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The developer has issued a claim against me. The developer is also the manager and owner of the private road on which we live. I intend to fully dispute the claim. The date of service is today, 3rd May so I have a little time to get things together.

He is claiming £265 for what he states in the POClink3.gif as

"charges incurred by our company on behalf of the residents of XXX which is a private road owned by our company. There are clauses in the sales contract for each property which allows us to pass on the charges and make a charge for management costs. The 10 other residents have settled their accounts in full."

The charges are for a Pumping station and the Electricity that runs the pumping station. But he's charging us nearly £700 a year to "administer" these bills that come in annually.

 

Right, so let me just say that the accounting system he uses is a mess, so I need to show that in court. He has been charging VAT at 20% on the electricity even though he only gets charged 5%. I have paid all the bills that he has incurred but I will not pay his extortionate management charge. But what I am looking for is a bit of help to really nail this once and for all. I can show the court that I have paid all charges in full EXCEPT his management charges. I am not paying any management charges because,

1) He has raised the management fee for the 11 properties from £395 to £695. Now obviously I only pay one eleventh of that, but our clause in our sales contract he talks about states that all charges should be reasonable. The reason he raised the charge by £300 was to recuperate money he lost taking another resident to court for a similar matter. He has been talking about my personal situation with other residents. Is he in breach of Data Protection Laws?

 

He has deliberately mixed up the payments I have made and apportioned them to the wrong bills, making it look like I haven't paid one of the at all.

The accounts that he has submitted in his POC are different to the ones he has given me.

 

How do I get back the money I am going to lose in defending this? Do I just ask the Judge to award costs, or do I have to counter-claim?

 

In short, I have paid my share of pumping station charges and electricity, but owing to the 40% rise in management charges and no justification or reasonable excuse for it, I haven't paid any management fees.

 

I just want to pay what is fair and reasonable, I am not his personal cash cow.

 

If anyone could help me, I'd be very grateful.

I have had personal dealings in the areas I comment on, however, I am not a lawyer. Any advice I give is without prejudice and is merely my opinion based on the information I have gleaned from my experiences, understanding and interpretation of the law. You should always seek the advice of a qualified legal professional.

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Anybody able to help word the defence with me, I need to say that the management charges are unfair. CPUTR rules?? Has pre action protocol been followed, what do I need to say regards that?

 

Anyone please....

I have had personal dealings in the areas I comment on, however, I am not a lawyer. Any advice I give is without prejudice and is merely my opinion based on the information I have gleaned from my experiences, understanding and interpretation of the law. You should always seek the advice of a qualified legal professional.

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I wonder if BankFodder would drop by and take a look at this thread, he was of great help before.

 

Many thanks to you all.

I have had personal dealings in the areas I comment on, however, I am not a lawyer. Any advice I give is without prejudice and is merely my opinion based on the information I have gleaned from my experiences, understanding and interpretation of the law. You should always seek the advice of a qualified legal professional.

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I would point out that any court would look unfavorably on you for not making any payments towards the management charges you should have at least been paying your portion of what you felt was the reasonable amount (the £395) rather than not paying anything.

As to Vat it dose not matter how much they pay against what they charge you.

If you know he is applying payments incorrectly you should write a letter informing him of the corrections required.

I would also ask for a full accounting of the Management charges and what the increase is being applied against.

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Hi Kirmistan and thanks for your thoughts on this, I do agree that it could look bad on my part to have not paid anything. My reason for this is simply that I wanted to have the judge tell us what was fair and reasonable, not have him bully us all with threats of court action if they didn't pay up. The residents have written to him before asking for accounting of the management charges, and he put them up because we asked !!! (£395 to £495), then they went up again after he had to pay his own costs from a previous court case involving another resident. (£495 to £695). I fear even that if I do get some kind of victory in the court, he will just up the management charges to reflect his losses, and 9 out of 10 will pay so he won't lose out.

I have had personal dealings in the areas I comment on, however, I am not a lawyer. Any advice I give is without prejudice and is merely my opinion based on the information I have gleaned from my experiences, understanding and interpretation of the law. You should always seek the advice of a qualified legal professional.

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I intend to defend part of the claim as follows, that the charges levied are unreasonable and I will use the Landlord and tenant act 1985 section 18(1) as the basis for this.

 

I will be paying the actual charges the have been incurred, ie electricity and pumping station cost. I want to leave it to a judge to determine a reasonable amount for "management".

 

 

 

The requirement for reasonableness

 

Usually the lease simply provides for the landlord to recover his outlay for

maintenance, repair and upkeep of the building, including management costs, from

the leaseholders. The landlord is reimbursed for his expenditure, but is not

given the opportunity to make a profit from the management. Where the landlord

wishes financial reward for his expertise or agency, he must make sure the lease

makes the necessary provision.

 

I have had personal dealings in the areas I comment on, however, I am not a lawyer. Any advice I give is without prejudice and is merely my opinion based on the information I have gleaned from my experiences, understanding and interpretation of the law. You should always seek the advice of a qualified legal professional.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have nearly finished my defence, but I am struggling with one particular piece of the argument.

I want to argue that the residents shouldn't have to pay the costs of running an office that receives two letters per year that directly relate to us, and sends out eleven invoices a year that directly relate to us. I don't want the developer to be able to use his office costs in the calculation of the management charge, (that's basically all the management charge is anyway), when we get in front of the Judge.

 

Anyone help with the words on this one, submitting the defence on Thursday.

I have had personal dealings in the areas I comment on, however, I am not a lawyer. Any advice I give is without prejudice and is merely my opinion based on the information I have gleaned from my experiences, understanding and interpretation of the law. You should always seek the advice of a qualified legal professional.

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