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king12345

Undocumented service charges refund.Court action***Resolved***

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Hi everyone, following on from extremely similar cases, i requested documentation for service charges of a flat i own.

 

Accordingly to regulations (Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Section 21, as amended by the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 Section 152) they should have provided evidence within 21 days.

 

25 days later they sent me some receipts making up 25% of the charges.

I asked them if that was all they had for that financial year and they confirmed this.

So I had these checked and found usual irregularities like wrong calculations for shares and of course all the missing receipts and invoices for many of the services allegedly offered.

 

For example, lift maintenance is £1000, divided by 10 flats they make it £15.

Clearly wrong to me and you, but of course their calculators seem to consider maths an opinion.

 

They don't dispute that these calculations are wrong, but they simply avoid addressing the problem.

 

I asked for a refund of all undocumented charges and overcharged, same as I did with other financial years which they refunded.

 

As soon as they received this request they sent another 3 receipts totalling £20 approx; this was well after the statutory 21 days.

 

I rejected these receipt and told them that I was not in a position to accept any further documents because they had already confirmed that they didn't have anymore and the 21 days had passed long time ago.

 

So they're now playing the ignore game and, as the 14 days I gave them are up tomorrow, I am drafting a lba.

 

If you are still reading I thank you, I know it's a bit long but I wanted you to have a good picture.

 

I have a feeling that this time I will end up taking them to court, so I don't want to make any mistake.

 

My question is:

Accordingly to the pre action protocol I should suggest an alternative dispute resolution service, however I don't want to give them an opportunity to get the Ombudsman involved, knowing that they are useless.

Can I avoid mentioning ADR in my lba?

 

If I do, could they claim that I haven't complied to the letter of the pre action protocol?

Or by ticking yes to mediation on mcol I should be ok?

 

Thanks for your help.

Edited by dx100uk
Spacing

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Morning caggers, hope you had a good weekend.

Did I post this in the wrong section as I didn't get any reply?

It's to do with county court procedures, should I have used the general legal issue section?

If so, I would be grateful if a moderator moved this thread.

Thanks

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not for you to offer ADR, the court will have an autommtic offer of mediation and thta should be used whwere there is a dispute over the value of somehting or the like. If you are certain your figures are right then no point accepting the mediation when offered, you wont be penalised for it.

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Ok, thanks.

Off to post office to send the lba.

I keep you posted.

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One thought, if they send documents to justify the charges, am I right in insisting that they are outside the 21 days allowed by law?

Or would the court see that as petty?

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Why don't you post up the LBA which you have sent them in PDF format and also tell us what you are proposing to rely on as your cause of action


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Got to get near a pc to post the lba, so will do later.

The evidence I propose to rely on are pretty straight forward:

1. Actual service charges accounts

2. My request to inspect the relevant documentation

3. The few receipts they sent me

4. The confirmation that they'd sent all the documents they had

5. Calculations of overcharged items in the accounts and all undocumented items.

 

My feeling is that they are now putting together other receipts and invoices to substantiate the charges, however as I said, they should have done this within 21 days.

Am I right in rejecting any further documents and request a refund?

Or is it ok for them to send them 3 months late, only after I start legal proceedings?

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This is the lba, can't get to a pc until tomorrow so I copied and pasted it.

 

This is a final communication before court action, in accordance with the current civil

procedure rules pre action protocol.

I note that you have failed to satisfactorily respond to my communication dated 20th

December 2018 and all subsequent.

Following my request of 02nd October 2018, pursuant to Section 22 of the Landlord

and Tenant Act 1985 as amended by Section 154 of the Commonhold and Leasehold

Reform Act 2002, you disclosed some documents related to the above accounting

period, however, you have failed to provide evidence of the following expenditures

within the statutory timeframe of 21 days.

• Grounds Maintenance (£35.77)

• Caretaking (£241.67)

• Communal lighting (£72.17)

• Lift Maintenance (August 2017 and March 2018 receipts missing ---> £2.85)

• Day to day repairs (£24.47)

• Building services maintenance (£37.92)

The tree maintenance service presented an overcharge of £0.99 (see my previous

communication)

The total amounts to £415.84 and at this stage, as a gesture of goodwill, I am prepared

to accept this as full and final refund for the undocumented charges of 2017/2018 and

waive other costs and expenditures, although these will be claimed at court stage

should you decide not to comply with my request.

These costs will include:

1. Postal costs

2. Stationary costs

3. Compensation for time dealing with this matter

4. Statutory interests

5. Miscellaneous costs and expenditures

Should you decide to refuse my request I intend to rely on the following documents in

the subsequent court case:

1. 2017/2018 accounts and related documentation

2. Service charge payment receipts

3. Emails, letters and other written communication

4. Transcript and/or recordings of telephone calls

5. Any other evidence not yet identified

I refer to Practice Direction, Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols and in particular draw

your attention to paragraphs 13 to 16 concerning the court's powers to impose

sanctions for failure to comply with the Practice Direction.

Should you fail to positively respond within 14 calendar days to this letter before

claim, I will have no other option than start legal proceedings without further notice

and this may increase your liability for costs.

 

As before, My feeling is that they are now putting together other receipts and invoices to substantiate the charges, however as I said, they should have done this within 21 days.

Am I right in rejecting any further documents and request a refund?

Or is it ok for them to send them 3 months late, only after I start legal proceedings?

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But can you please explain the legislation or common law rule which you are relying upon as providing you with a cause of action.

 

For instance you might want to say that in XXX legislation it says that there is an individual right of action.


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I am relying on common law.

Paid the management company to arrange maintenance and repairs but then they can't provide evidence of these expenditures, so I requested a refund.

Similarly if I ask an estate agent working for me to arrange replacement of all water pipes.

They charge me but don't provide evidence that the job has been done.

Also on many points they overcharged and refunded when challenged, for example, on their planet 100 divided by 10 equals 15.

Just yesterday they sent me a reminder for 2018/2019 with a figure 3 times what I owe.

Payment is due 31 Jan so it can't be arrears.

When I asked about this they blame admin error.

Are they trying it on hoping that someone would just pay?

With tens of thousand leaseholders they are involved with, most likely a good percentage will do just that, pay without checking against the original invoice and what already paid.

Is this attempted fraud?

In my experience the burden for something to be considered fraud is extremely high, despite the fraud act which cuts it very clean.

So, are they trying it on knowing there's no comeback and everything can be blamed on admin errors and hidden behind corporate veil?

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as you say, there needs to be proof of intent and then proof that the person doing the erroneous invoicing is somehow making a gain by doing so. it may be the gain is keeping their job when they would otherwise be out of work but it all menas a lot of work for the CPS so they dont bother.

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Thanks for your answer, that's exactly what I thought.

Could you please give me your views on what I asked earlier:

 

My feeling is that they are now putting together other receipts and invoices to substantiate the charges, however as I said, they should have done this within 21 days.

Am I right in rejecting any further documents and request a refund?

Or is it ok for them to send them 3 months late, only after I start legal proceedings?

Would a judge give them leeway because they are a registered charity?

(They mention this every time I catch them doing something wrong or lying)

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Not received any response yet and less than a week until the 14 days are up.

Any thoughts on my last questions?

Thanks

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Hi everyone, I'm preparing the claim and I would like to know what you think of the particulars of claim below.

Also, should I start a new thread once I submit the mcol, this one doesn't seem very popular.

Thanks

 

 

Particulars of claim:

I, the claimant, am leaseholder of a flat

managed by the defendant (ABC).

Mrs 123, as a joint leaseholder

has given me authority to act on her behalf in

these proceedings.

I requested service charges documentation for

2017-2018 pursuant to current legislation.

ABC provided some evidence of expenditure and

confirmed that they represented the entire

documentation related to those accounts.

I learnt that calculations were incorrect and

many expenditures and charges

were not documented.

A refund of these wrongly calculated and

undocumented expenditures and charges was

requested on 20/12/2018 and a letter before

action issued on 21/01/2019.

ABC has failed to satisfactorily reply.

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When you submit the claim we'll probably move the thread to General Legal. Don't start a new one though, people advising you need the information kept together.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Ok, thanks.

What do you think about the poc?

Should I leave out the authority to act and send it later?

They already have it, I sent it with the lba.

Also, should I send a more detailed version and tick the relevant box on mcol?

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The PoC does not need to be too in depth ( you are restricted anyway on MCOL claims)...as long as it states what the issue is...pref with dates...on what grounds....and what you request (Value).....dont forget sec69 interest.

 

If the defendant wishes to defend...then it will be allocated to your local court and you will be able to expand in depth with a further statement of case on which you can quote which Legislation etc etc.....along with any exhibits you wish to rely on (evidence)

 

Andy


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Ok, thanks.

I like to see things from every angle, can you see any plausible defence?

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:noidea: You will have to wait and see how they respond and if they wish to defend.....then you will get a copy of their defence.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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I understand, what I meant is do you see any hole in my case?

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I dont really know the finer details....you are the claimant and know exactly whats wrong and what you wish to address...as already stated your initial particulars should be concise but brief....outlying the nature of your grievance and what you require to make good.

 

Should they wish to defend then later into the process you will submit a fully particularised statement of claim addressing all the points......but you will have had the defendants defence by then which will assist you to narrow down any potential " Holes "


We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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Ok, thanks.

To me it's clear cut, although I understand that there is always a chance of losing in court even with best cases.

Not much more details really:

I asked to see documents related to expenditures under the landlord and tenants act.

The act gives them 21 days.

They sent receipts and other documents justifying some charges.

They also confirmed that the documentation was complete.

I requested a refund of all undocumented charges and overcharged (receipt for £10 and they charged £15).

They ignored my request.

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Ok, a bit of a development.

They admitted they failed to provide documents within legal timeframe.

They offered to credit the full amount to next year bill.

Considering that they just tried to take more than double of what was due, I have reason to not trust their accounting system.

I gave them until Tuesday (day 14 from lba) to send a cheque.

Is it reasonable to carry on with starting a court claim if they don't respond?

Or should I give them a couple extra days considering how incompetent they are?

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Do you want it crediting to next years accounts....or refunded to you now direct ?

 

Subject to your response will indicate what action you need to take now.


We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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