Previous long leaseholder sold us flat with service charge outstanding

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Previous long leaseholder sold us flat with service charge outstanding

    Previous leaseholder sold us flat with service charge outstanding, We have had to pay the service charge or the freeholder would have forfeited the lease. Our solicitor is being totally unhelpful. Can we issue a Money claim against the previous leaseholder for the amount we have paid and if so on what grounds?

    #2
    Sorry to hear about the outstanding service charge. Your solicitor really should’ve brought this to your attention before you exchange contracts. But there’s no point worrying about things that should’ve happened. Let’s focus on solutions.

    Will presume that you bought the property under contract, which incorporates of the standard conditions of sale (5th edition). This is the standard for around 98% of all residential transactions in England and Wales.

    Pursuant to standard conditions six, the parties to a transaction are to apportion of the outgoings and incomings of a property.

    This means that if there was service charge relating to the sellers period of ownership you should be able to demand that they paid this, under the contract of sale.

    The issue you really have is logistics. The first is knowing where the previous owner is, and your ability to serve formal notice on them.

    The second is regarding the size of the claim. If the claim is below £10,000 in size, it is deemed to be small claim. This means that you are only entitled to recover the sum you are seeking, interest under the County Court act (around 8% per annum) and the court issue fee. You’re not entitled to your legal fees. It’s normally means that issuing for a claim under £10,000, is logistically unfeasible if you want to use a lawyer. However nothing stopping you from doing it yourself.



    Hope this helps

    Comment


      #3
      I had the same situation and told this to my conveyancing solicitor who then got the previous owner to pay for the outstanding charges. How is the solicitor exactly being "unhelpful"? It is the duty of the solicitor to chase the previous owner, not yours. Is your solicitor registered with The Law Society?

      Comment


        #4
        I agree with the above, your solicitor should have found out that their were outstanding charges, told you about them, and arranged something with the vendor.

        I'd tell them that you expect them to sort it out (and if they continue to be 'unhelpful' ask for a copy of their complaints procedure and tell them that you are willing to take the complaint further if it isn't sorted out).

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you so much Protoknight25 really helpful information. Just wondering when you say Formal Notice do you mean just sending a letter requesting payment? And then following that issuing a claim in the county court?

          Comment


            #6
            I think it is up to o/p's solicitor to have made enquiries about this. If they didn't, I think it's too late to complain to the old lessee now. Maybe solicitor will cough up?
            To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by JK0 View Post
              I think it is up to o/p's solicitor to have made enquiries about this. If they didn't, I think it's too late to complain to the old lessee now. Maybe solicitor will cough up?
              Unless there was an agreement that the arrears would become the responsibility of the buyer, they remain the responsibility of the seller (which means that, hypothetically at least) the buyer can pursue the seller to recover the amount.
              However, this does presume that the sums involved were actually due before the sale took place. A large sum due for work that took place before the sale, but which was not due for payment until after the sale (i.e. a sum demanded in arrears) might not be recoverable from the seller.

              If the solicitor was meant to confirm that the service charges were up to date and didn't, then they were potentially negligent.

              Comment


                #8
                Dear Protoknight25

                Though not directly related to the OP's situation, can the 8% interest be charged by a landlord when making a claim in respect of unpaid service charges even where the lease does not allow for interest to be added.

                Thank you.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by vmart View Post
                  Though not directly related to the OP's situation, can the 8% interest be charged by a landlord when making a claim in respect of unpaid service charges even where the lease does not allow for interest to be added.
                  If a landlord takes action to recover unpaid service charges in the county court they can ask the court to add interest regardless of whether or not the lease contains a provision allowing interest.

                  Any interest would be 'awarded' by the court as a part of the court decision rather than because it was a contractual part of the lease.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    A rather belated thank you Macromia! I take it the interest they could ask the court to add is calculated at 8%.
                    Thank you again.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The conveyancing solicitor usually ask the seller's side solicitor for some retention of money to cover unpaid service charges.

                      Comment

                      Latest Activity

                      Collapse

                      • Reply to Bullying from a joint freeholder
                        by Stew
                        That seems like a great idea letting out a spare room. Make sure its someone who would not feel intimidated. Also agree with Xmas cards every bit helps. Also tell all contractors not to engage with them at all and ignore them....
                        26-11-2021, 15:05 PM
                      • Bullying from a joint freeholder
                        by goodgirlLondon
                        Hey, I would really like some advice about this as I am a female who lives alone and I am getting worried. The couple who I share the freehold with (just 2 flats in the house), dont get along and we have had problems agreeing over maintenance. I avoid them as much as possible but a neighbour told me...
                        23-11-2021, 17:13 PM
                      • Reply to Bullying from a joint freeholder
                        by goodgirlLondon
                        Hey, I have thought about renting but I love my flat and had expensive new kitchen put in. Not sure I would be happy if tenants damaged. Also, I think that my mortgage restricts letting out my flat. I love the area and was happy until the couple took over the joint freehold. I might get a tenant to...
                        26-11-2021, 10:31 AM
                      • Reply to Service charge arrears
                        by lampshade
                        Yes of course I do not need to know any details other than the current situation. So I will ask and see if I get a reply....
                        26-11-2021, 10:02 AM
                      • Service charge arrears
                        by lampshade
                        If I asked the managing agents for a situation report regarding overall arrears of service charge, are they duty bound to let me know. not by flat,of course, but as a % of total invoiced, with info regarding length of arrears?
                        26-11-2021, 07:54 AM
                      • Reply to Service charge arrears
                        by eagle2
                        There is no reason why you cannot request and no reason why the managing agent cannot supply general information regarding the level of service charge arrears. It would only become an issue if any personal information was supplied or could be identified,
                        26-11-2021, 09:24 AM
                      • Reply to Service charge arrears
                        by lampshade
                        OK....no i am not one of those........ but seems odd then that the managing agent was very quick to tell all leaseholders in writing that a certain % of leaseholders had paid in advance of a large section 20, by way of coercion to those who had not paid.
                        26-11-2021, 08:39 AM
                      • Reply to Service charge arrears
                        by Section20z
                        Only if you're the freeholder or employer (RMC etc), not if you are just a flat owner...
                        26-11-2021, 08:10 AM
                      • Reply to Bullying from a joint freeholder
                        by Stew
                        Have you thought about renting the place and just giving the old neighbour an email address for communication with an auto response saying I only pick up email from this account once a month. Not ideal but another option.
                        25-11-2021, 22:45 PM
                      • Access to my garden for upstairs neighbour's loft conversion
                        by sampsam
                        Would appreciate any thoughts or advice from the forum on this matter.

                        I own the garden flat in block of 4, share of freehold equally split. Top floor neighbour wants to do loft conversion and build an extra floor on closet wing (roof terrace belongs to freehold).

                        I am not...
                        19-11-2021, 01:16 AM
                      Working...
                      X