Unreasonable Administration Charge for late payment of GR

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    #16
    Yes as above the ma can't just say they are going to start charging admin fees...in fact your lease contract is between you and free holder but even he couldn't add such a change either. The other thread seems very similar and look back n you'll find hundreds more..it's a very common scam.

    Most older leases simply did not envisage late payment and admin fees so they simply are not payable...a FH MAY try and use the s146 forfeiture process but generally this won't apply as the ground rent is under £350

    In amy event it's worth nothing that for forfeit purposes the law says the amount owing is the original total of ground rent it cannot be continually 'bumped up' by adding admin fees on top of admin fees...
    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.

    Comment


      #17
      Just found that the Lease Advice site has page on this scenario (charging fees for late payment).

      https://www.lease-advice.org/article...eking-payment/
      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.

      Comment


        #18
        Thank you all for your help/comments.

        A brief update on my situation: I submitted my documents to the Tribunal and have been asked by the MA’s solicitors if I will consider mediation.
        I am less inclined to have mediation as I think the facts speak for themselves and in my application I asked the Tribunal to make a ruling on the basis of the documents submitted - I din’t think a hearing was necessary. The issue is just the unreasonableness of the administration charges.

        My understanding of mediation is the mediator looks at both sides and tries to see if they can get both sides to meet somewhere in the middle - ie possibly a mid-way between the £900 AC that I am arguing is unreasonable... I am arguing the £900 AC should be removed completely...

        As mentioned this case has been ongoing for a couple of years now and throughout this time I made every effort to try and resolve this directly with MA before proceeding to Tribunal - I think the time for mediation has passed...

        My question is this: will it work against me if I say “no” to mediation and my case later proceeds to a hearing? Will the fact that I declined mediation have a negative impact for me at a hearing or when the tribunal comes to make its decision?

        Thanks in advance for your thoughts

        Comment


          #19
          As stated in #15 and #16, your contract (lease) appears to be with the freeholder and not with the managing agent, therefore your application to the FTT should be made against the freeholder.

          The MA’s solicitors should not be involved unless they happen to be the freeholder’s solicitors as well.

          Subject to that, I think that you can reasonably object to mediation on the grounds that you have attempted to reach agreement and the freeholder (via his agent) has refused over a 2 year period and has only suggested mediation after you have made the application to the FTT.

          Another reason to object is that mediation can be expensive.

          Comment


            #20
            I dont know about mediation from FTT but Ive used the mediation service linked to the county court..there was no cost for it..the mediator simply phoned both parties in turn and we both stuck to our guns and it went to county court (where I won), its always good to show you are prepapred to mediate thoigh IMO.
            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.

            Comment


              #21
              I think that the county court mediation is rather different and it is publicly funded in order to try to ease pressure on the courts.

              I think that the FTT would like to see that the parties have attempted to reach an agreement between themselves but would not be influenced by a refusal to accept mediation. There is no guarantee that mediation would succeed in this case and there would normally be a cost involved.

              Here it is a question of (1) whether or not an administration charge is payable and (2) whether or not the administration charge is reasonable if it is payable. (1) needs to be resolved before (2) can be considered. In my opinion, (1) is not suitable for mediation, whereas it is ideal for the FTT to determine.

              It is quite likely that the freeholder is trying to avoid an adverse decision being used by other leaseholders.

              Comment


                #22
                If you really want to get rid of the £900 AC which has escalated from £12 underpayment 2 years ago , then you should let the FTT decide .

                If you agree to let the arbitration process decide then both sides must "give way from current position " and you may end up reducing to mid-way and having to pay £450 instead of £900.

                You should point out to FTT the £12 was owed to the freeholder under the lease but the £900 is demanded by the MA who is not a party to the lease . You should ask the MA's Solicitor to back off or you will make a complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Dear All
                  Just wanted to give an update on my situation: I rejected mediation and the Tribunal agreed to hear the case on the papers - without a hearing. I am pleased to say the Tribunal has ruled in my favour and ordered the MA to pay me back my £900. I received the decision last week but the MA still has 28 days to appeal so not celebrating just yet!

                  Thank you for your help/thoughts/comments etc. - I really appreciate this! This battle with the MA has been going on for over 2 years. I had been dealing with a lot of other personal issues at the same time so it was quite a stressful time and if I had not found this forum I may have abandoned the battle, paid-up and moved on... The judge ruled that admin charges were not payable under the terms of the lease and MA had no authority to charge admin fees - the FREEHOLDER could only charge interest under the lease. I am tempted to send a note to all the residents in the complex in case they have been impacted...

                  One final question: the judge ruled that costs of the proceedings could not be added to service charge - that was the real victory for me! I intend to ask MA for proof at year end as I do not trust MA and I know leaseholder can ask for a summary of accounts but how much detail does MA need to provide? And what sort of detail? Do they need to provide details/costs of all litigious matters? Has anyone had experience of this? I just do not trust the MA and fear they may still offload their legal fees to service charge

                  Thanks again

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Excellent result.

                    The MA should look to its business insurance policy to pay for their side of the litigation costs .

                    The MA cannot charge its legal costs to the service charge account of your block as it becomes an offence under the Fraud Act 2006.

                    Yes , send a note to inform the other leaseholders.

                    Yes, you should ask the MA at year end..............

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Well done, excellent result and thanks for letting us know. It is encouraging to know that we have helped someone to recover unreasonable charges.

                      I am surprised that the MA allowed the case to be decided by the FTT. As you say, it is now open for any other leaseholder to make a similar claim.

                      You should study the service charge accounts since the case began. The summary should include the main cost headings and legal or professional fees should be listed separately if they are included within the accounts. You can also compare the level of expenditure before the case began with subsequent years and ask for details of any unexplained increases.

                      You should be looking to replace the MA, he has demonstrated that he is operating for his own benefit outside the terms of the lease.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by NewDriver View Post
                        Dear All
                        Just wanted to give an update on my situation: I rejected mediation and the Tribunal agreed to hear the case on the papers - without a hearing. I am pleased to say the Tribunal has ruled in my favour and ordered the MA to pay me back my £900. I received the decision last week but the MA still has 28 days to appeal so not celebrating just yet!

                        Thank you for your help/thoughts/comments etc. - I really appreciate this! This battle with the MA has been going on for over 2 years. I had been dealing with a lot of other personal issues at the same time so it was quite a stressful time and if I had not found this forum I may have abandoned the battle, paid-up and moved on... The judge ruled that admin charges were not payable under the terms of the lease and MA had no authority to charge admin fees - the FREEHOLDER could only charge interest under the lease. I am tempted to send a note to all the residents in the complex in case they have been impacted...

                        One final question: the judge ruled that costs of the proceedings could not be added to service charge - that was the real victory for me! I intend to ask MA for proof at year end as I do not trust MA and I know leaseholder can ask for a summary of accounts but how much detail does MA need to provide? And what sort of detail? Do they need to provide details/costs of all litigious matters? Has anyone had experience of this? I just do not trust the MA and fear they may still offload their legal fees to service charge

                        Thanks again
                        This is amazing. Good work.

                        Comment

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