How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask LondonlawyerJ Your Own Question
LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 814
Experience:  Experienced solicitor
76316425
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
LondonlawyerJ is online now

I am a leaseholder. The freeholder has failed to 1. insure

Customer Question

I am a leaseholder. The freeholder has failed to 1. insure the property for a period of four months, 2. failed to provide receipt and policy for the period they did insure the property, 3. failed to produce receipts and bills for the service charge items (electricity). I have issued a claim against them for £2500 for each offense which is the maximum fine for these summary offences.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a lawyer with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

JACUSTOMER-1yyvfyla- :

thanks

JACUSTOMER-1yyvfyla- :

I have a couple of queries

JACUSTOMER-1yyvfyla- :

Who decides how much of the £2500 the leaseholder is fined?

LondonlawyerJ :

When you say issued a claim this is presumably a claim for compensation in the small claims court. You will be entitled to claim compensation for losses actually suffered by you or harm caused to you. There is not a fine as such. Fines are issued by criminal court and the money goes to the government.

LondonlawyerJ :

Am I right in thinking ther above or have you actually started a private prosecution?

JACUSTOMER-1yyvfyla- :

Therer has not been a loss as such. The LTA says that they have committed a summary offence which carries a maxiumum fine of £2500

JACUSTOMER-1yyvfyla- :

I have started a small claim court claim

JACUSTOMER-1yyvfyla- :

http://www.lease-advice.org/information/faqs/print_faq.asp?section=17

LondonlawyerJ :

Thankyou. Give me a few moments.

LondonlawyerJ :

OK. The Landlord appears to have committed offences relating to the issues you have outlined. The court to deal with breaches of the criminal law is not the small claims court but in this case the Magistrates Court.

You could seek to persuade the local authority to prosecute or you could bring a private prosecution yourself. Prosecutions are difficult to bring. There are complex procedures to be followed throughout the case. You would not see any of the fine as this would be a punishment by the state against the criminal. You might be able to claim compensation as a victim of crime but only if you could show that you have suffered harm or loss. Without demonstrable harm or loss there will be no compensation.

You might well not recover the costs of bringing the prosecution either, even if you are successful in getting the freeholder convicted..

The small claims court could deal with this if you were presenting it as a breach of contract or civil wrong case. I expect your contract with the freeholders will have clauses that require him not to act in the way he has done. However, once again, if you have not suffered harm or loss you will not be entitled to any compensation.

You might think in the light of the above that the best thing to do is to either amend your claim in the small claims court to a breach of contract claim or to withdraw it entirely. Leaving your claim in the court as it is may lead to the other side incurring expenses that they can claim from you.

You might also think it a good idea to report this matter to the local housing authority for them to prosecute.


I hope this answers your question, although I am afraid not in the way you were hoping. Please feel free to ask follow up questions.