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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I was taken to court in relation to ground rent. I was making

Resolved Question:

I was taken to court in relation to ground rent. I was making payment but could not afford to pay the amount requested in full. I the court ordered I pay £322.57 for debt and interest to date of judgement and £600 for costs amounting together to sum of £922.57. I explained to the judge ot able to pay the amount within 28 days as requested. The judge advise I complete an N244 which I done. I requested on the N244 that the order be final payment and amount be pay via installments @ £100 per month. I received a court hearing date 13.02.14. In the interim the solicitors have continued to pursue me. In the interim the solicitors have approached my mortgage company and received £2340.72. The solicitors sent me a letter requesting I withdraw my application for 13.02.14. A few days later they sent me a default cost certificate with a total cost of £5179.00. Please can you advise me on what I should do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX 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 as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Does your lease allow them to add reasonable legal costs please?

Customer:

I believe my lease does allow them to add reasonable cost but the cost they are continuously adding is not at all reasonable for me and I was not aware that they could do this until being taken to court.

Customer:

surely there must be a limit to these cost

Alex Watts :

Sadly the Court can not assess this.

Alex Watts :

What you can do is ask that you ask to see the detailed work print

Alex Watts :

They are obliged to send you this if they are charging you fees

Alex Watts :

This will show what work has been carried out by the firm and how long

Alex Watts :

Once you have this then you know what you are up against

Alex Watts :

Then you could seek the LVT to look at these charges.

Alex Watts :

I don't think you can go to the Legal Ombudsman as you have not instructed the lawyers.

Alex Watts :

But you can certainly take steps to challenge the fees.

Alex Watts :

If they have sent a default costs certificate it may have an ability to have a costs Judge look at it

Alex Watts :

This is called detailed assessment where a Judge goes through the work line by line to see if the time and charges are reasonable.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

I have this now but it seems to me that they are continuously charging me for there profit and my dismay. They know that I do not know the law in relation to this and as a result I feel that they are using bully tactics to continuously charge me

Alex Watts :

Yes I agree

Alex Watts :

If they have broken any rules of conduct you can complain to the SRA who regulate Solicitors (www.sra.org.uk)

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything?

Alex Watts :

Please also see:

Alex Watts :

http://www.gwslaw.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/pd_part47.pdf

Customer:

Just so I am clear what is the LVT how do I contact them?

Alex Watts :

If its a default costs certificate then you can get the cost assessed through the Courts

Alex Watts :

This is the process you should follow

Customer:

The court said I need to seek legal advise?

Alex Watts :

Yes you can ask the Court to assess the costs

Customer:

how would I get the court to assess the cost certificate?

Alex Watts :

But if the Court deems they are reasonable then you would be liable for those costs

Alex Watts :

Have you read the link I povided>

Customer:

Not yet

Alex Watts :

Also see: http://www.wigg.co.uk/1.asp

Alex Watts :

Please read this guidance it tells you what to do

Customer:

Do I need to complete another n244 for this?

Alex Watts :

No

Alex Watts :

In short they provide a costs certificate

Alex Watts :

You say it is disputed and put points of dispute

Alex Watts :

Then the Court sets the matter down for a hearing

Alex Watts :

Then a Judge or costs officer decides what fees are allowed

Alex Watts :

Does this clarify?

Customer:

Oh ok will I need a solicitor to represent or is it fairly straight forward?

Alex Watts :

Its straight forward.

Alex Watts :

The items will be listed

Alex Watts :

The court needs to be satisfied it is the proper grade of Solicitor, the time spent is reasonable

Alex Watts :

That is it

Customer:

Ok so this will have to be a separate hearing

Alex Watts :

Yes it would

Customer:

Ok hopefully I will be able to resolve

Alex Watts :

Yes. Can I clarify anything else?

Customer:

If I need to get back in contact with you at a later stage can I request you as you already know about it?

Alex Watts :

Yes just ask for me

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.


Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.


 


Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

Customer:

Thank you for your time much appreciated. Have a good evening!

Alex Watts :

And you.

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