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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9684
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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If no retention arrangement was made at time of purchase can

Customer Question

If no retention arrangement was made at time of purchase can charges against the freehold property prior to purchase be levied against it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
Can you explain your situation a little more please?Is this historic service charges?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Answer is too long for email, perhaps it would be best If I listed the bare facts and you ask me what is necessary.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In answer to your question it is to do with a historic service charge.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
I see that you have requested a telephone call. I can’t deal with this for you until tomorrow but would be happy to discuss this at length for you in the morning. (Saturday morning).This would be dealt with by way of a Premium Service proposal for which there is an extra charge. I will submit a proposal for you which you are free to accept or decline or simply leave in abeyance.Meanwhile, if you could give me brief facts, that would be really useful.If you bought the property and there is outstanding service charge you are responsible for those service charges although you are entitled to recover the from the previous owner.If you bought the property using a solicitor, the solicitor should have asked for the service charge receipts from the seller and the seller should have either them and pass them over all got them from the landlord or the managing agent or management company. If the seller was unable to provide that information, the solicitor should have made a substantial retention which would account for 12 years service charge which is the lengthof time for which service charge would be recoverable under the terms of the lease relating it to the Limitation Act 1986.If the solicitor was unable to obtain service charge receipt up-to-date of purchase and apportion any over payment or underpayment in relation to the purchase price, and the solicitor also failed to keep a retention in respect of the same, you have a claim against the solicitor,negligence, for the cost of the service charge and the solicitor is the one who will have to try and recover it from the seller.If you bought the property at auction you buy it subject to any outstanding service charge and you will have to take it on the chin person.I have answered to the best of my ability based upon the limited facts you have given me. I’m happy to clarify any points for you now,if you want to raise any specific questions.Please do not forget to rate the service positive. It is an important part of the process by which experts get paid.Best wishesFES
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You refer to the limitations act in respect of the terms of the lease regarding service charges, in my case there was no lease involved as my property was bought as freehold.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was a covenant listed in the deeds which stated that from time to time a small proportion of the upkeep costs of the surrounding grounds would be levied when required. This cost was not being levied at the time of purchase in July 2011 and was only reinstated in November 2015, which we are now paying. However the new estate management company is insisting that we pay for the years 2006 to 2010 which was four years before we purchased the property.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
Service charges like this only arise by deed. If on a lease, the lease is the deed.If it’s on a freehold property, the covenant is created by a conveyance or transfer both of which are deeds. If the liability arises it doesn’t matter that it has been collected, the liability remains.It is for the solicitor to check this has been paid and get the receipt and if it hasn’t been paid, to make a retention in respect of an appropriate amount of money to pay any unpaid charges, going back 12 years if necessary.