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jamesm88

Owed Service Charge Refund - But Have Vacated Property

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Hi,

 

I’ll try to keep this brief but if any further information is required, let me know. 
 

1) We were living in a leasehold property, managed by a property management company

 

2) They issued a demand for payment due to an overspend on the yearly budget and apportioned this across the 4 apartments in the building 

 

3) This was challenged by the building collectively as completely unjust 
 

4) Whilst this was happening, we were lucky enough to find a house we wanted to move to and had the offer accepted and our leasehold sold

 

5) Under advice from solicitors we paid all outstanding balance on the account with the property management company so as the sales could proceed 

 

6) Upon review of the overspend the property management company agreed each apartment was due a refund of £320, this was to be credited back onto the account within 6 months when the account was finalised

 

7) They agreed all other apartments didn’t need to pay the £320 and would not be charged a late payment fee for not doing so

 

8) We moved out at the end of the financial year, effectively owing no fees as the account was up to date 

 

9) The property management company are now refusing to provide us a refund, as they are saying we should have made a provision with the buyer of our leasehold for this money to be returned to us

 

10) They are also saying I should be disputing this with the freeholder, but I’m not sure on this advice as the property management company are accountable for the budget and it’s adherence and collecting of the fees

 

I have opened a small claims case as they are challenging with the above points, but I was wondering if anyone had any experience with a similar situation and can advise on my rights.

 

Thanks in advance for any support.

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Hi

 

Who is the Property Management Company?

 

Are there any Clauses in your Leasehold Agreement for the property Management Companies claim in your point 9)?

 

Do you have the details of the Freeholder or have they given you that information?

 

Do you have it in writing from the Property Management Company that they own this refund and how they will refund it?

 

I would recommend sending the Property Management Company a Subject Access Request (SAR) asking for 'ALL DATA' this covers whatever format they may hold that data in whether it be written, email, recorded phone calls, digital etc, they then have 30 Calendar days to respond on acknowledging your SAR Request if there are no issues verify your identity. (note a SAR if now free under the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) which includes the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 (GDPR))


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The property management company is RMG Ltd and the freeholder is a company called Plantview Ltd.

 

They say the sellers pick absolves them of any entitlement I have to the refund as it mentions around retentions. 
 

11. SERVICE CHARGE ACCOUNT  

Please note that the service charges must be paid in full by the vendor as per the lease requirements prior to completion. Failure to ensure that payment is made as above could result in additional costs. 

 

Please see enclosed Statement of Account - a Statement of Account can only be issued to the seller or seller’s solicitors under the terms of the Data Protection Act. 

 

An up-to-date Statement of Account can be issued to the seller or sellers’ solicitors at any time upon request.

 

The seller must clear any balance outstanding now so that the Freeholder/Landlord is not prejudiced even if the seller is paying by monthly installments. The sellers’ and buyers’ solicitors are responsible for calculation of the usual apportionments at completion. The buyer may be given the opportunity to pay by Direct Debit at the start of the new service charge year.

 

Please be advised that on receipt of the required documentation from the buyer’s solicitor, any balance outstanding on the seller’s account will be automatically transferred on assignment of the property to the new owner on the assumption that apportionments have been dealt with appropriately by both parties’ solicitors.

 

Please be aware there may be an accumulative surplus/deficit on the accounts and ensure that both parties’ solicitors provide allowances and hold the necessary retentions.”

 

The solicitor we used in the sale though says differently as the credit on the account was already owed and fault admitted before the sale of the house. Also that it wasn’t correct that they were holding the money until accounts were finalised at any point in a 6 month window. It should have been returned immediately when we requested it to be. 

 

Thanks, 

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Please will you post a copy of your particulars of claim here in scanned PDF format. If you have received a defence then please post that as well. Make sure it is redacted for identifiers


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you sold the rights to that money to the people who bought your flat so they need to make sure they are credited that amount. If you had a deal that you get the refund then you may have to sue your purchaser UNLESS you have it in writing about the overcharge and payment being agreed to be refunded in cash. Being a creditor isnt that helpful as that will be read as being an account holder in credit

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