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Managing agents ridiculous solicitor charges.


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Hi.

 

I need some advice.

I am a landlord of a 2 bedroom apartment in Ealing, London.

 

I was late paying my service charge so I recieved a letter from a solicitor that my managing agents had gone to and they had set a court date.

 

I spoke to the solicitors, they said pay x amount which was the outstanding service charge fee + 250 pounds or so court fee and that will cover everything. So I paid it and the court was dropped and everything was sorted.

 

A month later I recieved a letter from my managing agents demanding 610 pounds to cover legal fees that they had inccured from the solicitor.

 

I wrote a letter to the managing agents refusing to pay this amount.

 

I then recieved a letter from the solicitors stating that I am liable to pay for the 610 legal fees. So I paid it.

 

A month later I recieved a letter from the managing agents AGAIN demanding another 600 of legal fees they had encured from the solicitors for my refusal to pay letter.

 

The manging agents have sent me a copy of the solicitors invoices.

 

What do I do here? I need some advice? this seems a ridiculous amount of legal fees to be paying. Where do I stand.

 

Any advice would really be much appreciated.

 

Thank you

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Could you clarify this, by landlord do you mean you own (leasehold) the flat and rent it out ?

 

I am assuming that you are not the freeholder ?. Freeholders are often also refered to as landlords so this could cause confusion, you perhaps should refer to yourself as a leaseholder.

 

You mention a management agent, normally a lease is between yourself and the freeholder and all legal action must be taken by him, the management agent is just a 3rd party employed by the freeholder to do the work, however it may be that the management agent is also party to the lease.

 

Find your lease and read it and see what mention there is of a mangement agent, also see what mention there is of legal/solicitors costs, sometimes the leaseholder is liable for them, othertimes, he is not.

 

There are lots of loops for freeholders to jump through and it may be that you have an arguement that nothing is payable, for example, demands must be sent showing his name and address, a 'summary of rights' must be attached, and served with 18 months and also complying with the lease.

 

It also may be that the extra costs added on may not be payable, only if the leases allows adminlink3.gif/legal costs can be added, you can dispute costs at a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal, a sort of informal court, it may be that if you go to court they would transfer the case there.

 

I suggest visiting the following sites:-

 

Leasehold Advisory service - (Great free help) - http://www.lease-advice.org/

 

RPTS - (Info about LVT's and how they work) - http://www.rpts.gov.uk/

 

Landlord Zone (Great forum for leasehold issues) - http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...hold-Questions

 

The Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 (Sections 18 - 30 apply) - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70

 

Feel free to post any further questions.

 

Andy

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Thank you

 

I own the property and am not renting it out. Sorry for the confusion.

 

The apartment is share of freehold

 

Do you own share of the freehold ?. have there been any meetings of the shareholders ?

 

I see youve posted in the LandlordZone forum too, there are lost of knowledgable people there so you should get some good advice.

 

Andy

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