the money, but I do not, but I do want to pay it, over a period of time.

 

Otherwise, I intend to thwart them due to their lack of paperwork. It's about avoiding the CCJ, not the money I actually owe.

 

Thanks for you interest.

 

FX

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What happens at the LVT court? Will they look at their lack of documentation?

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OK Blurred FX, this sounds very similar to my situation with a management company.

I have disputed their calculations, but Ive issued a CPR 31 request before it got to court applications.

Theyve basically refused to give details of charges and how they arrived at them.

You need to look through your documents, is there a Deed of Covenant which gives details of what they are allowed to charge?

They cant just issue an invoice with no proof of how that invoice is calculated.

For instance, the Gates they charged you for. You need an original invoice for the Gates, this will show what profit they are making. Are they allowed to make such profits? There must be a document somewhere and it should have been signed in front of witnesses.

The service charges, what are they for? How much have they paid to secure the services against what they are invoicing for? Are they allowed to make a profit on this?

These are all questions / requests you should make in your own CPR request.

Break it down, request original documentation, IE, if they used a contractor to do work, wheres the invoice from the contractor? Did they make profit.?

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You need to look through your documents, is there a Deed of Covenant which gives details of what they are allowed to charge?

 

I have no documents what so ever! I may have had some through when I took out the mortgage, but certainly do not have them to hand. This is why i have requested the documents in my CPR letter above.

 

They cant just issue an invoice with no proof of how that invoice is calculated.

 

Nor without the documents to back it up if they want to go to Court.

 

For instance, the Gates they charged you for. You need an original invoice for the Gates, this will show what profit they are making. Are they allowed to make such profits? There must be a document somewhere and it should have been signed in front of witnesses.

 

This could be an interesting avenue.Will look at that as things proceed.

 

These are all questions / requests you should make in your own CPR request.

 

I have already maed a CPR request. Can you make an additional one?

 

I have disputed their calculations, but Ive issued a CPR 31 request before it got to court applications.

 

I though CPR only applied once things were subject to Court proceedings???:-|

 

Do we know if, generally, they are allowed to make a profit?

Edited by BlurredFX
typo

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CPR 31.14 is request for documentation referred to in statement of case.

CPR 31.16 is request before proceedings.

As far as making profits generally, I would have thought there is at the very least a contract governing this set up somewhere. Maybe the Director of your group has a copy.

Even then, they still have to provide proof of their costs.

Then youd be able to see what youve signed up for. This'll give you a much better idea of where you stand in this.

On another note, what are you time limits for submitting any defence?

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Cheers Andy,

 

I have admitted nothing in writing. I want to avoid a CCJ. Are you saying that if I make an agreement to pay then I will not get the CCJ? I would pay if I had the money, but I do not, but I do want to pay it, over a period of time.

 

Otherwise, I intend to thwart them due to their lack of paperwork. It's about avoiding the CCJ, not the money I actually owe.

 

Thanks for you interest.

 

FX

 

A CCJ would be quite a way off, actually normally landlords would normally threaten you with a section 146 notice which is basically the beginingings of the repossion of your property (although this is very rare), I dont think this would apply in your case though.

 

Of course if you pay there will be no CCJ as there will be no money owing !

 

Andy

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My CPR was under section 18. Not sure of the differences, I just adjusted a template from the site.

 

The point I am at is that I have made the CPR 18 request to them, just over two weeks ago, and nothing had been heard from them since.

 

How is best to proceed? The point above are very welcome and useful at the next stage, potentially, but what do i do NOW???

 

When I spoke to the Management Company (the ones we employ for the communal areas) he mentioned something that sounded similar to the s146 you mention above Andy, so it might be relevant.

 

As I said, it is all about avoiding the CCJ. I have put in a CPR 18 request and had nothing back whatsoever. How do I approach the Court now? Embarrased defence? Seek an order forcing the compliance with teh CPR request? Any other course of action?

 

Thanks in advance...

 

FX

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PS can't pay due to recent loss of job!

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OK so what time limit did you give them to respond?

Maybe a CPR31.14 will help but state that as the case is trackless, they are still obligated to supply the documents requested. You can add the stuff I suggested, (this'll probably put the wind up them). In your letters you can put that you intend to highlight to the court their failure to supply requested documentation and ask the court to order.

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Sorry for the delay

 

I gave them 12 days which has well and truly expired, and still nothing from them.

 

Sounds to me bazaar that you are quite a bit further with this than I am. I wzs just hoping to have it thrown out when they failed to produce the documents.

 

They have launched a claim, I have asked for the info in order that I can defend the claim. They have not provided it. I have had no communication from the Court.

 

Are you suggesting I submit a further CPR request under 31.14?

 

Mine was under CPR 18

 

Obtaining further information

 

18.1

 

(1) The court may at any time order a party to –

(a) clarify any matter which is in dispute in the proceedings; or

 

(b) give additional information in relation to any such matter,

 

whether or not the matter is contained or referred to in a statement of case.

 

Basically I am requesting the info they refer to. And disputing their eligibility entirely. Simple as. Provide the documents please. I know nothing of this is. That is the essence of my request

 

What benefit would a CPR 31.14 request bring at this stage? Or is it essentially looking at the same thing, but from a different angle?

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The CPR 31.14 gives you a chance to inspect documents mentioned in a statement of case, without the docs you require, all you can file is an embarrassed defence.

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I am thinking that in my circumstances, the CPR31 and CPR18 would achieve the same thing.

 

Is it time to go ro an embarrased defence or seek an order from the Court, or make a new CPR 31 request?

 

I am thinking asking the Court to order them to show the docs, and if they do not, then Embarased Defence it is.

 

Thoughts anyone??:)

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You need to compose the embarrasses defence, you can ask for the court to order the other side to disclose documents within the defence.

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