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Hine Hall management limited/PDC claimform - unpaid service charges..but i paid them!

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Hi to everyone, this is my first post here but I have been reading this forum for years and up till now have got most of what I needed by reading but this time I could do with a bit of help.

 

Hi and sorry if this is in the wrong thread, I tried to look where to place it but this seemed the closest I could find.

 

I own a freehold flat that was originally leasehold but I purchased the freehold several years ago. I pay a service charge to Warwick estates every 6 months

 

A few years back I moved to live with my partner but still kept the flat and because of this I ended up forgetting to pay the service charge of £665.32 + reserve fund of £53.67.

 

I was issued with a £90 admins fee and £72 claim fee.

This I also missed because I was absent from the property.

It was then sent to PDC and they slapped on an additional £180 referral fee.

eThis I also missed as it escalated quite quickly and they put on another £250 instruction fee.

 

At this point I did some reading on CAG and decided to pay Warwick estates directly via bank transfer which is my normal means of paying them. And paid everything apart from the £250 PDC instruction fee as I have no issue with paying my service charge and understand that by not doing so in time had incurred costs.

This was in April 2018.

 

I heard nothing and thought it done with until today I received a court claim of £2345 for the full amount including what I had already paid.

This now includes an extra £840 PDC law additional costs £115 court fees and £80 solicitors fees issuing claim forms.

 

I intend to challenge it and say I didn’t receive the last letter they sent me regarding the £250 PDC instruction fee and that I paid everything else to that date.

But I am getting worried now.

 

I hate these debt companies with their massively inflated costs and am seeking help with how I should proceed and whether I will be able to defend myself.

 

Regards

Leo

EB6FB903-6212-4D9B-AC2A-D5B96986F15A.jpeg

Edited by dx100uk
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what do the terms say about service charges and the addition of fees? When was the property built? the age may give an indicationas to whether any of the charges can be claimed

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I will get all the details together and fill in the questions sheet suggested to me. The property was build in 1860 but was converted to flats in 1990 with 999 year leases.. several years ago I purchased the freehold.

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no copy and paste that posts' text here and then insert [type] your answer after each question please


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Name of the Claimant ?

 

Hine Hall management limited

 

Date of issue – top right hand corner of the claim form – this in order to establish the time line you need to adhere to.

 

Date of issue: 29/08/2018

Date of issue + 19: 14/09/2018

Date of issue + 33: 28/09/2018

 

Particulars of Claim

 

What is the claim for – the reason they have issued the claim? Please type out their particulars of claim in full (verbatim) less any identifiable data and round the amounts up/down.

 

Outstanding arrears of reserve fund and service charge.

value £2150.99

 

1. The claimant is the freeholder of the property known as ********* Hine Hall mapperley Nottingham. A copy of the leasehold title is attached as Annex A

 

2. The defendant is the holder of the leasehold interest in respect of the property.

 

3. The property is subject to a lease demand dated 12 December 1988 (the lease) made between (Sodexo ltd and (2) Patrick Ma Kwangju Liu for a term of 999 years from 24 June 1988. A copy of the lease is attached herein at Annex B.

 

4,the claimant is entitled to enforce the terms of the lease against the defendant and will rely on the lease for its full terms and effect at trial. The lease includes the following covenants:

 

‘Service charge’ by clauses 5(b)(i) and (ii) of the lease, the lessee hereby covenants with the lesser and with the owners and lessees of the other flats comprised in the building and leased by the lessor that the lessee will at all time hereafter: to contribute and pay 1.056% per an of the costs expenses outgoings and matters mentioned in the fifth schedule Herero, the contribution under paragraph (i) of this clause for each year shall be estimated by the lessor (whose decision shall be final) as soon as practicable after the beginning of each year of the term and the lessee shall pay the estimated contribution in two instalments in the first day of July and the first day of January in every year of the term.

 

‘Reserve fund’ by clause 12 of the fifth schedule of the lease any reserve funds shall be kept in separate accounts any interest s on or income of the said funds which shall (after deduction of tax) be added to the funds which shall be held by the lessor and shall only be applied in accordance with the terms of the schedule.

 

‘Costs’ by clause 3(d) of the lease, to pay all costs charges and expenses (including solicitors costs and aurveyors fees) incurred by the lessor for the purposes of or incidental to the preparation and service of a notice under section 146 of the law of property 1925 notwithstanding forfeiture may be avoided otherwise than by relief granted by the court.

 

Particulars of breach

5. The claimant instructed a managing agent. Warwick estates property management limited to manage the development on their behalf (‘the agent’). In accordance with the claimants obligations, the claimant via its agent issued demands for the reserve fund and service charge in the sum of £719.99

 

6. The defendant has breached the terms of the lease by failing to make payment to the claimant for the sums detailed in paragraph 5 above.

 

7. In an effort to limit its costs, the agent issued reminder letters to the defendant requesting they remedy their breach and make payment of the reserve fund and service charge.

 

8.. the defendant failed to respond and/or make payment on recipes of the reminder letters and the claimant instructed via the agent a debt collection company, property debt collection limited (‘the DCA’) to recover the outstanding sums.

 

9. The DCA issued further letters to the defendant requesting payment of the reserve fund and service charge together with administration fees of £592.00 incurred by the claimant for its instruction. The DCA has also put the defendant on notice that the claimant reserves its postition in respect of forfeiture of the lease. There is attached as Annex C a statement of the account detailing the sums claimed. 10. The claimant seeks to recover all administration fees incurred by both agent and the DCA from the defendant pursuant to the provisions contained within the lease. The claimant will rely on the costs provision detailed in paragraph 4, other provisions in the lease at trial and/or any other statutory right to recover administration fees and costs.

 

11. The claimant has complied with the pre-action protocol for debt claims. A copy of the letter of claim is attached as Annex D.

12. The claimant has further incurred costs of £840 and will continue to incur legal costs which are contractually payable under the costs provision.

 

Particulars

 

13. The claimant seeks a determination pursuant to section 81 of the housing act 1996 that:

A. The reserve fund and service charge of £718.99 is payable by the defendant; and

B. The administration fees of £592 are payable by the defendant; and

C the claimants costs incurred of £840 are payable by the defendant.

 

And the claimant claims

 

1. £718.99 in respect of reserve fund and service charge;

2. £592.00 In respect of administration fees;

3. £840 in respect of contractual costs.

4. A determination that paragraphs 1-3 are owed by the defendant to the claimant.

5. Contractual costs.

 

Dated 25 June 2018

 

Address for service PDC law

Unit 2a Centrus

Mead lane

Hertford

SG137GX

 

Have you received prior notice of a claim being issued pursuant to paragraph 3 of the PAPDC (Pre Action Protocol) ?

 

What is the total value of the claim?

 

£2150.99

£2345.99 including court fee if £115 and legal representative cost of £80

 

Is the claim for - a Bank Account (Overdraft) or credit card or loan or catalogue or mobile phone account?

 

No it is for service charges for a flat

 

When did you enter into the original agreement before or after April 2007 ?

 

I signed the agreement for the lease before April 2007. A few years ago a then purchased the freehold.

 

Is the debt showing on your credit reference files (Experian/Equifax /Etc...) ?

 

Has the claim been issued by the original creditor or was the account assigned and it is the Debt purchaser who has issued the claim.

 

It is being issued via a DCA -property debt collection who are acting on behalf of Warwick estates who in turn are managing the property for Hine Hall management.

Were you aware the account had been assigned – did you receive a Notice of Assignment?

 

No notice of assignment was given. But a letter prior saying that if it wasn’t paid then it may be passed to a DCA.

Did you receive a Default Notice from the original creditor?

 

Yes

 

 

 

Why did you cease payments?

 

I wasn’t living at my flat and forgot to make the payment in time

 

What was the date of your last payment?

 

12 April 2018 £988.99

 

 

Was there a dispute with the original creditor that remains unresolved?

 

I paid the original creditor £988.99 which includes all the service charge. Reserve fund all of the administration costs including £180 instruction fee but not the £250 PDC instruction fee

 

I just put the £988.99 into their account via bank transfer which is my method of payment to them for the last 18 years. I heard nothing from either the Warwick estates nor the DCA since before I paid the amount into their account 18 April and had considered it done with.

 

I omitted the £250 DCA charge that they simply added on top. Considering that I already paid them £180 for a simple letter far more than enough.

 

I haven’t been to my flat regularly at all since moving in with my partner and so haven’t ever signed for anything. I find this strange when costs get so astronomically high!

 

Thank you for your time in reading this. Please let me know if I have omitted anything.

 

Regards

 

Leo

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Have I completed the form suggested to me correctly? It seems very lengthy to have done it verbatim. Sorry for that.

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I have edited it slightly to points that are not applicable to this kind of claim......I have altered your dates above for acknowledgment of service and date of defence as they fell on a weekend......you must action them by friday on a weekend by 4.00pm if this claim was issued and is being defended through MCOL Northampton.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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One important point which you have responded to with a question mark......

 

" Have you received prior notice of a claim being issued pursuant to paragraph 3 of the PAPDC (Pre Action Protocol) ? "

Please read the following link....

 

https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?481827-The-Pre-Action-Protocol-for-Debt-Claims-is-made-by-the-Master-of-the-Rolls-as-Head-of-Civil-Justice.-1st-Oct-2017


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Thx Andy. In their notice of claim, they have attached a copy of a pre action protocol that they sent to me, yet I do not recall having recieved it.

 

Whilst not totally sure, I’m pretty sure I never had one.

They have it dated for 12th March.

I find this very strange as they had the debt referred to them by Hine hall on March 6th,

would they as newly appointed DCA really have had their first contact with me as a pre action protocol?

 

Also their PDC instruction fee of £250 isn’t dated and just says n/a. Is this normal?

Edited by dx100uk
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I note that they are banging on about a lease and how the terms of the leae give them rights to claim their expenses.

As you own the freehold then there is no lease so it will be covenants and other agreements that decide how you pay charges and expenses if any.

 

you need to dig out the documents even if it meand going to the soliciotr who drew up the property transfer and paying to get a copy. Other stuff will be available from the land registry for about a tenner all in

 

Did you actually buy a freehold or a longer lease that is a virtual freehold?

ground floor flats often have a freehold but a higher flat would be subject to a flying freehold and they can have wierd terms

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A few years ago the freehold for the entire complex went up for sale and it was required that we as leaseholders be given first opportunity to purchase it between us.

 

I along with over 50% of the other owners of a lease purchased it between us and I now own the freehold for my flat and a portion of the grounds.

A guy in the complex organised it all via solicitors for all the leaseholders at the time.

 

I have to date received no certificate or documentation although the last time I saw him he said it was all with the solicitors and It was all sorted but he would write out some certificates when he gets time, The certificates won’t mean anything other than having a bit of paper.

I’m guessing the change of lease to freehold will be on the land registry and I will be trying there thank you for reminding me of this.

 

On another note, I contacted my original managing agent of the property and they received my payment and I do not owe them anything.

it seems they and the DCA have not communicated with each other prior to escalating the case to a court claim.

No doubt the DCA will claim they sent me multiple letters that they never actually sent.

Edited by dx100uk
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I sent my defence and have now received two letters.

Neither of which were sent to my current address where I live.

I updated the contact details on my defence form.

 

The first letter dated 19th September 2018 states it is now a defended case and have said the case is suitable for allocation to the small claims track. They have also given me form n180 to reply and send back to them by 17th October 2018. And file it with the court office.

 

The second letter dated 26th September 2018 has said I have not replied to the claim form and judgement is made to the full amount of £2368.

How can this happen??

I will try ringing the court money claims centre tomorrow but am concerned that this judgement will now stand unless I pay to apply to have it set aside as a cost of a few hundred pounds when it wasn’t my error.

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we've seen this mistake before.

yes go ring them.

 

don't forget you need 3 copies of the N180

 

yes to mediation

1 wit you

rest is obv

 

1 to the court

1 to the sols

1 for your file.

 

so you used the paperform and return that

does this claim not have an MCOL password that you could use on that website?


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Thank you for your swift reply. I will prepare the 3 copies of form n180 tomorrow and will go ahead and ring the court in the morning to try to find out what’s up.

The claim form does not have a MCOL password that I can see. Should I make a MCOL acc myself?

 

How did it go the last time this mistake had happened?

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was the claim from Salford court then not northants bulk?

 

the last time they simply realised they'd made an admin error..

not surprising with 750'000 claimform issued every year.


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Hopefully they will just realise they made an error with me as well and change judgement but considering how stressful these cases are you’d have thought they should deal with it correctly in the first place :/

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no because the system is not geared for these speculative claims to be defended

all the claimant has done here is issue a speculative claimform.

hoping for either a knee-jerk' reaction and a cough-up/admittance or it not being contested at all.

hence the term default rubberstamped judgement..no human ever checks anything in these cases

 

you've defended and made people do things they don't usually have to do, like produce/find evidence/paperwork and get the process right..or they lose.

 

ps did you send a CPR request?


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Damnit no, I knew I’d forget something :( checked and double checked I’d done everything. It seems I needed to triple check :/ can I still ask for this or is it too late? Presumably the claimant will also have received 2 letters.

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well they'll have to disclose what they rely upon at the next stage - the disclosure stage.[witness statements}


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Small update, rang the court today and the judgement letter was a mistake, it has been stricken off and there is no judgement as it stands. One worried ruined evening for nothing :/ but at least it’s solved :)

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