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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I purchased a narrowboat share 12 months ago at a cost of £1600,

Customer Question

I purchased a narrowboat share 12 months ago at a cost of £1600, at the time the agreed ongoing fees would total £750 per year. I accepted these terms, although neither party signed anything (all I have is a computer print out). I was promised 4 weeks in the summer and 2 weeks off peak, but I was only given 2 weeks in the summer and one week off speak. However, that is not the main problem, the problem is that they have put up the costs now to £2000 per year (I agreed 750 per year). I cannot afford £2000 a year, I had no idea this could happen and futhermore, I cannot even sell my boat share as they know no one will pay £2000 a year in additional costs. The usual fee is about 500 per year. I believe they have done this on purpose and I feel like I have been scammed.

So far I have paid £2200 for a 2 week holiday on an old boat that is worth about £600 and they have now sent me a bill for the £1600, so they want in total £3400 from me for a 2 week holiday, what can I do? I would ideally like a refund minus whatever a 2 week holiday is worth and to get out of this nightmare now.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts :

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 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 :

Did the original email state £750 p/a please?

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

Hi, yes the original print out said £750, nothing said that within a few months of me joining it would more than double. I believe they did this on purpose to either trap me in the time share (as no one will buy my share with those costs), the going rate is about £700 per year, this is a one twelfth share in a very old narrowboat.

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

They have now sent me a bill for another £1600 and suspended me from the syndicate for non payment

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

I am trapped, as I now cannot sell my share even to cover their increased costs and they are threatening me with the solictors

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

they more than doubled the fees within months of me joining. The woman who sold me my share also made me pay back fees to the time the man I bought it from put his share up for sale, so I paid back fees to November 2012, I bought it in May 2013, yet later she denied she did that as she is saying I have to pay all the fees while my boat share is up for sale. So I know she conned me once all ready.

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

so I have paid for 4 weeks summertime boat share on old narrowboat, cost agreed in May 2013 was £1600 for a 12th share on an old narrowoat (worth about £24000), and annual fees of £750. I however paid annual fees starting November 2012 (which is when the man I bought my share off began advertising it), although I have since learned I should have only paid from May when I bought the share. So I paid upto Novemember 2013, then they put the fees up to £2000 a year. Since then I have stopped paying, as not only can I not afford that, but they only gave me 2 weeks in the summer, not the 4 as promised anyway. Now they have sent me a bill for another £1600 (since November 2013), I expected about £400.

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

they have also suspended me for non payment and are threatening legal action

Alex Watts :

On what basis are they saying they have the power to increase the fees?

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

I said I want a refund in the office, as this is not the terms I agreed when I bought the boat, they said they are only a brokers, no refund possible.

Alex Watts :

On what basis are they saying they have the power to increase the fees?

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

I wanted a refund minus whatever the fair amount is for a 2 week holiday, so far I paid £2200 for a 2 week holiday on an old boat, I would say minus £800 would be fair, but in total they now want another £1600 so a total of £3700 for a 2 week holiday on an old boat!

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

They said

Alex Watts :

They said?

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

that the owners had an annual meeting (the other owners) and decided to put up the cost to £2000 a year

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

from £750

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

I was not at this meeting

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

they said if they spend all this money on it now then they may not have to later, whatever that means?

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

the point is I was told £1600 for the boatshare and £750 a year, not £2000 a year. I have only been in the syndicate less than 12 months

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

they have all been in the syndicate years, but I only have BCM boat managements word for this, I dont know if its a conspiracy between them all to charge me more or not? I just want out

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

no one will buy my share either with those sort of annual costs, so I am trapped in this time share with the price increasing

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

unless I just stop paying and walk away, which means they will get £2200 for a 2 week holiday on an old boat AND may still take legal action against me for the £1600 (and growing) amount they are chasing

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

perhaps I should just walk away, hope they dont chase me for the rest of the money and put it down to a lesson learnt? Not to get involved in timeshares with a broker?

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

On what basis are they saying they have the power to increase the fees?v

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

> the broker says because the long term owners had a meeting and agreed

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.

If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

within 14 days of what? my last letter from them?

Alex Watts :

Yes the last letter

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

ok thanks, one last question, what if they sue me for the £1600 they now want?

Alex Watts :

They could try but you could defend and issue a counter claim

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

ok and a magistrate would decide what is fair?

Alex Watts :

Well its a District Judge but yes

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

ok

JACUSTOMER-9bk3tquo- :

thanks

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/

Alex Watts :

Please remember to leave feedback before you go today

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