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Small claims summons by our property factor


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Not sure if this is the right place to post this but if not can a mod move it please.

 

Anyway, I've been involved in a long dispute with my property factors. Details of the dispute are here: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/parking-traffic-offences/160624-enforcing-parking-private-residents.html

 

 

We generally receive an annual bill from our factors around December each year. When we received last years bill there were a number of problems with it. They included charges for:

 

  • A £250 "float"
  • Charges to repair damage to the roof and fascias following storm damage

I wrote to them explaining that we had paid the "float" when we first moved in. The general deeds for the street state that a float should be paid and this was done. There is no requirement for a further float to be paid. With regards to the charges for the roof and fascias I asked why this wasn't covered under our communal buildings insurance. I asked them to explain these charges and to issue a revised bill.

 

They completely ignored this as a result of the ongoing dispute and the fact that the letter querying the bill also included points about the parking situation and if they aknowledged the questions about the bill, they'd also have to admit to certain points I'd raised about the parking which would put them in a difficult position.

 

We got a generic letter from their credit control department around June saying the money was still outstanding and they were lumping on a £20 charge for late payment.

 

I replied back again stating that I was querying the bill, along with the other points about the parking. I also stated that they had no ability to apply a £20 charge for late payment. We have never agreed to any terms and conditions that included a charge for late payment. Again we got no reply although they told a neighbour they were perfectly entitled to charge us whatever they liked.

 

A couple of months ago I wrote to the executive director making a formal complaint about the company's behaviour, highlighting all of the issues with the bills and with the parking. He wrote back aknowledging my complaint and promised to look into it. He's never bothered to reply since.

 

 

So yesterday we received the court summons. They're claiming for everything they've billed us since last December including the float, phoney repair charges and the £20 late payment fee.

 

Their case is really badly prepared. They've included a statement of all the bills since we moved in and all the payments we've made and it quite clearly shows we have already paid the float.

 

My defence will be sound as I'll be using the general deeds to counter their claims for the float and for the £20 charge for late payment. I have copies of the letters I've sent them querying all the bills and showing that I asked for revised bills, a request which they continually ignored.

 

So basically, my argument is not that I don't owe the money, I'm just contesting the amounts in the bills.

 

I've never been involved in anything like this before so does anyone have any advice or tips?

 

If I present my case in a clear and concise manner with a lot of evidence in my favour, will the sheriff/ judge look on that favourably? The factor is claiming interest on the amounts owed. How does that work if I'm contesting the amount owed? They're looking for £580, but I believe the bill should be around £300. If the judge agrees with me and says I only owe £300, would I have to pay the interest on that amount?

 

Any other advice or tips would be appreciated!

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who are the factors?

 

(I only ask in case there are previous examples of their bad deeds)

 

I think you need to have a proper sit down meeting with other residents over this before it gets out of hand. Its better to get supporting evidence of the factors' bad practices than to be a "lone voice".

 

Whatever happens here I think you'll have to agree that these guys have got to go. You cannot possible employ anyone who treats their employers like these clowns and don't lose sight of the fact they are employed by you, the owners.

 

Although there are very good property factors out there, my experience is that many of them will do the minimum required of them and the only thing they show any enthusiasm for is chasing debts.

 

No really need to consider forming a residents committee too. Our factors have transformed themselves since our committee was formed as they now realise they can't get away with things any more.

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If I present my case in a clear and concise manner with a lot of evidence in my favour, will the sheriff/ judge look on that favourably?

 

This will always be favourable for you and will never do you any harm. The stronger your case the better chance you will stand. I must admit, I have ventured over to the thread from your PPC Central Ticketing thread which I have watched with much interest.

 

Good Luck and best regards,

 

TFT

09/07/09 :)Business Studies BA(Hons) 2:1:)

 

eCar Insurance overpayment - £325

Settled in full - 15/09/08

NatWest Student A/C bank charges - £260

Settled under hardship scheme - 08/06/09

Natwest Business A/C bank charges - £60

Settled in full as GOGW - 20/04/09

Santander Consumer Finance late payment fees - £60

Part settled for £48 - 01/03/08

Peugeot Finance late payment fees - £50

Settled in full before county court hearing - 01/09/09

Peugeot Finance overpayment of £247

Settled in full - 01/12/08

Valley Leisure - complaint about collections agent

£160 part refund of gym membership in compensation - 01/02/09

HFC Bank - complaint about payment deducted from my account on wrong date

GOGW £10 - 01/05/09

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Ricky, the factors are Charles White Limited, based in Edinburgh.

 

I know factors are well known for taking people to the small claims court but their case is so badly prepared that either they haven't done it before or they have but they've only dealt with idiots and they think they can put in the bare minimum effort to get their money.

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Here's a question. Will the judge always find in someone's favour? I don't imagine a lot of the issues will be resolved at the hearing to can he dismiss the case entirely and tell us to resolve it between ourselves?

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There's quite a few entries for these guys on the web and none of them are complimentary!

 

The general thrust of these are that the company are bullies and try to steam roller over individuals. There are quite a few groups of people trying to remove them from their properties so you're certainly not alone here.

 

Take a look at the River Heights Residents Association website (Home - River Heights), they seem to have managed to get rid of them.

 

If you're unaware, River Heights is next to the "squinty bridge" at the bottom of Finnieston Street.

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My defence will be sound as I'll be using the general deeds to counter their claims for the float and for the £20 charge for late payment

 

Use the UTCCR 1999 to defend the late payment fee charge. In a TDS deposit case I managed to persuade the Independent Case Examiner that a £10 late payment fee was an arbitary charge using the UTCCR 1999.

 

Regards,

 

TFT

09/07/09 :)Business Studies BA(Hons) 2:1:)

 

eCar Insurance overpayment - £325

Settled in full - 15/09/08

NatWest Student A/C bank charges - £260

Settled under hardship scheme - 08/06/09

Natwest Business A/C bank charges - £60

Settled in full as GOGW - 20/04/09

Santander Consumer Finance late payment fees - £60

Part settled for £48 - 01/03/08

Peugeot Finance late payment fees - £50

Settled in full before county court hearing - 01/09/09

Peugeot Finance overpayment of £247

Settled in full - 01/12/08

Valley Leisure - complaint about collections agent

£160 part refund of gym membership in compensation - 01/02/09

HFC Bank - complaint about payment deducted from my account on wrong date

GOGW £10 - 01/05/09

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This is off the Charles White Ltd website

 

"We are pleased to have appointed Charles White as our development management partner. The professionalism employed by their team and industry knowledge will be of great benefit to our mutual clients. Their inclusive approach to pre-construction discussions on design considerations and the 'Constitutive Deed of Conditions' is testament to a clear customer focus."

Craig Hall,Marketing Director, Applecross.

 

Poor chap, doesn't know what he's let himself in for lol

 

TFT

09/07/09 :)Business Studies BA(Hons) 2:1:)

 

eCar Insurance overpayment - £325

Settled in full - 15/09/08

NatWest Student A/C bank charges - £260

Settled under hardship scheme - 08/06/09

Natwest Business A/C bank charges - £60

Settled in full as GOGW - 20/04/09

Santander Consumer Finance late payment fees - £60

Part settled for £48 - 01/03/08

Peugeot Finance late payment fees - £50

Settled in full before county court hearing - 01/09/09

Peugeot Finance overpayment of £247

Settled in full - 01/12/08

Valley Leisure - complaint about collections agent

£160 part refund of gym membership in compensation - 01/02/09

HFC Bank - complaint about payment deducted from my account on wrong date

GOGW £10 - 01/05/09

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Use the UTCCR 1999 to defend the late payment fee charge. In a TDS deposit case I managed to persuade the Independent Case Examiner that a £10 late payment fee was an arbitary charge using the UTCCR 1999.

 

Regards,

 

TFT

 

Thanks for that.

 

I guess it ties in with the whole PPC stuff except in this case I do have a contract with the factors, and in that contract there is no clause stating they can levy a £20 penalty for late payment!

 

Absolute jokers.

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