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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am being chased for management fees of £5000 from the managing

Customer Question

I am being chased for management fees of £5000 from the managing agents of my leasehold property.
They raised legal action via a solicitor and the court and I had a certain amount of time before a judgement was to be made.
I instantly rang the solicitors and explained that I had previously sent a letter to the agents explaining I hadn't had any accounts which is why I had withheld payment. They asked me to forward a copy of the letter which I did. I asked them to come back to me before asking for judgement as I wanted this to be resolved but I felt at least part of the money was not due. I explained that I was happy to arrange something regarding the current agents fees.
The next thing I have heard is today I received judgement through the post.
Approximately £3000 of what they are chasing relates to a period when a previous agents were acting. The previous agents acted for approximately 5-6 years and did not provide us with a set of accounts for the whole time. In fact they were submitting dormant accounts to companies house even though the leaseholders were paying management fees. Whilst this was going on I explained to the previous managing agents that I felt they were acting fraudulently by submitting false accounts to Companies House and that I would not pay any more fees until we received accounts. My main fear was that certain expenses we should not have been paying were being put through the management companies fees and applied to our charges.
Did I have any legal right to withhold the management fees in relation to the previous period?
The current agents are saying that because they have supplied a summary of rights and obligations that we are required to pay the money, including the amount for the period of the previous managing agents, even though we have not had any accounts.
I really need this to not affect my credit history and realise I only have 30 days to pay the judgement to prevent this but I fear if I pay the full £5,000 then I have no chance of contesting any of the £3000 that relates to the previous agents?
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 the previous agents assigned anything to the new ones?
JACUSTOMER-r79n2i6k- :

I am not sure what was assigned. I assume everything as full management was completely taken over by Premier Block Management (New ones) and outstanding balances were provided

Alex Watts :

And the old ones never provided evience?

Alex Watts :

* evidence? *

JACUSTOMER-r79n2i6k- :

No evidence was ever provided to us. All we were given was a statement of management fees owing which included a 'brought forward' figure provided by the old agents. They may have provided evidence directly to the new agents be nothing that we were shown.

Alex Watts :

In that case you can apply to set aside Judgment.

Alex Watts :

You need to show that you have a realistic defence.

Alex Watts :

It appears that you do. You asked for evidence and this was not forthcoming.

Alex Watts :

This is enough to get Judgment set aside.

Alex Watts :

In the meantime if you accept you owe some money you can make payment of that amount

Alex Watts :

This does not affect your application to set aside.

JACUSTOMER-r79n2i6k- :

In discussions with the new agents today, they have been able to give me accounts for every year, including the years of the old agents. I assured them that these were never provided to us at anytime.

JACUSTOMER-r79n2i6k- :

They were also dated 16 June 2013, even the 2007 accounts.

JACUSTOMER-r79n2i6k- :

the problem is, they already have got a judgement put in place and I cannot afford to have my credit history ruined by not paying the full amount within 28 days

JACUSTOMER-r79n2i6k- :

I didn't physically ask for evidence of the balance brought forward in my letter. I merely pointed out that firstly I believed the amount was wrong and secondly, I was worried about no accounts having ever been provided by the previous agents. Instead of replying to the letter (which was forwarded to the new agents by the solicitors, they chose to ignore and raise a judgement.

Alex Watts :

Indeed.

Alex Watts :

You can apply to set aside and then once it has been, you can pay what you agree you owe.

Alex Watts :

But in any event they need to prove the claim against you.

Alex Watts :

They need to serve they posted the required notices to you, together with any documentation.

Alex Watts :

As such they need to show this was done within 12 months of the charge being due

Alex Watts :

If you deny getting any of this then the claim will fail.

Alex Watts :

But you can apply to set aside.

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-r79n2i6k- :

Thanks Alex, my problem is they will feel they have sent adequate documentation. The new agents served us with a notice to pay including the balance of £3,000 brought forward. This was sent as a notice to pay which may have included a summary of rights and obligations. They feel that as this is provided, then I have no right to withhold payment. I was confused about the 'summary of rights and obligations' and thought this was some sort of accounts (which we have never been given). My fear is that the court agrees with them and my credit history is therefore ruined. If they have provided a summary of rights and obligations, but have not supplied anything to back the £3000 up, do I have a right to withhold and just pay the other part? What would they be required to provide within 3 months to prove the £3,000, and where do I stand with the current legal fees/court fees/interest in place?

Alex Watts :

The previous £3000 needs to be evidenced. You need that.

Alex Watts :

They need to provide proof of the £3,000

Alex Watts :

The current fees can only be awarded by a court

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-r79n2i6k- :

Not sure what you mean by the current fees. As a judgement has already been requested and given, there is already interest, court fees and legal fees applied. As judgement is given I assume I now have no option but to incur the cost of those fees?

JACUSTOMER-r79n2i6k- :

And how do I go about getting the amount set aside? And what is considered adequate evidence from the managing agents re the £3000

JACUSTOMER-r79n2i6k- :

And If I request for it to be set aside but pay the part I feel is due, and the court still rule in favour of the claimant. Does the ccj stay on my credit history as it wasn't paid in full within 1 month?

Alex Watts :

Yes you can ask for Judgment to be set aside.

Alex Watts :

Then the fees and charges go

Alex Watts :

You need to apply using form N244

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n244-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

There is a Court fee of £155 to be paid.

Alex Watts :

The CCJ will come off if set aside.

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-r79n2i6k- :

Thanks Alex, you didn't answer the part about what is adequater evidence

JACUSTOMER-r79n2i6k- :

adequate evidence for the £3000

Alex Watts :

They need to provide evidence you owe it and how it was made up

Alex Watts :

Is that ok?

JACUSTOMER-r79n2i6k- :

But I don't dispute it is technically owed, just that I wasn't willing to pay the management fees for periods that relate to accounts we have never been provided. I was always sceptical at what the old agents had spent the money on so wanted to check the accounts before making the payment.

Alex Watts : Indeed, that is the baisis Of yours defence
Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.


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