MC charging fees for dealing with matters with flat, which pre-date my purchase.

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    MC charging fees for dealing with matters with flat, which pre-date my purchase.

    Hi all,
    I did look through the forums but couldn't find the particular issue addressed. Can anyone advise please? I have bullet-pointed to make it easier to understand.

    - I bought the flat at auction in 2017.
    - Never met the tenant or spoken with her - agents have continued to manage for last owner and myself. Same tenant throughout (not sure how far back before me)
    - MC contact me to say they've received large utility bill addressed to them which should've been assigned to tenant, and they forwarded to me to sort.
    - I contacted utility provider and gave them a copy of the previous AST from my legal pack which takes the tenants liability as far back as I have evidence for - Sep 16 (I bought in May 2017).
    - MC still have a period of several months before this date where the bill is assigned to them. Since I can not evidence to the utitlity company that my tenant was in there at this time there is nothing more I can do to have it put in T's name.
    - MC speak with utility comp and resolve (unknown how, or whether they received evidence from previous owner)
    - (for dealing with this matter) MC have now levied a charge for Accountants fees, MC charge, and have asked for the next year's service charge in full within 21 days from 25th December. .Has been paid monthly/ quarterly until now.

    So my questions are:
    1. Am I still be liable for these issues that pre-date my ownership, especially since there is no way for me to evidence to utility company that T was indeed there at that time.(i wonder if the auction purchase may make this so)
    2. Can they just demand the whole year upfront within the 21 days?
    3. Is there any particular procedure they have to follow when making request for service charges?

    Thanks in advance,

    1) You are liable unless you contracted otherwise with the seller.

    2) Depends on the wording of the lease. Maybe the quarterly payments were a dispensation to someone with cash flow problems (likely given an auction sale). Maybe it was a concession, outside the terms of the lease, that had been applied to all leaseholders, but has been withdrawn. Paying a whole year's payment on account in one go is not uncommon, and paying the whole balancing payment at the end of the year is probably standard, although people will generally aim to avoid a balancing payment., by setting the payment on account high enough.

    3) Include the name and address of the landlord in the demand, and serve it an a way permitted by the lease. Include a copy of the statutory service charges summary of rights notice in at least 10 point type. Anything else will be as detailed in the lease.

    Did you carefully read the lease before buying?


      Hi. So you bought a lease at auction with a sitting subtenant? That's new to me. Subletting is based on what leases permit so presumably you had prior consent passed down? Something seems akimbo. Might just be me.

      Is 'MC' over the subtenant also the MC acting for the head lessor/lessor/landlord in collecting service charges etc? Or is 'agent' not the MC?

      MC (if not agent) and your relationship is as lessee, right?

      Are utilities to a demised flat part of the service charge in the lease? Not common for lessor landlords to pay demised costs.

      If demised utilities not part of the service charge items listed in the lease, my instinct is you can tell the MC to take a hike. They chose to take on demised utilities costs by the sound of it.

      Unpaid service charges can carry over if no retention sorted out on sale of lease.

      MC for lessor/landlord can only charge service charges per the wording of the lease. MCs ignore leases for their own convenience.
      Do not read my offerings, based purely on my research or experience as a lessee, as legal advice. If you need legal advice please see a solicitor.


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