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SolicitorRM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4172
Experience:  Director and Principal Solicitor. UK
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I was hoping for advise regarding a dispute I currently have

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JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: i was hoping for advise regarding a dispute I currently have with my lease holders
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: London
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: contacting leaseholder which has now been passed to legal team to recover payments to include legal fees
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: more so, what my legal rights are in disputing this matter
Customer: replied 3 days ago.

Hi thank you for your enquiry and patience. What is your position, are you the Freeholder or from the management company? And what is the dispute please and I will see if I can assist you.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
I am a lease holder and have a dispute with service charge payments relating to a request for payment from leaseholder who suggests reminder letter was sent to me which I dispute being received and thus this payment has now been passed to their legal team to recover costs to include additional legal fees

Thanks for your prompt response. Are you disputing the level of the service charge or you agree with the sum claimed but only that you did not receive the request and therefore involving solicitors was premature?

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
I dispute receiving demand letter which was apparently sent on 16th June 2020. I then contacted leaseholder to arrange outstanding payments and to setup direct debit for further monthly payments on 30th June 2020.
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
involving solicitors was premature given the fact I had contacted them to make payment on 30th and was told I would receive a call from collection team to take payment and setup necessary future direct debit payments. I later go onto to find out this case had been sent to legal team after my conversation on the 30th June

If your lease prescribes that all notices are send by post, they would have to evidence that the letter was sent on 15 June as claimed. The dilemma is that there is no requirement for tracking of notices by post so they could claim they did send it and just produce a letter when you request a copy. Give that we were at the peak of covid-19 when post was very irregular if at all coming, if they were not prudent enough to employ use of email as most businesses then you could challenge that it would have been unreasonable of them to send the notice by post when we were in a complete lockdown. They may understand and if you are willing to pay your service charges but for this dispute you should be able to convince them to drop their solicitors' costs. You should also advise them that it was not your fault that they did not call you back after the call on 30 June and that you cannot be financially prejudiced as a result of their inefficiency.

What is clear is you are not disputing liability however you are not happy to incur financial loss where you made all effort to avoid any legal costs being incurred. Should they insist with their claim you would be within your rights to involve the First Tier Tribunal -Property Chamber to consider if the conduct is reasonable and fair. I hope this helps and all the best.

SolicitorRM and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Thank you for your response
I have asked them to evidence by providing copy of correspondence sent on 16th June. Their legal representative have also suggested they had sent email to an email address which had not been in use for over 4 years. I have also asked them to forward me email that was sent to this email address.If I were to involve First Tier Tribunal would this be at an additional cost to me?

Hi, I have been notified of your call request are you free for me to call you in 15 mins or if not convenient you may give me a convenient time up to 8pm.

Hi if you still need a call please don’t hesitate to give me a time to call. You have asked for the right information and as for the first tier tribunal the application fee for submission is £200. If the matter doesn’t resolve before the final hearing, there would be another £200 for the hearing. If you succeed with your application you should recover your court fees from the respondent.