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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am in dispute about a ground rent payment; I have owned the

Customer Question

I am in dispute about a ground rent payment; I have owned the property for several years, and in January received an invoice from my normal collecting agent for 2014. I paid the invoice in January 2014. I then receive another invoice from a second agent, Simarc who have taken over the account for collecting ground rent. I send Simarc proof of payment as they requested. I continue to receive threatening letters from them each time adding admin charges. I have sent registered letters to Simarc explaining that I have exercised my duty to pay the ground rent. Today I receive a letter from Mortgage Works saying that they will add the ground rent charges to the Buy to Let Mortgage. I explain the situation to Mortgage Works who say they cannot get involved, and say I have to resolve the situation with Simarc.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know whether you have proof of payment - I assume you have?

Alex Watts :

What has Simarc said about the proof of payment please?

JACUSTOMER-y4mp31nl- :

I have proof of payment from Brindley House Management. I sent the proof to Simarc. They say that they have tried to recover the Ground Rent from Brindley. Brindley say they have paid Simarc. Simarc say they haven't.

Alex Watts :

Ok - well that is not your problem

Alex Watts :

If they try to recover it from the buy to let mortgage they can only do this with a Court order

Alex Watts :

They would issue proceedings and you would be invited to join

Alex Watts :

What you should do is make sure you have sent proof of payment to the buy to let mortgage company

Alex Watts :

You can then file a defence and say you have paid it

Alex Watts :

But they must get a Court order against you before they can get one against the mortgage company

Alex Watts :

So if they issue, you can defend and bring a counter claim against Brindly.

Alex Watts :

Then the Court can sort out who owes what

Alex Watts :

But if its for £10,000 or less then it will be a small claim anyway, so inexpensive and a simple procedure

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-y4mp31nl- :

Yes, I am aware they can try to recover it with a County Court Judgement. Mortgage Works have advised me of this. Sorry, I have not learnt nothing new with your advice. I think I am being harassed unfairly and there seems to be no redress.

Alex Watts :

Indeed. However you do have a cause of action here

Alex Watts :

You can write and ask them to stop harassing you or say you will go to Court

Alex Watts :

If they refuse then you can issue proceedings for harassment and seek an injunction

Alex Watts :

You would need to complete form N1

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

And N16a http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n016a-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

You are asking the court for an order that they do not contact you directly or indirectly

Alex Watts :

The court will then list the matter for hearing and decide whether to make an injunction

Alex Watts :

If the Court does and they break it they can be warned, fined or sent to prison

Alex Watts :

You can also claim compensation for loss and damage and distress caused

Alex Watts :

But I think any claim against them would be less than £50,000 in compensation

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex Watts :

Oh there is a Court fee of £155 to pay but if you are on benefits or low income you may be entitled to fee remission

Alex Watts :

Please see: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/fees

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-y4mp31nl- :

If I am successful, will I be able to reclaim the £155?

Alex Watts :

Yes

Alex Watts :

If you win

JACUSTOMER-y4mp31nl- :

OK, it seems that the onus on me!

Alex Watts :

If you bring the claim then yes you need to show harassment

Alex Watts :

You have rated POOR SERVICE despite me giving you the legal answer and telling you how to go about it?

JACUSTOMER-y4mp31nl- :

I was aware of the County Court route but it seems the onus is on me to prove payment. The Law is an Ass comes to mind!

Alex Watts :

If you bring a claim you have to prove it

Alex Watts :

But you said you wanted to stop the harassment, so all you need to do is detail the dates when you were contacted by Simarc

Alex Watts :

I assume they accept they have called/written to you, so it should be straight forward

Alex Watts :

And if you win you get the Court fee back

Alex Watts :

What else would you like to know?

Alex Watts :

If they are regulated then you can also complain to the Financial Conduct Authority - they regulate members chasing debts

Alex Watts :

http://www.fca.org.uk/

Alex Watts :

Are you able to respond, I would like to know how else I can help you?

Alex Watts :

It is my goal to make sure you are happy today

Alex Watts :

What else is it I can do to help you?