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Hi all,

 

I'm giving myself brain ache with this so I hope someone can help me out?

 

Long (looooooooooong!) story short,

my Aunt leased a retirement bungalow in 2011 from a company called Anchor.

She paid a monthly service charge which went up every year.

Sadly she passed away in June 2016, but the property only sold a few months ago.

 

When my Mum, as the co-executor with her [utterly useless] brother, got the Statement of Account from the solicitor (who has NOT acted on her behalf in any way, shape or form)

 

we noticed they'd paid Anchor almost £8,500.00 for a "Sinking Fund".

We'd never heard of one of these so have been asking the solicitor what it was for.

 

We received a letter from Anchor, via the solicitor, stating that they take this charge when the tenant sells the property.

They included a lease from 1996.

Yes, you read that right, 1996!

It was not signed by my Aunt.

Because she didn't buy the bungalow until 15 years later.

 

We wrote directly to Anchor asking for the correct copy of the lease, including my Aunt's signature.

 

Well, today we got what I grudgingly refer to as a response, which is to say they just doubled-down on what they'd already sent via the solicitor. *Le sigh*.

 

Now, from the research I've done I believe a company like Anchor can charge either a Service Charge OR a Sinking Fund, but not both. Is this right?

 

I mean, even if a Sinking Fund was set up in addition, surely you'd pay it whilst living in the property, not after you sell it? You'd not benefit otherwise. Not that my Aunt benefited anyway;

 

she had numerous issues with the bungalow, including an ill fitting front door, damp and consequent mould issues to name but three and Anchor never addressed these problems. She ended up paying out of her own money to get them fixed!

 

I read this article today: https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/cherry-trees It's interesting because this is also Anchor and in this instance the people did not pay a service charge. So it seems to me it's a one-rule-for-one situation.

 

It's clear that, since they've already got the money thanks to the completely incompetent solicitor, they're not going to send the requested information, I mean why would they?

 

So the next step is to get Mum's solicitor involved, but I'd like to know if I'm fighting a lost cause here.

Does anyone have any experience with these funds at all?

I'd appreciate any info.

 

Thanks in advance,

Fen.

Edited by dx100uk
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Sorry, don't know answer to your question, but re solicitor having paid the money to Anchor anyway.

 

My experience recently selling my mother's leasehold retirement flat was that the property couldn't be sold without the formal approval and agreement to transfer lease from the lessor.

 

And the lessor will withhold that agreement until all the charges due under the lease are paid. So if your solicitor had not paid the 'sinking fund' payment that Anchor said was due you wouldn't have been able to sell the bungalow.

 

I assume that a copy of the actual lease signed by your Aunt in 2011 couldn't be found in her papers?

 

The solicitor who acted for her in the purchase didn't have a copy?

Edited by dx100uk
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