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Property factors: "Joint and several liability"


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Hopefully this is the right forum to ask this but if not can someone point me in the right direction. Here's a brief run down of the saga...

 

I live in a new build development which consists of two blocks of flats in a cul-de-sac. In total there are about 60-ish flats and 5 retail spaces. We're factored by a private company who take care of the communal areas of the development.

 

Last month we received our quarterly bill from the factor and along with it was a letter stating several residents had not paid their bills and going forward the factors would send everyone in the development a list of the residents that hadn't paid along with the outstanding amounts.

 

Yesterday we received the first such letter with maybe around 10 properties with outstanding bills. I can't remember the total off the top of my head but it meant that all the other residents are expected to pay an extra £135 each in order to cover this outstanding amount.

 

The factors are highlighting a clause in our general deed of conditions that places joint and several liability on the residents therefore we're liable for the debts of those that aren't paying. A frustrating situation.

 

However having been through my own dispute with the factors over bills in the past, they issued us with a summons from the small claims court. We were prepared to go to court and defend our position however they backed down at the last minute and conceded their bills were incorrect and it was all resolved before we got to court, where they would lose.

 

Now I'm working on the assumption that they've also issued a small claims summons on these other bad debtors. My outstanding bill at the time was about £400, whereas one person in the current situation appears to owe about £3,000 so if they pursued me for much less then they must be doing the same on the others.

 

Now they stated in the letter that they were unable to get any response from these bad debtors hence why they're passing it onto us. I expect they're trying to shame them into paying or getting the other residents to form a pitchfork mob and extract the money that way.

 

However, assuming they've issued a small claim against them, heard nothing in response, the factors have then been to court and won because the defendant didn't turn up and the court finds in the factor's favour, can that debt be passed back to the other residents if the debtor still refuses to pay?

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