Do you know if your neighbour has a Mortgage over his flat?
I take it that you have served him with evidence of the cost of the roof repair?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Hi, thanks for your reply.
With regards ***** ***** action that can be taken against the service charge defaulter, the lease terms must of course state that the neighbour is responsible for contributing to the cost of the communal areas/roof. It appears that he is and therefore I would advise, that he is sent a couple of letters from you (if this has not been done already), requesting payment and advising him that in the event that the payment is not settled within, say seven days from the date of the letter, you will have no alternative but to pass matters onto solicitors. Once the matters are passed to solicitors, if the arrears are still outstanding, proceedings for the collection of the arrears should be instituted in the county court, together with interest and costs (if permitted under the terms of the lease).
On a side note, (and this would be the most cheap and effective action to take) you should write to his Mortgage Lender to see if they are prepared to settle the outstanding arrears. As to whether this approach works depends on the requirements of the specific lenders; most lenders will settle the arrears, others may insist on a judgement being obtained from the county court. You would need to get a copy of your neighbours Leasehold title from the Land Registry website to ascertain the name of his Lender if you do not know. Link as follows-
A simple letter to the Lender explaining that he is in breach of the terms of the Lease, will normally result in the Lender paying you directly or at least writing a snotty letter to the neighbour demanding that he pays.
I hope this assists and sets out the legal position.
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