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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We have a rental property. We have owned this 3

Customer Question

We have a rental property. We have owned this for around 3 years. There is a property management company called HLM. We received a letter from them at our home address several months after purchasing the property saying that because we hadn't given them our home address they had added approximately £700 of charges to cover the costs of finding us. We think this charge is unreasonable as: I found our address using an internet search within 5 minutes, they could have contacted our letting agent who would have passed them our information.
We were advised at the time by the letting agent that several landlords had received this letter, and for the most part people were ignoring it. This was based on the charge being unreasonable, and if it came to court would be difficult to claim.
We have now received another letter stating an additional charge will be added to our account if it is not paid.
What should we do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you. On what basis do they say you are responsible for this charge?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Their charge is for: 'Outstanding administration charges, legal costs and disbursements'
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Have you instructed them?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry, I don't understand your question. Who should I instruct, and to do what?
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Is there a contract between you and them?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The company (HLM) has the Management service contract for the estate, when you buy a house on the estate, the owner is responsible to pay HLM the set service charge. I thought this was fairly standard?
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
OK thanks for telling me that. You are going to have to look at the Management Service Contract to see if they can make these charges or not?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Surely a charge, contractual or not, must be reasonable? I am not questioning their right to charge something, just, if unreasonable (£700 for 5 minutes work) what I should do about it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is anyone there? I have not had an answer to my question as to what I should do?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Obviously I am not happy with your service, whoever you are, or claim to be.