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.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jeremy Aldermartin Your Own Question
Jeremy Aldermartin
Jeremy Aldermartin, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8870
Experience:  Dual qualified Solicitor and Attorney
65242892
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jeremy Aldermartin is online now

Looking for advice regarding tenants who have not paid

This answer was rated:

Looking for advice regarding tenants who have not paid service charges to Residents management company. Where are options for reclaiming the money. Soft to hard.
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Leicestershire uk
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: We have written to the debtors asking them to contact us about the arrears on their account. We recently took over the company as previous mgmt company were sacked.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No

Hi thank you for your message, this is leaseholders I take it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well we manage shared spaces ie courtyards we have a mixture of leaseholders and free holders but all have a lease in place for the shared spaces. So I own my property but lease my parking space.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Others own property that is leasehold & also lease their parking.

Thank you, ***** ***** terms of the defaulters are they freeholders or leaseholders of their property?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have a mixture but mainly freeholders.

I see, well in terms of the lease the first step is of course to write to them regarding the debt as the management company. The next step is to write to them via a solicitor ideally to add weight to the point and say that they owe this money and you will take legal action within 14 days if they do not pay the money owed.

You will need to register at http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you. The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site. Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case.

Claims between £10,000 and £25,000 are subject to fixed costs only so if you lose then the risk is minimal. Further, the money claim website allows you to sue for an amount up to £100,000.

You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee (details of fees are here at page 5: http://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees) and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment. The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim.

If you are on a low income or have low savings (or in receipt of benefits), you can ask the court for a fee remission so you do not have to pay the court issue fee.

If you win then once you have CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days. You can also enforce the CCJ with the county court bailiffs or transfer the debt to the High Court for a small additional fee assuming the total amount owed is at least £600 and you can use the high court enforcement officers who have greater powers than county court bailiffs. The transfer fee is added on to the debt and payable by the defendant.

There are also other potential enforcement techniques but the main thing is to get the court order for the debt. It is to be hoped that the debtors would not let it get that far.

The money claim link is in fact: https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thankyou does the reason for them not paying have any weighting. So they will claim they should not have to pay for services not provided by the previous management company. We took over after the previous directors were sacked because services were not provided (backed up by the developer). Most debts are for pre the new company.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We sympathise but most tenants paid up so we could take over.

Well the reason for not paying is a factor but only to the extent of the court wanting to know if they had an obligation to pay and did not do so. I hope this helps, if you can please accept my answer and rate me 5 stars (in the top right of your screen) then Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Jeremy Aldermartin and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you for the rating much appreciated.