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02

Oct, 2014

Thursday

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  1. #11

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    Hi,

    I'm going to have a look at the lease and will reply tomorrow with more information.

    Thanks everyone

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochima View Post
    Hi,

    I'm going to have a look at the lease and will reply tomorrow with more information.

    Thanks everyone
    Good stuff.
    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers. More ramblings atleaseholdpropertymanager.blogspot.com

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by siva View Post
    I don't agree that estimated costs are not subject to s20b. I think that is what people have incorrectly concluded (and probably successfully argued too!) from the Gilje case. I think they are just cherry picking what they want from the Gilje case and that it is only estimated costs that have been demanded which satisfy s20b.

    Under s18 of LTA 1985 relevant costs are defined to include estimated costs.
    Siva disagree as much as you like the issue is long settled, full stop Go back and read Brent v Schulem.

    You simply cannot incur an estimate! That's why relevant costs are defined in s18 and sct 20b refers to those relevant costshaving been incurred. The Peveral Case is a good exposition as to when costs are incurred.

    While there was a thought in either Brent or the "StagnantPond" case that section 20b was actually intended only to apply to major works, the estimated costs are subject to either contractual determination or statutory control, partly by section 20b where a landlord is out of pocket if he exceeds the estimate, or by determination as to what a reasonable amount was.
    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers. More ramblings atleaseholdpropertymanager.blogspot.com

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    The Brent v Schulem case isn't really relevant. In that case 'in anticipation' demands weren't allowed by the lease.

    In the Gilje case (where interim demands were allowed by the lease and were made) the argument by Counsel which Etherton J agreed with was only for when actual expenditure didn't exceed payment on account.

    In the OP's case no interim demands have been made and he has just received a demand for 6 years arrears. It is this current demand that is too late for anything other than cost incurred in the last 18 months.

    Here's what s20B says:

    "If any of the relevant costs taken into account in determining the amount of any service charge were incurred more than 18 months before a demand for payment of the service charge is served on the tenant, then the tenant shall not be liable to pay so much of the service charge as reflects the costs so incurred."

    The demand has only just been served and there have been no others since 2006.

    I suppose the lease might detail payments that are due without demand but that would make the demand of 2006 look odd.
    I accept no legal responsibility for comments/advice I make on this forum. Please check with a solicitor before acting on statements made in a public forum.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochima View Post
    Hi,

    Thanks for your replies.

    The demand was made in June 2006 through a formal demand and the charges were paid in that year.

    The charges are not for an advance amount but for the relative service charges of that year.

    The other residents did receive their demand as same as I did.

    My question is, can they demand money for service charges incurred at a period where they were not the managing agency?

    Can they demand this payment even though I have never received a letter or formal demand after the date of service charges i.e. between June 2006 and December 2012?

    Thanks
    You should ask for a credit /debit statement for your service charge account for the last 6 years ( 2006-2012) showing the payments due and the payments made by you . If there are any arrears , they should have been billed to you in 2007 or 2008 and the arrears would have been recorded in the audited service charge accounts in 2007, 2008, 2009 , 2010, 2011 for your block ???

  6. #16

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    Hello everyone,

    Last week I spoke to Leasehold Advisory service and they said that because the charges are over 6 years I could defend the dispute under the Limitation Act 1980 section 19 if the lease indicates the service charges as rent.

    I had a look at the lease and quite frankly cannot fully understand what it says due to the language is written. I do however, have an extract that talks about the service charges, I write below.

    "If the rent hereby by reserved or any part thereof shall be unpaid for 21 days after becoming payable (whether or not formally demanded) or if any of the convenants on the part of the lessee herein contained are not observed and performed then and in any such case it shall be lawful for the lessor or any person authorised by it in that behalf at any time thereafter to re-enter the demised premises or any part thereof in the name of the whole and thereupon the term hereby created shall absolutely determine but without prejudice to any right of action or remedy of the lessor in respect of any breach of the convenants on the part of the lessee hereinbefore contained".

    Still my question remains, can they challenge the charges in court? Their claim is that according to the previous agency I didn't pay these charges (which I did), How can I defend myself?

    Thanks everyone

  7. #17
    Join Date
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    Werll..surely its only one year which is possibly over 6 years old, the limitation act prob doesnt apply to the other 5.

    The cluae you printed is a standard lease clause, although some of it such as "whether or not formally dem,anded" have been superceded by legislation which DOES require demands for both ground rent and service charges.

    Anyonwe can challenge anything in court, if you have paid, have you proof ?

    Andy
    Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

    I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

    It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

    Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

  8. #18

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    Hi,

    I have proof of the cheques I sent to the agency which have been cashed, however, they are not accepting it because in my bank statement is not showed who cashed them although the amounts do relate to the service charges amounts of the time.

    So the Limitation act doesn't apply then?

  9. #19
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    I am confused now- you say in the earlier post that you paid up to June 2006, and from then until Aug 2012, no further demands or reminders were received. You then say you did pay.

    1: Payments made- ask the bank to identify the payee on your statements

    2: The limitation Act applies whether reserved as rent or not *

    There are two approaches here you either want to pay for the arrears or you want mitigate them by avoiding them.

    Lets assume you want to pay and I suggest you make three columns and write


    Dear Mr MA

    I am writing to try and resolve the amounts claimed and wish to make clear that this is not an admission or agreement to these amounts which I reserve my right to subsequently dispute.

    Here is a 3 column list of
    1 list the amounts demanded in advance in those bills


    2 I (List the amounts you paid and dates) paid, pending bank confirmation of the payee requested (date)

    3 The entry for any year end adjustment


    Net due.

    (Then you might add say along these lines) For 2008, £ 500 was demanded in advance but there is no entry for the calculation of what was actually spent. Please provide a copy of the accounts or certificate for that year so that I can compare and calculate the net amount due.


    I am afraid ( say eg while I build guided missiles for a living ), a lease is something that I struggle to understand and therefore if the service charges are calculated in a different manner I would be grateful if you would explain this as it will hasten resolution of this issues, and would be greatly appreciated.

    While there have been 2 different agencies, my payments are of course made to the landlord through those agencies and it is therefore for the respective agencies and the landlord to resolve what was done with my payments. I will do my utmost to help as this puts you and me in an unfortunate position, and look forward to hearing from you and I expect to have the banks reply by X.
    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers. More ramblings atleaseholdpropertymanager.blogspot.com

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochima View Post

    Still my question remains, can they challenge the charges in court? Their claim is that according to the previous agency I didn't pay these charges (which I did), How can I defend myself?
    Well they can always bring a claim against you in Court. The real question is whether, if you defend the case properly, they will win.

    You need to check the lease again. I would imagine there is something else which describes what costs the LL can pass on to you and describes whether it is classed as rent or not. Also whether there is any additional criteria or method for making demands.

    Are you under threat of Court Action? If so you may be best served by making your own application to the LVT to dispute service charges. Sometimes you can end up paying legal costs even if you have a good case. Acting first reduces the risk of this. If action has been threatened then act first, even before everything becomes clear. Otherwise keep checking your lease and post here. Or send a copy to LEASE-ADVICE and ask them.

    Andy, LHA earlier post has got me rethinking about what I thought I had clear in my mind about s20B. You mention that there is now legislation that requires DEMANDS. I know there is for ground rent and always assumed it for service charges too but am now having doubts. Reading s20B and s21B, these only appear to apply if there has been a demand. What legislation were you thinking of that requires a demand?

    I'm now wondering whether a LL can just send a statement without actually demanding anything,then go to Court saying the tenant has to pay whether there has been one or not. That is if the lease says something along the lines of "payment is due whether demanded or not".

    mochima, your lease may stipulate estimated payments of £xxx in advance. I imagine that if it says something like that then the new managing agent is probably right.
    I accept no legal responsibility for comments/advice I make on this forum. Please check with a solicitor before acting on statements made in a public forum.

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