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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 16765
Experience:  Solicitor
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Hoping you can help. Re estate site maintenance fees and

Customer Question

Hi Hoping you can help.Re estate site maintenance fees and associated late payment fees.I have been charged a £100 late fee on a payment that has since been made in full. The service bill comes to £54 ish, so the £100 late payment fee seems unreasonable. This fee is detailed in the deed of covenant, a minimum of £100 will be charged.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I have explained to the vendor my reasons for not paying, as I consider that this term is unfair pursuant to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 for the following reasons: "The contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer." , schedule 2, item (e) "requiring any consumer who fails to fulfil his obligation to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation".
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: it is estate maintenance fees and late payment fees I need help with, not a property
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no just looking for some advice.
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 13 days ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you. I am just reviewing your question. This is an email service so there may be delays when responding.

Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 13 days ago.

What is it you want to know about this today please?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Hi
I want to know where I stand wrt to the late payment fee. It seems unreasonable, but the vendor isn't really acknowledging what I am saying
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 13 days ago.

Is it in the contract though?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
it is in the contact, but I did some research around unfair terms
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I don't recall being given a option not to sign or negotiate the extremely high late fee (roughly 177% of the cost of the actual service)
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 13 days ago.

As a matter of contract though, I have been to Courts lots of times and people lose on this.

You would then be liable for their legal costs

What you should do is pay it and then sue for it back

You need to write a letter, set out your losses and request a refund within 30 days or say you will go to Court. This is called a pre-action protocol letter of claim. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy. You must give 30 days warning before going to Court.

If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n1-claim-form-cpr-part-7 and take it to your local County Court.

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value, you would need representation for trial.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today, please?

If not, I would appreciate a 5-star rating for my answer, by clicking the button at the top of the screen. I am not paid for my time unless you rate.

If you need anything further I am available for a follow up at no extra cost.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Sorry, I haven't paid the fee yet. I don't understand why I should have to, can you confirm if the regulations I cited are applicable here?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 13 days ago.

No. This is NOT a consumer contract.

As a matter of law they can charge the fee

Does that clarify?

Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 7 days ago.

If this answers your question could I invite you to rate me 3, 4 or 5 stars before you leave today?

I am only paid for my work on this question if you rate my answer, using the star system at the top of the screen. Please do not forget as it is an important part of the online process! If you need anything further I am available for a follow up at no extra cost. Thank you.