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Leaseholder claim after letters not received


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I have received a legal letter to claim monies owed for ground rent including legal and admin fees after the management company were sending the bills to the flat address instead of mine and the tenant was throwing the letters in the bin.

 

I knew we would have to pay ground rent and was just waiting for a bill not knowing the frequency. the law firm state the leaseholder management company only have the flat address and not our home address. 

 

My Question is

who is responsible for giving the management company our contact details? all of the mortgage stuff has our home address and so has all correspondence with the conveyancing solicitors. Should this have been handled by them?

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if this is entitled  letter of claim and contains a response pack wanting such info as I&E list etc , then your question is immaterial, you must respond within 30 days regardless, but do NOT use their paperwork pack.

 

if however its just a letter stating you owe use this, with a list of possible court costs etc added, then await the letter ofclaim.

 

you obv knew these charges were coming so have the money ready to spend...until/unless a court claim is actually issue, the matter of if they can charge upfront legal fees NOW, needs to be carefully investigated to see if clauses exist that they can in your lease agreement,  many times admin fees can, but not court/legal fees.

 

dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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We have paid it as fees would keep being added.

 

I dont think I have made myself clear so I will start again.

 

We purchased a flat with a sitting tenant in April. The management company for the building have been sending bills for service charges to the flat instead of our home address. We were not aware of the bills but were expecting to pay the service charges.

 

A week ago my wife was in the flat because there was no hot water and the tenant is in hospital. she notices a letter with our name on so opened it. i

 

t was a bill for the service charges of £578 and arrears which seem to be before we owned the flat. she tried to call both payment and normal office number but got an answerphone so left a message to call her back.

 

Today we received a letter from the management companies solicitors stating we would need to pay just over £3000 for the original outstanding £578.

 

We phoned them and they said we need to pay £1418.68 which we did as the stress is too much with fear of additional charges on top. This is made up of original £578 plus 2 admin fees totaling to £920 then a legal fee of £498.

 

They say they didn't have an address for us except for the flat address but the tenant was binning the letters rather than passing them on.

 

My question is:

Who should have passed over details to the management company? is it the conveyancing solicitors as if so I would like to sue for negligence and get this extra cost compensated.

Edited by dx100uk
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doesn't change my answer -- its somewhat immaterial, its your job to ensure if you own a property the management company have your correct address. i dont think there are any legs in suing anyone (tenant/conveyancer etc) unless you find their contract with you actually states they will do XYZ and they didn't do XYZ

 

as for the added admin fees/late, fees its for YOU to carefully READ the agreement with management firm.. some agreements mention all admin fees are allowed, others don't. you also need to see what they say about legal fees, there are some that do not allow those unless a court claim HAS been launched (CCJ ) 

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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The solicitors are the ones that added their "clients legal costs" so I am not sure how to check the legality of that now.
The LBA states the terms for admin fees:

Quote

Administration Charges- Summary of tenants' rights and obligations

(1) This summary, which briefly sets out your rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, must by law accompany a demand for administration charges. Unless a summary is sent to you with a demand, you may withhold the administration charge. The summary does not give a full interpretation of the law and if you are in any doubt about your rights and obligations you should seek independent advice.

(2) An administration charge is an amount which may be payable by you as part of or in addition to the rent directly or indirectly — for or in connection with the grant of an approval under your lease, or an application for such approval; for or in connection with the provision of information or documents in respect of your failure to make any payment due under your lease; or in connection with a breach of a covenant or condition of your lease. If you are liable to pay an administration charge, it is payable only to the extent that the amount is reasonable.

(3) Any provision contained in a grant of a lease under the right to buy under the Housing Act 1985, which claims to allow the landlord to charge a sum for consent or approval, is void.

(4) You have the right to ask a First-tier Tribunal whether an administration charge is payable. You may make a request before or after you have paid the administration charge. If the tribunal determines the charge is payable, the tribunal may also determine— who should pay the administration charge and who it should be paid to; the amount; the date it should be paid by; and how it should be paid. However, you do not have this right where— a matter has been agreed to or admitted by you; a matter has been, or is to be, referred to arbitration or has been determined by arbitration and you agreed to go to arbitration after the disagreement about the administration charge arose; or a matter has been decided by a court.

(5) You have the right to apply to a First-tier Tribunal for an order varying the lease on the grounds that any administration charge specified in the lease, or any formula specified in the lease for calculating an administration charge is unreasonable.

(6) Where you seek a determination or order from the First-tier Tribunal, you will have to pay an application fee and, where the matter proceeds to an oral hearing, a hearing fee, unless you qualify for fee remission or exemption. Making such an application may incur additional costs, such as professional fees, which you may have to pay.

(7) The First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (in determining an appeal against a decision of the First-tier Tribunal) have the power to award costs in accordance with section 29 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

(8) Your lease may give your landlord a right of re-entry or forfeiture where you have failed to pay charges which are properly due under the lease. However, to exercise this right, the landlord must meet all the legal requirements and obtain a court order. A court order will only be granted if you have admitted you are liable to pay the amount or it is finally determined by a court, a tribunal or by arbitration that the amount is due. The court has a wide discretion in granting such an order and it will take into account all the circumstances of the case.

 

I guess we just need to suck it up and put it down as an expensive lesson!!!

 

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We spoke to our conveyancing solicitor on the phone today who confirmed that all of our details were passed to the service management company at the time of us buying including that it was a rental property.

 

They backed this up in an email so we could forward it on.

 

We called their solicitor to let them know that we are not at fault and they agreed that if it is proven to be true they would refund the admin and legal fees.

 

They said it would take up to 7 days to investigate.

 

We will allow them the time and see if they are true to their word.

 

So far only a verbal commitment over the phone.

Edited by dx100uk
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great stuff told you some fees if not all are not allowed, and anyway you've proved it was not of your doing.

 

left leg right leg not connected me thinks..

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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