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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I am being chased by debt collectors who claim that I am in

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Hello, I am being chased by debt collectors who claim that I am in breach of my lease for not paying service charge. I disputed the amounts presented in the bill, which the management company ignored and passed the matter to debt collectors, who threaten legal action. The dispute goes back to 2013 and I am regularly paying current monthly service charge. I also stated that I am willing to settle the bill as soon as a fair calculation for services is provided. Despite the communication and good will from my side the management company did not respond and passed it to debt collectors who aggressively demand payment. I would like to know if I can make a complain about unfairly aggressive commercial practice or harassment as this case is similar to that of Lisa Ferguson vs British Gas. Many thanks,

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

So is the debt over 3 years old?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
2013 is the period when the service charges were applicable, however the management company came on board later so they sent the bill in 2014 I think for the past periods.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Hello sorry about the delay in replying, Virgin internet had a meltdown in my area and they have only just fixed the issues.

Going back to your query, whilst it is possible to try and argue that you are being harassed, the courts will not always find that to be the case, even if the circumstances are similar to the case you mentioned. Debt collectors are generally allowed to pursue you for debts, even if done aggressively. There is no defined limit as to what amounts to simply an aggressive approach, and what becomes unreasonable and equal to harassment. In the end, it is for the courts to decide that and the risk there is that one court on one day could come to a different decision to another on a different day. So there is nothing stopping you from taking this further and trying to argue that it is harassment. However, be mindful that that is not always easy to prove and a court may decide that this is just a matter of aggressive debt collection within reasonable means.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on harassment and how it can apply here, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Thank you. The case of Ferguson specifically made a comment that such matters would ideally be dealt with through Trading Standards in the criminal courts. You can make a complaint to Trading Standards under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. It is also possible to pursue a personal claim for harassment if necessary.

Although there is no definition of what specifically amounts to harassment, it would usually include alarming a person or causing them distress and must have occurred on at least two occasions.

This matter would be dealt with in the civil courts under the Protection from Harassment Act so you need to issue a claim in the local County Court.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you

You are welcome , all the best