Applying to Tribunal

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    #16
    Jeez..what a mess........personally Id send the £100 GR cheque (assuming its been demanded correctly), but it does appear that the insurance sum you are owed more than offsets any possible amount you may owe so technically you dont owe anything and therefore any court action taken against you would fail, is it likely they would take action against you ?

    Despite what I said earlier about instigated FTT/Court yourself, as it appears you ARE owed money, then I would start a court claim against them, if what you say is correct then it appears you cant lose, even if they offset some SC/GR amounts from the insurance amount then money is still owed to you, dont forget you can charge interest on this at court rate of 8% (https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-...k-out-interest), court fees and maybe legal costs (at the Litigant in Person rate of £19 per hour) https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/benchma...038419.article

    Send the FH/MA/DCA a Letter Before Action detailing your claim mark it "Without Prejudice Save As To Costs", yopu shoul;d also follopw any relevant Pre Action Protocols, I think only the normal general one would apply here https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/pr...s/debt-pap.pdf

    Note the legal action will be against the FH, as your contract is with him UNLESS the lease is a tripartie one that includes the management agent or unless you believe the insurance sum was sent to the management agent.
    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
      So to complicate matters more I received an email from the MA today as they no longer are going to manage the property. This is were it now really gets complicated in regards to money. So sorry and I will try and keep it simple.

      January 2019 court order me to pay £7000 in full and final settlement save that I am not precluded from raising issues as to the actual sums shown in future accounts where the demand of 14th December were based on estimates.

      Two items were estimated to do with building work which means I have overpaid with £2502.60.

      April new service charge demands issued which didn’t show my credit of £2502.60, emailed the agent who acknowledged £1602.60 but argued over £900 which is a 100% cost and not chargeable under the terms of my lease and my 50% is already paid with the invoice from the builder. No new demands issued showing my credit and actually amount payable. Several emails to the agent and asking for a meeting, but no response.

      August, insurance company which I had been given the details to deal with directly from the MA decided to pay me £3997 for the damage to my bathroom from a leak, they emailed me telling me that they had forwarded the money to the MA. I requested the money from the MA several times but they didn’t respond.

      August 16th received a letter from MA suggesting that they would use my insurance payout towards my service charges and they also included a demand for the ground rent payable in September. I responded allowing them to take some towards service charges (not for the disputed £900) and £100 for ground rent and the balance of £791.41 to be forwarded to me. No money was forwarded.

      October letter from MA asking for the £100 ground rent otherwise legal action. Rang the agent who said my insurance payment was nothing to do with ground rent, I agreed and said but it has nothing to do with service charges either but they suggested this in a letter and I agreed including the £100 ground rent. Agreed on a meeting and I also put this in an email. Several phone calls and emails asking for this meeting and was told in December that they wanted to respond to my emails before a meeting. No response to my emails came.

      December 19 debt collecting letter demanding £100 ground rent plus £250 costs. Ring the agent who again tells me the insurance payout has nothing to do with the ground rent and when I pointed out the letter of 16th August where they are suggesting it is used for service charges and I agreed in an email including the ground rent, why can he take one but not the other? No explanation apart from telling me my insurance money is sitting in a client’s account.

      December 23rd email the agent asking for my insurance money to be forwarded without delay. Debt collecting agent put on hold as I am refusing to pay them.

      January email the agent asking for their complaint procedure. No response. Send a registered letter asking for their complaint procedure and a separate letter asking for my insurance money with interest.

      Today revived an email from the MA telling me they are no longer managing the property and a new one is taking over. They are now keeping some of my insurance payment towards service charges and £100 for the ground rent AND they are also paying the debt collecting agency fees of £250 from my money! So they have no problem taking the £100 from the insurance money now but didn’t do it in August when I told them they could??

      No mention of the over payment from court of £2502.60 which as they are stating (no demands issued in 2018 as we were going through court proceedings)

      £100 ground rent
      £250 fee due to debt collecting agent
      £567.65 insurance 2018
      £180 MA fee 2018
      £57 Fire risk assessment 2018
      £596.04 insurance 2019
      £180 MA fee 2019

      total £1,930.69 and they will then forward the balance from my insurance money to the new MA of £2,066.31.

      My credit from court would have more than covered these costs or as we are in dispute over £900, the £1,602,60
      would have nearly covered it.

      I have contacted the new MA asking them not to accept any money as it will complicate things even further but I am at a loss at what to do.

      I very kindly got forwarded the complaint procedure as well and guess what the one I have been dealing with is the one you complain to and he is the owner.

      No service charges demands issued have been for the correct amount or showed my over payment from court which I should have been in credit.

      Today he has taken off £27.50 which they claimed was to repair my door bell even though it was never broke which I have argued over since April.

      I really don’t know what to do now as the complaint procedure will be a waste of time and would the Property Ombudsman even care?

      Grateful for any advice as I am now completely out of hope of getting any of my money back.

      Comment


        #18
        Try to keep the Gr separate..as already mentioned it is a seperate entity from service charges...although if a courg claim was started the GR & SC would be combined and you could use any overpayment/money they owe you to offset GR and/or SC.

        To get your money back either start a court claim or just keep track of it and offset it against any future demands they send you...if they owe you for example £1000 and swend you demands for amounts under this then you are in the clear....any legal action they took would fail.
        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


          #19
          Thank you, I went to see the new agent who will look after the property. I brought my paperwork and explained the issues. They had not had any money forwarded as of yet. As I was talking to the younger guy and older one came over and asked me to clarify what the MA had done and when I explained again that after the court proceedings I was £2500 in credit with my service charge. MA issued new demands not taking into account my credit so clearly the sum demanded was inaccurate. Wouldn’t send new demands acknowledging the credit. When the insurance payout came through they refused to forward my money and wrote a letter suggesting that they offset it against my service charges. I had emailed agreeing and also for the ground rent, my email even asked if they wanted me to pay separate to let me know but I didn’t get a response or a meeting and debt collecting demand instead. He told me that the MA couldn’t withhold my insurance payout and they most definitely couldn’t suggest to offset it against service charges. He told me to complain to RICS and asked if they already had signed a contract for this property as he didn’t want to take over this mess.

          I wrote an email to the MA responding to the last one were they are telling me they are now paying the debt collecting agency with my insurance payout, copying in the freeholder and the new MA. I calculated the expenses owed, money that had actually been spent and reduced it from my credit. This left a sum of £821.91 to be forwarded to the new agent as credit on my service charge account. I then demanded my insurance payout to be forwarded to me with interest without delay, and informed them that I am not paying the debt collecting fee and they will have to issue court proceedings. I also pointed out that in the 10 years of managing the property they have failed to issue a single accurate service charge demand as all the demands had cost at 100% which I didn’t owe and they had confused my old lease with my new lease, they only issued my old lease in the Tribunal in 2013 not my new updated lease, and I was granted a section 20C prohibiting the freeholders to put costs from the tribunal in the service charge, they ignored that and still charged me, and after Court proceedings they tried to claim back the £836.99 which was offered to settle the claim that day. The only reason we had to go to court was because they got it wrong an refuse to listen to me, incurring cost for both me and the freeholder. They wanted £12,188.09 on the service charge demand and court granted them £7000. The Tribunal’s decision in 2013 also states that rather than making an application they should have engaged and listed to me.

          No response from my last email...

          Comment


            #20
            Received this today, thoughts please. Should I get the insurance money and then forward back payment that I owe minus debt collecting fees? I will also not pay the£900 which is a 100% charge.

            Comment


              #21
              Yesterday I wrote a formal letter off complaint, emailed it and also forwarded it in a letter to be signed for. My resolution was for them to acknowledge my credit of £2,502.60, reduct as suggested in their email the service charges spent (not the debt collecting fee) leaving a balance of £821.91 to be forwarded to the new agent as my service charge credit and as they suggested I will pay the new agent the estimated cost for the up coming building work. (as they suggested in an email prior to the letter above) And I wanted them to forward my insurance payout with interest. Today I received a check for my insurance payout without interest giving me 7 days to pay my outstanding service charges otherwise they will instruct PDC for debt collecting plus 4% interest above base rate.

              So they had my £2,502.60 credit, took my insurance payout of £3,997 total £6,499.60
              Service charge cost with £3,750 for estimated future building work and £250 for unforeseen repairs and £1,580.69 actual spendings totalling £5,580.69 plus £100 ground rent £5,680.69 balance left £818.91.

              As they are arguing over my £900 credit let’s say that I am wrong and take it of my credit I would have only owed £81.09 all a long.

              I am inclined as to not cash the check and let them take it to court as if not I would loose the £900.

              Thoughts appreciated and sorry for long posts.

              Comment


                #22
                I just wanted to update this saga!
                I stated copying in the freeholder in my emails with the MA. They contacted me and said they also were unhappy with his dealing. We exchanged a number off emails and decided that I should ask again for a meeting including the freeholder.
                We had the meeting today and the MA had told them I hadn’t paid my ground rent, I have paid every year but MA hadn’t forwarded the money £300 it is still in their client account!

                I disputed service charges and forwarded 3,500 hoping to resolve the dispute but MA took me to court. The MA only forwarded £3000 to the freeholder not £3,500. MA insisted they had but when checking what amount was forwarded it was only £3000 so MA had kept £500! Freeholder only knew it was £3,500 from our recent correspondence.

                Court decided I should pay £7000 out of 12,188. In reaching that figure the barrister offer a reduction of £836 to reach a settlement which I accepted. I paid £7000. Freeholder had no idea what happened in court as MA never forwarded court papers.
                The £7000 included estimated costs which meant I am 2,500 in credit after final bills. MA didn’t realise and forwarded the £7000 to the freeholder, when I emailed in regards to new charges after court asking what happened to my credit MA wrote to me saying they wanted the £836 offered to settle in court back probably because they didn’t have the money anymore. Freeholder again had no idea and are now worried they will have to pay the shortfall.

                MA entered wrong lease in Tribunal back in 2013, he blamed the freeholder for not giving him the correct one but the freeholder told him they had but he had claimed he lost all the paperwork when they moved office. MA had wrongly told them that they have to pay upfront for costs and then ask for my half share of expenditure which was according to my old lease. This mistake came to light in the recent court proceedings but the MA is taking no responsibility for his mistake. Freeholder has taken out a loan to cover costs. Part of my disagreement with the service charges was he was charging me £30 per year but not reducing it from the half share of expenditure but in all he was using the old lease not the updated one.

                MA withholding my £4000 insurance money, suggesting to offset service charges bearing in mind my £2,500 credit, me agreeing and then still receiving debt collectors letter. MA had no explanation to his actions. (He forwarded my insurance payout after my formal letter of complaint)

                Freeholder also asked him about insurance claims where they have paid the builder but MA has never forwarded money they have been paid by insurance company. He gave no reply.

                I told him I was not negotiating anymore as I have made a Formal complaint and I have outlined the resolution I want, acknowledging my £2,500 credit, less actual costs incurred after Court settlement which is £1,900 and balance forwarded to new MA.

                MA desperately wanted to get rid of me to speak to the freeholders alone, I agreed to step outside. When I waited in the reception the lady who is also a company director, small MA only 4 people, started crying apologising and told me she doesn’t know why he is being like this. 40 mins later they came out saying I will receive an email with what they are proposing. I haven’t received one yet so let’s see.






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