Ask an Property Solicitor. Get an Answer ASAP.
Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.
You can argue that you should not have to pay it - they did not tell you and they have now added on interest for well over a year.
You should ask them why you were not told and then ask them to write it off, or you will apply to the property tribunal for a determination on the reasonableness of the charge. Ask them to do this in say, 7 days.
You can involve the First Tier (Property) Tribunal in the dispute. The application costs £100 unless you qualify for a fee exemption, so if you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits. If you do, this form must also be used when you apply :
The tribunal route is quicker than the county court claims procedure and it's one form which you will need to complete and send to your regional tribunal.
The Tribunal is made up of 3 people: A lawyer (Chairman), a surveyor/valuer (who could also be Chairman), and a lay person (member of the public). You can present the dispute to them in person or use a firm (such as either of these law firms : https://www.bishopslaw.co.uk/first-tier-tribunal-property-chamber-advice/ or www.bradysolicitors.com who have a specialist department for these Tribunal claims). The latter firm also offers a free guide on how to change managing agents : https://www.bradysolicitors.com/taking-back-control/changing-managing-agent/
The hearing itself is quite informal. Once made, the order is then binding - if the order is ignored then the county court will recognise it and you can apply for an injunction to force them to comply.
You will need to fill out the relevant form and then email it to your regional Tribunal. The Tribunal should then make a decision within 6-8 weeks.