Jump to content


Preparing a Defence for County Court


style="text-align: center;">  

Thread Locked

because no one has posted on it for the last 3448 days.

If you need to add something to this thread then

 

Please click the "Report " link

 

at the bottom of one of the posts.

 

If you want to post a new story then

Please

Start your own new thread

That way you will attract more attention to your story and get more visitors and more help 

 

Thanks

Recommended Posts

I have been served a County Court summons for unpaid maintenance and ground rent for a leasehold property which I have owned for 28 years since my mother passed on and left theflat to myself and my brother.

 

Because my brother has mental health issues and was then a low paid earner, the family agreed that he remained in the flat which he had occupied with my mother before she passed on. My solicitor drafted a letter indemnifying me from all costs incurred at the property in return for which I have never received any rent or other income.

 

My brother was made redundant and for the last 4 years has been unemployable. Because of his condition, he tended to ignore bills, and the first I know of a problem was a demand for outstanding debt. I had been traced through my details at the Land Registry.

 

There are complications - what to do where there are multiple defendants, and also because a substantial part of the debt appears to be the cost of renovating balconies. My flat is ground floor and has no balcony - nor does any of the flats in the block, but other blocks do.

 

I have struggled to get guidance on how to prepare a defence. I am short of a lot of documentation e.g the full leasehold document, and attempts to get these from the claimant have not been successful.

 

I don't know whether I can offer a dence of behalf of myself and my brother. They would be different in any case.

 

I don't know whether I could simply say that I need more information but intend to defend the claim.

 

I have contacted the Court Helpdesk who sent me to the CAB, who searched their database and could not find any guidance notes. They are now raising the matter internally, as they agree that notes on what to do and when, with respect to defence and evidence production, are not published.

 

In the meantime, I am looking for guidance, now.

 

Can anyone point to guidance notes?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have moved your thread to the "Legal Issues" forums, where you will get more help.

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

Link to post
Share on other sites

When does your defence need to be submitted?

 

As for obtaining information from the claimant. You can do this by way of CPR31.14 if they mention a document in their particulars of claim or by CPR18 if they dont. But you need to word CPR18 more in the way of questions.. ie .. do you have such and such a document..

 

Have a read of the attached and see if there is anything there that can help you obtain the information you require.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]32535[/ATTACH]

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

Link to post
Share on other sites

You really need to see a breakdown of the amounts being claimed, and a copy of the leasehold.

 

My understanding is that there would be a bill for service charges every year, and a breakdown of how this was calculated. If work is to be done over a certain amount then residents should have been consulted about it in advance.

 

It really depends on the lease whether the cost of the balconies on the other block would be paid for by residents of everyone on the scheme, or by those in the individual block. It is inconceivable that the claimant can't let you have a copy of the lease. Without that I don't see how they can prove what you should have paid.

 

Would I be right in thinking this is a HA?

 

When was the claim issued?

 

Ideally I think you should try and get this sorted before it gets to court. Without the lease I don't think they have a case, and along with your brother's MH issues you already have a good defence.

 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there.

 

I have experience on service charges/leasehold issues, having been in court facing my landlord/freeholder on mnay occasions.

 

Firstly you need to find out who the actual legal leaseholder is....its not really clear that even if a contract was drawn up idemnifying you if it has actual legal standing, I myself was in the same situation, I owned a property with my brother and eventually bought him out so the poperty was soley mine, however at this point the landlord/freeholder had to be contacted to give his agreement, he actually refused because there were outstanding service/maintanence charges due..so Im surprised your fh/ll didnt do the same.

 

So lets move onto service charges, to be payable they have to comply with the lease (you mention balconies, etc..you may or may not be responsible for them, read the lease). To also be payable service charge and also ground rent demands must comply with various laws and be demanded in a certain format, if not, you can withold payments.

 

Also as well as the usual 6 year limitation on collecting debts there is also an 18 month limit on service charges.

 

There is a special court called the Leasehold valuation Tribunal which deals with service charge/leasehold matters, read about it here > http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/courts-and-tribunals/tribunals/residential-property/#leasehold

 

Also there is a free site - Leasehold Advisory Service which can give you advice here > http://www.lease-advice.org/default2.asp

 

A very good site to popst questions (especially quite technical ones) wher i and many others are members is Landlord Zone here > http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/forumdisplay.php?11-Long-Leasehold-Questions

 

Most of the relevant laws concerning leasehold/service charges can be found in The Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 > http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70

 

and also more recent changes are in Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002 > http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/15/contents

 

CAB SHOULD be able to help, poor show if they didnt !. I had help from my local CAB, they had someone who was quite an expert and managed to see him quickly as i had a friend who worked at CAB.

 

I can help if you want but you'll need to scan your lease and any demands you may have received.

 

Also check out the land Registry site where you can download the official title plans showing who is the actual legal owner,..you can get these online for £4 > https://www.landregistry.gov.uk/wps/portal/Property_Search

 

Andy

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also as well as the usual 6 year limitation on collecting debts there is also an 18 month limit on service charges.

 

The 18 month limit on service charges means that the landlord has 18 months from incurring the cost to actually charging the tenant. They can't make you pay if it's raised after that time.

 

However, if it's a case that the charge has been raised within the specified time limit, but not paid, it would still need to be paid.

 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The 18 month limit on service charges means that the landlord has 18 months from incurring the cost to actually charging the tenant. They can't make you pay if it's raised after that time.

 

However, if it's a case that the charge has been raised within the specified time limit, but not paid, it would still need to be paid.

 

Well..yes...if its been raised in accordance with S20B(2) of The Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 which states "Subsection (1) shall not apply if, within the period of 18 months beginning with the date when the relevant costs in question were incurred, the tenant was notified in writing that those costs had been incurred and that he would subsequently be required under the terms of his lease to contribute to them by the payment of a service charge.]"

 

I didnt mention this because variouis court/LVT's and Lands/Upper Tribunal and interpreted it different and usually contradicting each other, a recent High Court decisions would appear to be the final word (they interpret it very strictly)..see > http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2011/1663.html

 

So its possible that if even raised by the landlord it doesnt meet S20b(2) and may not be recoverable.

 

Andy

Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely, depending on the costs of the work.

 

In this case it's quite possible that johnggold's brother may have had notices and bills, but not dealt with them. Perhaps he'll be able to update us soon.

 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Absolutely, depending on the costs of the work.

 

In this case it's quite possible that johnggold's brother may have had notices and bills, but not dealt with them. Perhaps he'll be able to update us soon.

 

Well..yes..although my scenario deals with the cost not being payable AT ALL.../but beyond that any service charge cost can be refered to an LVT who may decide it is payable but reduce the amount or decide its payable in full.

 

Yep..would be good to hear from the OP..peerhaps the title could do with a change too.

 

Andy

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...