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Sep, 2014

Saturday

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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Foundation trench for New Shed@ Ham on Rye
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    14,796

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    Quote Originally Posted by siva View Post
    It must be annoying to have to wait for the arrears to go above £350 and then to have to chase offenders down. Then be restricted to costs only. People generally have better things to do.
    Well you can still get a money judgement for less than that.

    Yes in that the lease is the first place to start and restricting this to the recovery of arrears it is broadly under the lease or rely on the court to award costs.

    Bit the legal costs are variable, they are set at £1200 because the LL and their solicitor happen to charge that rate. Another might use a different rate. As in the Section 20 thread you are just using common sense and ordinary meaning and forgetting that L & T has it's own logic.
    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

  2. #22

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    Thank you all for your comments the advice is appreciated. I can see if from the LH's point of view, they have a tenant who hasn't paid the rent for many years, but still believe that the course of action £1007 is over the top. If I was to miss a months rent my LL would send debt collection agency within days, not ignore it until the arrears were big enough to evict me, different situation but the principle is the same.

    I contacted my local authority housing team and was able to speak to an officer who assists people in court with these sort of issues, although usually they are benefit claimants in social housing with different rules, rather than long leases such as this.

    Their opinion was that whilst the LH was within their rights to issue these proceedings, it's worth fighting on the grounds that she has paid the rent arrears (plus interest) and as they haven't complied with the pre action protocols, given the seriousness of issuing posession proceedings, that will not be looked upon favourably. They thought that its quite probable that if this proceeds to a hearing my mother will be ordered to pay the fixed costs under the CPR (somewhere in the region of £280?) but not the thousands which are being asked for.

    Is that reasonable advice or by continuing is she likely to end up paying far more than the £1k? I'd point out that she is a 64 year old disabled woman so this matter is causing significant stress, I don't want to make it worse by telling her to pursue a hopeless cause!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Foundation trench for New Shed@ Ham on Rye
    Posts
    14,796

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    You say that they didn't comply, did they send a letter before action, well you don't know as they only had the property address.

    Your post above is an argument that is refereed to building your house on sand- quickly washed away- they produce the copy LBA, which for all you know they printed that morning, and your argument is gone.

    That she offered to pay rent when they tracked her down doesnt remove the liability for costs- dont trust the marblings of a council gerbil, who clearly doesnt have the complete facts, but someone who has for many years dealt with such cases - court appearances in the 100's.

    As the address wasn't given, it is stacked against you and quite right to, how on earth was the landlord to find you and why should they, you have the ability to mitigate costs as explained and if you read the decision and like ones you can see how to.

    Otherwise you are fooling yourself with an easy answer that fits the one you want. If you do, that feeling behind you, thats the teeth of their claim about to bite you in the bum
    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. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    136

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    Quote Originally Posted by domtait View Post
    My mother owns a leasehold on a flat which she lets out via an agency. On Thursday she received notice from court for a possession hearing for non payment of ground rent, interest and admin fees totaling £582. This was followed by a letter from a firm of solicitors stating that she must pay the £582 plus their costs of £1007 in order for the case to be withdrawn, however if not paid additional costs for instructing council to attend the hearing will be added.

    THis was the first she heard about it. The claim form had 4 copy invoices exhibited all sent to the flat in question, at which she does not nor has ever resided, addressed to "owner/occupier". The letting agent hasn't ever received them nor have tenants ever forwarded one on so i assume they were binned (assuming they ever sent them). She pays the maintainance charges which are considerably more than the ground rent so in the absense of an invoice she never thought about rent.

    I contacted the firm of solicitors to explain why she never received an invoice and said we would pay the £582 immediately so would they withdraw the claim once recieved, but was told its tough, it was her responsibility to inform the freeholder of her address and the case will only be withdrawn if she pays their costs too!

    Please can someone advise if they are within their rights to have issued these proceedings? Had they ever contacted her at the correct address, which would have been easy to find if they had checked (its on the land reg docs etc) she would have paid immediately. Furthermore the solicitors obviously obtained the correct address when issuing the claim as her name and home address were on the claim form, yet no letters demanding payment were sent to the address prior to issuing the claim.

    She is a disabled pensioner and this has caused her a lot of distress. It doesn't seem right that they can have issued these proceedings without ever having notified her then demand £1k to make it go away!
    Am I missing something here?

    1) Maintenance charges are paid - does this mean that these have been correctly addressed and, furthermore, is the landlord the same person as the managing agent? If so, they would have the address

    2) You say that the land reg docs state the correct address. Has this always been the case and was this address specified on the completion docs?

    Ta

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