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towny07

demand from a solicitor regarding missed payment of ground rent due Feb 2019 .

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I have received a demand from a solicitor regarding missed payment of ground rent due Feb 2019 . The reason for my missing payment is that my email provider had closed down Tesco.net and that was the name l had registered, with my leaseholder. I had telephoned the solicitor and explained the situation and have been told l must pay:

            Ground rent for 1/1/2019 to 31/1/2019.   £ 296.48

          Interest chargeable at 4%above base rate. £.   2.78

            Admin charges -final reminder.                   £   45.00 

            Admin charges- notice of legal action.      £. 100.00

            Legal costs.                                                    £.  145.75

             VAT.                                                                 £      29.15

             Total.                                                               £.  619.16

Would you please advise what l should pay, as l can only make payment to the solicitor

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Well it all sounds like a fantastic money grab.

If they sued you they wouldn't get those charges back.

How much do you actually owe?

 

Why do you say that you are obliged to pay the solicitor?

My advice would be the amount that you owe which presumably is the ground rent. Pay it directly to the landlord or whoever it is you normally pay and then write to the solicitor and say that you have no intention of paying his inflated fees. That you have paid the amount due and that if he wants to make you pay anything more then he should see you in the County Court. Telling that you are happy to waive the pre-action protocol and you are waiting for the claim form – and it will be defended.

Telling that you are only prepared to pay administrative costs which were reasonably incurred. Tell them that you are quite sure that a court would award the payment no greater than that and you are not prepared to pay anything more. Also tell him that you will not pay him money directly you will pay to the landlord. And if the landlord refuses the payment then that is his lookout and you will make it clear to any court.

Pay the landlord immediately. Don't wait for responses from the solicitor or anybody else. Pay the landlord immediately. How do you normally pay?

The other thing I have to ask, is that presumably you knew that the payment was due – you must have realised that it hadn't gone out? Why didn't you deal with it immediately.


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Ground Rent is only payable if correctly demanded as per here > https://www.bradysolicitors.com/resources/downloads/ground-rent-demand-notice/

 

Extra admin fees are only payable IF the lease allows (most do not) AND if served with a valid demand as per here > https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/summaries-rights-obligations-administration-charges-england/ even then they must be reasonable in amount

 

I doubt your FH has complied with all the above, as suggested you only owe the GR but only if you were sent demand..Im not sure wether an email to you is acceptabe..,most Fh would send a paper copy to your property.

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I doubt if email GR demand fulfils the requirements of the law or the lease so they will be lucky to get even the GR

read the lease and make sure that every word is fully understood as far as this goes, there is no ambiguity

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You also need to check your title entry on HM Land Registry.

 

Unless you have given the freeholder written instructions to use an alternative, the ground rent notice (even if otherwise correctly completed) is invalid. The address held by HM Land Registry is the legal service address.


On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Read anything I write with the above in mind.

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