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LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 818
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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MY ground rent was due in advance at the beginning of January

Customer Question

MY ground rent was due in advance at the beginning of January unfortunately because they wont allow you to set up a direct debit and i have received no mail from them (i think its because our post box is in a n apartment block and its communial we never get the mail.)
I had a phone call this morning from a solicitor to say i have to pay £545.00 which is due now. My ground rent is £100.00 there are late fees £75.00 which in my opinion it is not late as the Payment runs from Jan 14 to Dec 14. then the rest is admin and solicitors fees.
I have been on line and Paid £100.00 ground rent and although i dont agree with this i have paid £75.00 late fees as they say i signed at the beginning of my lease to say i would pay in advance. Where do i stand with the rest. is this even legal what they are asking me for.
Kind regards
Christine Matthews
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 4 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

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

LondonlawyerJ :

Generally your lease or other agreement with the freeholder will set out the details of when ground rent is due and what the penalties are for late payment etc. If you have recently purchased this property then your solicitor should have told you all about this in the report on property. You should look at your documents. As a general principle of contract law however if you were late in paying the ground rent and therefore in breach of contract then your landlord is entitled to be compensated for losses he has actually and reasonable incurred. So if you were late he could certainly instruct a solicitor to chase you for the money. I fear that as long as he has not been unreasonably rushed to instruct particularly expensive solicitors you may be liable to pay the fees.

LondonlawyerJ :

You should check the documents referred to above to start with. I hope this answer is helpful but I expect you will have follow up questions so please feel free to ask.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
How can they possibly be allowed to get away with this for a payment which is not due . The payment runs unti dec 2014. Surely there is some kind of ombudsman I can contact as this should. Not be allowed . I received no letters from them and can,t possibly pay £545..
Kind regards
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 4 years ago.
Check your agreement to see when your rent was due. It should be very clear when it is due, if you have not missed payment then you don't owe anything.