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    • Hi everyone, I am new to this forum. I am HOPING you can give me some advice that can help me. I am 68 years old and I currently own a leasehold property for which I have to pay (extortionate) monthly fees for Ground rent and Maintenance to a management company. During 2020, I managed to pay only for 6 months and then ended up in financial difficulty due to Covid. I was barely able to make ends meet. I stopped paying the maintenance fees around June 2020. My plan was to pay them a lump sum at the end of the year, when things go back to normal and my financial situation improved. Government advised things would go back to normal but unfortunately this didn't happen and I ended up in a lot of debt. I even had to sell my car to pay back money I had borrowed from family members. I live alone and this whole pandemic situation has really affected me mentally. To make matters worse, because I wasn't able to pay the lump sum as I originally had planned, the management company consulted a solicitor (Realty Law) to help them recover this outstanding debt. The initial debt was £596.00 + £36.15 for interest (no idea where this interest came from). The solicitors have now added on legal fees of £721.50 increasing the total debt to £1353.65. I contacted them via email and offered to pay £50 a month for the time being until I can improve my financial situation, at which point I would pay them more. Their response was the following: 'Our client has advised that they cannot honour a payment plan for that duration and therefore we have been instructed to continue our recovery process and request judgment if payment has not been made by 2pm on 29th October 2021. As such, we request that you please make full payment of £1353.65 as per the attached arrears schedule by 2pm on 29th October 2021. If payment or correspondence has not been received by then, then we shall be continuing with further recovery action and issuing a county court judgement (CCJ) which will incur additional fees. You are entitled to seek your own legal advice.'   The whole idea of court proceedings and CCJs and ADDITIONAL FEES has really elevated my anxiety levels to the point I am struggling to get to sleep at night. I borrowed money from family members and used some money that I had saved to pay off the initial £596.00, but its not possible for me to come up with the £700+ for the solicitor fees by 29th October. How is it even acceptable to charge someone £700+ in legal fees for a few letters?    Can someone please give me some advise on what on earth to do or who on earth I can speak to. I am desperate here.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance  
    • Please also take photos of the sign at the entrance as well as any signs inside the car park especially any that are different. Please take them from a distance where we can read them and if there is a payment machine, the sign on the machine or very close to it that explains their T&Cs for the machine.
    • Thanks for getting the signage posted up so quickly. The sign on entry should explain their T&Cs. As they don't it means that  what they have given you is  an offer to treat, not a contract. For there to be a contract they would have had to put their offer at the entrance.  You cannot put a notice saying that their T&Cs are inside the car park and expect motorists to be subject to those T&Cs when they are unaware what the terms are.. They have to be able to read them and understand them before they can accept them. My feeling is that the sign that includes the charge of £100 is too small to be acceptable On top of that the sign at the entrance is for Parking Control Solutions while the signs inside are from HX Management-a completely different animal. To strengthen your case for not paying them is the fact that their PCN is not compliant.  Under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 there are certain wordings in  the NTK  that by Law must comply with the Act. They don't  have to quote that part of the Act in their PCN but the relevant wording has to be included. PoFA Schedule 4 paragraph 9 [2]   the notice must  [f]   warn the keeper that if, after the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the notice is given— (i)the amount of the unpaid parking charges specified under paragraph (d) has not been paid in full, and (ii)the creditor does not know both the name of the driver and a current address for service for the driver, the creditor will (if all the applicable conditions under this Schedule are met) have the right to recover from the keeper so much of that amount as remains unpaid;   Your  NTK does not include  [if all the applicable conditions  under the Schedule have been met ]thus rendering the NTK non compliant.  
    • I agree its about time but why has it taken for the National Crime Agency to flag this up for then to take action and not Ofcom.   Yet again a Government Agency that is meant to deal with this hasn't Ofcom but flagged by another Agency NCA.   If the telephone companies have this facility in place already to do this then why hasn't Ofcom been pushing them to stop all these scam calls and giving them massive fines for not doing so.    
    • Hi   Send this to them:   Dear Sir/Madam   Formal Complaint   Reference:            (insert their complaint reference number here)   Thank you for your response letter dated XX/XX/2021 which I received by email on XX/XX/2021 that contained your Original Email sent that showed due to your Maladministration that you had sent the Original Email containing my Personal Data to an incorrect email address due to spelling errors in the email address.   a)      Due to this Maladministration of this email being sent to the incorrect email address this email contained my Personal Data which is a Data Protection Breach therefore I require clarification from yourselves that this Breach has been reported to your Data Protection Officer and what action is being taken to ensure that my Personal Data contained in that Original Email has not been read by the recipient that you sent that email to with the incorrect email address.   As the email was sent by yourselves to my correct email address containing the original email showing the incorrect email address was due to spelling errors (maladministration) your IT Department will be able to obtain those emails sent.   If I do not get a satisfactory response that this has been dealt with by your Data Protection Officer, I will report this Data Breach to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/   b)      Due to this Maladministration I failed to receive your Stage 1 complaint response within the allocated time limit for a Stage 1 response therefore this complaint should be dealt with as a Stage 2 Complaint and if you refuse to treat this as a Stage 2 Complaint, I require Full Clarification for your refusal.   I was placed in this Tenancy via the Rough Sleepers Initiative and I find your response about damaged/destroyed items that you would not be able to look into this as this happened 2 years ago but all tenants regardless of private or social housing are responsible for arranging their own contents insurance totally unacceptable as again, I was never notified nor informed of this requirement on taking up this tenancy.   I require clarification from yourself that when a New Tenant takes up a Tenancy Agreement with yourselves why are the not informed of this requirement of Contents Insurance which you should be duty bound to inform all tenants on taking up a tenancy agreement if such a requirement and it should also be noted within that tenants Housing File which you have full access to as dealing with complaint so I require clarification as well if this is noted in my Housing File.   You state multiple properties throughout the area were affected by sewage flood on the same day and the issue will have stemmed from the mains which is not your responsibility.   a)      You have failed to take into that the above statement from yourself blaming the Mains is without any actual evidence from yourselves to back up this claim therefore I require clarification as to what actual evidence you have and to be provided with copies.   b)      You also failed to take into account that in my initial complaint letter that on 12th July 2021 basement flats 1 & 2 were flooded by sewage exacerbated by blockage in the property’s drainage. The blockage has been confirmed by two contractors after the flooding including CCR who were subcontracted by Pyramid Plus that it was the properties drainage that was blocked. Also, while I was decanted from this property, I was contacted by CCR who confirmed that the drain was blocked but they could not access manhole as it was inaccessible as it is located in a utility cupboard underneath carpet, floorboards so how could this be the Main and not your responsibility when it is within the properties boundaries.   Your response about how complaints have been made by residents in relation to this issue is that your system does not allow you to find that information is completely unacceptable as your Housing Association should be able to produce these as part of ongoing repairs and maintenance/procurement processes to present these to your Board for there yearly Budget meeting if not why not.   Then you state you are under no obligation to share that information; therefore, your organisation is not being Open and Accountable to your Service Users and under which Article of the General Data Protection Act (GDPR) are you using for this refusal.   You have also failed to mention that I can make that above request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and what is your process for such a request again not being Open and Accountable.   I await your response.
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Lawn w/ steep incline - battle with Developer ***Resolved***


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Hi all.

 

We recently moved in to our new build house. Whilst we had a snagging survey done (14 pages for the developer to address any day now), our biggest problem is our lawn - there is a really steep incline in to the field net to it which is a heck of a pain, we have effectively lost 11% of the lawn dimensions that were given to us by the Developer and it is a ruddy danger for our two children under three.

Long story cut short, I have asked them to either build a retaining wall or pay for one. I have quoted the (I think) relevant regs from the NHBC website and they are saying that 'We have been through the NHBC regulations and still believe that the way the garden has been laid out is compliant' but refuse to acknowledge the specific regs I quoted.

 

Other relevant info from my latest email to them is here. This is part of what I sent:

You also claimed that 'This is backed up by the fact that the NHBC have issued a completion certificate. If you want to discuss with them you can contact their Customer Services team 0344 633 1000'. Thanks for this but I have already been in contact with them and they stated the following:  '

inspection have requirements to inspect certain stages of build however, the garden isn’t a specific inspection stage, other stages are,  Foundations Drainage for building control sites Superstructure, this can be anywhere  between dpc and roof First fix, inspection of wiring,  plumbing and carpentry work before plaster Completion, house ready for occupation' 
Simply stating that 'This is backed up by the fact that the NHBC have issued a completion certificate' does not correlate. This has been confirmed by the organisation that did the snagging survey.

 

The best they have offered is £200 as a gesture of goodwill and have offered to build a retaining wall but would charge us £1,750 and that it wouldn't have a warranty.

This is where I am at. I would very much like to take this as far as I can.


 

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Is it worth making enquiries with local surveyors to ask about this ?  What report can be commissioned about this specific issue ?

 

There is a safety aspect, but what other issues may become apparent, due to the way they have landscapped the garden ? 

We could do with some help from you.

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  • 1 month later...

Update on this: Following a few threats of small claims court claim and joining a Facebook group that has been set up to complain about this developer, the MD phoned me to say that if I keep quiet, they will build the retaining wall as a gesture of goodwill.

Following this, I finally got something in email on this when I queried whether there would be a warranty on the wall. 

This was part of the wall:

Regarding wall in garden it will be next week not sure which day waiting on groundworker to call back to confirm does it matter to you?

Regards warranty there will not be any as I have been told this is a good will gesture, construction will be, 250mm deep concrete footing, 225mm solid 7n concrete blocks  with slab to match copping.


Please can I ask if something is done as a gesture of goodwill, does this mean there is no 'come back' if the job is done poorly?

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 If something is done as a gesture of goodwill, does this mean there is no 'come back' if the job is done poorly?

 

A good will gesture can indeed be legally binding because it can still amount to a formal contract between the two parties. A contract is legally formed if there is an offer and an acceptance, then a contract is likely to have been formed.

However, that does not mean that a contract cannot be retracted so it is possible for them to retract such an offer.

 

Andy

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No ...I didn't state that.....it can be retracted.

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Not after its built...obviously ....before. ......which they could if you dont drop the warranty request..they are after all doing for free.

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Can understand why you are wanting some form of rights confirmed in writing in regard to the wall, so if it fails, you have some come back.  But I would have thought that whether there was a warranty or not, you still have rights in regard to build quality and that it is fit for purpose.

 

You found a problem with the sloping ground, the builder agreed to build a retaining wall and it is up to the builder to ensure the wall is built correctly to function as it is intended.

 

Whether there is a warranty or not, if the wall fell down in say 4 years time, you would still have the same argument. What caused the wall to fall down ? Was it anything to do with build quality ? Any warranty would no doubt include clauses making unclear how it offered  protection.

 

Next to any new wall is a farmers field, where neither you or the builder has any control over how that land is managed. The farmer or any owner of the land could undertake actions which affect the stability of the wall. No warranty would protect against this.

We could do with some help from you.

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Would think they will add soil to level up the lawn, so there will be no exposed blocks with the unfinished joins showing.

 

Found the information below from this  website

 

https://gardenadvice.co.uk/howto/garden-build/retainingwall/index.html

 

"If the wall is to retain any amount of soil it should be constructed so that it can allow water to past through to remove some of the weight pressing against it. This is normally achieved by building into the wall a small drainage pipe every metre to allow the water to drain through the wall."

We could do with some help from you.

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:thumb:  looks a good job...topic title updated

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  • Andyorch changed the title to Lawn w/ steep incline - battle with Developer ***Resolved***
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