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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have an on going dispute with the company managing a leasehold

Resolved Question:

I have an on going dispute with the company managing a leasehold maintenance of my flat. Every year they never send me my yearly Summary of Service charge and the bill for the year. The only time I ever get a letter from them is when they have passed the case onto a Debt collector company whom I honestly believe collude with them to extort money from me. What makes it so annoying is by the time you get to know about this debt, they debt collector has added their cuts, living finger prints on my credit profile and also damaging my credibility with my bank.

When you also call the managed service company to ask why there was no bill sent, they completely shut down and would only say we have passed your case to the debt collector therefore we are not in a position to talk to you or offer any explanation for their actions.

I received a letter from my bank informing me that the debt collector is asking for the Service charge for the year plus their extra charge of which by law they will have to honour. I have told the bank not to honour the payment and they are pushing for a letter from my solicitor to take action on the case.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.

AlexWatts2013 :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. For now please let me know if you are saying that you never get the annual bill, only when it is sent to debt collectors?

JACUSTOMER-ew40hgos- :

Hello Alex and yes that is correct. They never send a bill as has been the case for about 3 years in a row. By the time I know what is happening, they case is always with this debt collection company who sees it as an opportunity to make money

JACUSTOMER-ew40hgos- :

We were in the same situation last year and when we went to court, the judge unfortunately passed judgement in their favour that I had to pay nearly £1500.00 which unfortunately went onto my mortgage as I could not afford it. I asked in court that the judge instruct them to make sure that they do send me a bill for this year when the time is up but again I saw nothing

AlexWatts2013 :

Do you live in the property? When you attended Court last year did they provide evidence in terms of letters for payment being sent?

JACUSTOMER-ew40hgos- :

I am renting out the property but they do have my home address. Last year, they came up with some papers which I disputed as I could see that they were made up for the court hearing but this was my word against theirs and the judge obviously believed them. Not sure if it was because I was representing myself

AlexWatts2013 :

Have you ever asked that letters and invoices are sent recorded delivery to your home address?

JACUSTOMER-ew40hgos- :

The bill for this financial year is for 1st June 2013 to May 31st 2014. The first I heard of this was a letter sent to me by my bank dated 30th July 2013. attached was a copy of a letter from the debt collectors dated 24th July2013 making claims that the managed service company has written to me numerous times and I have not responded.

AlexWatts2013 :

Yes. They write to the bank as a matter of course.

AlexWatts2013 :

Have the bank asked you to settle it?

JACUSTOMER-ew40hgos- :

Logic shows that a bill for a financial year starting June would have been sent in June as they claim but I also believe that one is allowed between 30 to 60 days to make a payment and also with such agreements, one is even given a choice of making payments over a period of times. All of this never happens.

AlexWatts2013 :

Right, you should write to the Company giving your address and insist that all future invoices are sent to you recorded delivery. I see the reason the Judge would have not found for you is that that the Company would have said we sent you all the letters to your address and the Court would have found it unlikely that you did not get them.

AlexWatts2013 :

Therefore to avoid any problems in the future do the above, but sadly you will have to pay on this occasion. But in future if they refuse to send recorded and say you have not paid, then you can contest any charges.

JACUSTOMER-ew40hgos- :

The statement attached to the letter to my bank shows a bill for 1st June, a reminder charge on the second of June and on 17th June the following charges( land Registry search for 21.00, Legal Fee for 192.00 and Administration fee for 48.00) all this for a bill I never saw and for a financial year that had just about started

AlexWatts2013 :

Yes I agree its totally unfair but as a Housing Lawyer doing a similar job, tenants all the time say, I never got that........... So the Court is unlikely to believe you. But that is why in future make sure everything is sent recorded.

JACUSTOMER-ew40hgos- :

The bank wants me to deal with it and are insisting I get a solicitor involved i.e. for a solicitor to act on my behalf otherwise they will again pay out what the debt collector has asked for and and add the debt onto my mortgage which works out to £650.00 per month.

AlexWatts2013 :

Yes. I am afraid for this years charge you are stuck with the debt collection fees. But in future take the steps I have advised and you can get a Solicitor to write and say everything must be sent recorded, but you would have to pay for that letter to be sent.

JACUSTOMER-ew40hgos- :

I guess I am in a no win situation. I will make the payment and seek for a solicitor to write the letter on my behalf. it is just unfair that a bunch of crooks are allowed to extort money from hard working people 'Legally'

AlexWatts2013 :

Yes I know it is unfair and it sucks, it really does. But you cant prove otherwise and the Court is more likely to believe them than you.

JACUSTOMER-ew40hgos- :

I will honour the payment as advised and manage the future starting with securing a solicitor to write to them

JACUSTOMER-ew40hgos- :

Many thanks, even If it is not what I wanted to hear:)

AlexWatts2013 :

Yes I would, you are stuck with this one I am afraid.

AlexWatts2013 :

If this fully resolves your question then please take a moment before you leave and rate my service, it only takes a second and is an important part of the process. Otherwise if you need more information or help then please click reply. Alex

JACUSTOMER-ew40hgos- :

I will certainly do. Many thanks

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