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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Under the purchase contract of my house I have to pay an annual

Customer Question

Under the purchase contract of my house I have to pay an annual service charge to maintain the communal areas. I have made all the payments but the management company changed. I had written to the previous management company saying I had changed address (and I know they received this letter as it was sent with a cheque that was cashed.) They did not update my records before the transfer to the new management company who sent me a bill that I dis not receive. As a result they have put charges on my account of £260. I disputed this with them and they asked me to send proof of the letter I sent to the previous managing agents, which I did, but they still did not remove the fee. After further correspondence they are suggesting I take the matter up with the previous managing agents, although it is not the previous company that has charged the fee. I have not paid the charges, and they have said that this doesn't matter as they won't process a sale if I want to sell unless it is paid. This is holding me to ransom!!!! What action can I take?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

I would suggest that you get a local solicitor to write them a letter disputing the charge and asking them to remove it from your account within say 7 days of the solicitors letter or face court action.

I suspect this would motivate them to remove the charges from your account, if they still fail to do so, you could get a court order forcing them to remove the charges, or you could simply pay the money and let the matter rest, although this is not ideal in principle, you may spend time and money more than the £260 being disputed.


Hope this helps
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am sorry, but suggesting I get a solicitor to write to them to remove the charge, or let the matter rest does not really seem like an answer worth paying £33.10 for.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
I am afraid your options are limited. The other option is of course to persevere with the managing agents to remove the charges without involving the courts or solicitors. You could write directly to the board of directors or the person right at the top of the managing agents to intervene and sort out this very simple issue.

The fact is the charges should not have been applied to your account.

I can only advise you truthfully in accordance with the law.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

On what point of law can I challenge it, or put another way, what exactly would a solicitor state in a letter that I cannot.


Their grounds for not refunding was, "it is not RMG's responsibility to chase the previous agents as to why the account was not updated and why we were not supplied with this address." But surely if they ae the ones levying charges they should be the ones to establish they are lawfully made, futhermore they have had a copy of my letter to the previous agents and can see from the account statement that the cheque referred to in this letter was cashed.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
The basis for challenge is that the charge is not lawful and should be removed from your account as it has not been agreed. The other thing you could so is send the previous managing agents a copy of their letter and ask them to try and sort it out with the new managing agents. This may also work.

Solicitors letters are taken seriously as opposed to personal letters by some companies.

All the best
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

On what legal grounds is it not lawful? Under the terms of the agreement they are allowed to levy charges for late payment, but in this instance the fact it was late was down to their predecessors rather than to mine.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
Now that information changes my advice.

It would appear that the fault lies with the previous management company who did not update your records when they should have and that they should be the one picking up the charge, not you.

The new management company seems justified in applying the charge as they say they sent their invoice to your last known address on their records, you would be expected to have made arrangements with Royal Mail to have your mail redirected to your new address or asked the occupier of your old address to forward you your mail.

You may then try and recover the charge from the previous management company on the basis of negligence in failing to update your address. If they refuse to pay up, you may make a claim online at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

Hope this helps

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