Eye watering solicitor fees to go to FTT

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    Eye watering solicitor fees to go to FTT

    Hi All, hope you are all looking forward to the end of this lockdown, I know I am....so I have been preparing my preliminary notice with the help of LEASE to serve on the freeholder thinking serve notice then make application to FTT and pay my fee then prepare the case statement etc...pay my fee however I thought I would put a call into a leasehold solicitor to get a feel for how much they would charge to help me take the application to FTT. I could not believe it cost from 5K to 15K and that's before the Appoint a Manager who is going to be expensive for 3 years and cost of works to get stuff done like repairs so Yikes I now feel overwhelmed as there is a RISK of going to FTT where I could be litigant in person up against the freeholder and they could then get cost through the back door so to speak, I have just realised they could try to get monies from me with an administration charge so I am now thinking I cant do this for fear of losing not just a legal case as no guarantees, but the extra costs of paying another dodgy property manager, all the monies to pay for decorating and getting repairs sorted and then having to declare all the issues to any potential buyer! Its bonkers this FTT idea and I dont think LEASE should be telling people like me oh just make an application to FTT without fully understanding what people are getting into and the consequences.

    #2
    Are you trying to replace one manager with another?

    If the incumbent is registered with all the right bodies, arma plus etc., it would seem an uphill battle

    I tried it once, got the RICs guide and pointed out all the deviations from the guide, did not get anywhere. The other problem is finding a decent agent willing to be appointed, mine was a small block, most agents just said it was not worth their time, they would have to charge too much from each leaseholder.

    Eventually things changed and we got a more professional agent, turns out it was cheaper to be ripped off by a cowboy than to have a professional doing everything by the book.

    I wonder if you can get to a point where all disputes are officially settled and sell.


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      #3
      Thanks paulamis you are spot on, we are a small building and I was told by the solicitor that most disputes are because of small buildings opposed to big buildings with lots of flats.

      No they just got rid of a dodgy manager thats why I was partly going to FTT and now I have an amazingly incompetent director who is clueless, I cant get rid of him as I dont have enough clout. Its painful dealing with a person who thinks they know best and its a constant battle trying to educate the person...yes now thinking its not clear cut going to FTT which you think would be...many turns and surprises there me thinks particularly for the uninformed litigant which would be me....I have tried communications, emails, letters, wont respond and even EGMs are a joke...just want it their way or no way even though they breach the lease themselve and law, directors selfishly doing it all their way and the lying going on is incredible!

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        #4
        A direct access barrister would probably be cheaper.

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          #5
          It seems to me that courts would prefer things settled without proceedings. Has either side offered alternative dispute resolution which is significantly cheaper ? It could be mediation or, depending on the nature of the dispute, an independent RICS surveyor appointed to decide.
          My experience of solicitors is that they cost a lot of money and talk in a non committal way : it could be this but on the other hand if.....
          What is it you want to be done ?

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            #6
            If you have a strong case, and if you are reasonably intelligent, why would you need a barrister at FTT for a AoaM case. Easy to do as Litigant in person. If you have a weak case you definitely don't want a barrister...... paradoxically. Costs will be very low so not sure what you mean... Unless you are vexatious you will not have a costs order against you at FTT.

            The bigger danger is that some managers commonly appointed by the FTT are straightforward crooks.

            Mediation is unfortunately only of use where people do want the same basic outcome but are wrangling about how to get there in a way that causes the least damage to everyone. It doesn't work that well when dealing with outright crooks and people who have already had ample opportunity to obey the law but refuse to do so.

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              #7
              .... but yes, I agree with the basic premise of the original post -- that many (most) people do not have access to the law or redress in any shape or form in this country because of the way in which the closed-shop legal profession operates and fleeces. For many middle-class people we might as well not have a structure of laws at all.

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                #8
                Well I believe I have a good case from an illegal property manager- dodgy stuff going on, have evidence, repairs not done, repairs badly needed, insurance issues property was not properly insured against the lease, have evidence, directors are breaching their own leases, paying themselves for the repairs to the property, denied s21/s22 L&T act access to documents, receipts etc...not doing anything about other lease issues, basically not following what is in the lease for cyclical decorating, not following RICS code and other stuff including no idea what L&T laws are etc..could go on and on...

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
                  A direct access barrister would probably be cheaper.
                  Good idea thanks for that but which chambers...did think Amanda Gourlay land and lease blogger barrister maybe?

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                    If you have a strong case, and if you are reasonably intelligent, why would you need a barrister at FTT for a AoaM case. Easy to do as Litigant in person. If you have a weak case you definitely don't want a barrister...... paradoxically. Costs will be very low so not sure what you mean... Unless you are vexatious you will not have a costs order against you at FTT.

                    The bigger danger is that some managers commonly appointed by the FTT are straightforward crooks.

                    Mediation is unfortunately only of use where people do want the same basic outcome but are wrangling about how to get there in a way that causes the least damage to everyone. It doesn't work that well when dealing with outright crooks and people who have already had ample opportunity to obey the law but refuse to do so.
                    Yes I would be a litigant in person and no not vexatious, just sham dodgy property manager questionable activities gone on and a lying director. I cant stand people taking advantage of a situation because they are power hungry dishonest control freaks!

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                      #11
                      Forget the whole FTT idea IIWY.

                      Someone was here a couple of years ago, having bought into a block which already had a tribunal appointed manager. The guy made your existing directors look like angels.
                      To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                        Forget the whole FTT idea IIWY.

                        Someone was here a couple of years ago, having bought into a block which already had a tribunal appointed manager. The guy made your existing directors look like angels.
                        You need to be very very careful what manager you pick if you go this route. I can certainly give names of ones not to pick in around London if anyone is going that route and wants to PM me. The problem in this whole area is that it is virtually impossible to find out about these managers before you pick one, and then it is too late. You need to do very careful research about the properties to which they are already appointed, and find the people who are prepared to talk.

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                          #13
                          JKO what makes you say that?
                          AndrewDod I agree careful research needed as could be out of the frying pan into another, looking at ARMAs lists and please do private pm me if you know any good ones? Thank you

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Stacker View Post
                            JKO what makes you say that?
                            I've been to the FTT/LVT three times now. I 'won' all three cases, but it was an incredible amount of work. Other lessees, even owner occupiers gave no help/support at all.

                            The managing agent appointed by the tribunal I mentioned had been there for about 20 years. He kept applying to the tribunal to re-appoint him, and the lessees were completely cut out of the process. You really don't want to go down this road.
                            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


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Stacker View Post
                              JKO what makes you say that?
                              AndrewDod I agree careful research needed as could be out of the frying pan into another, looking at ARMAs lists and please do private pm me if you know any good ones? Thank you
                              Forget the ARMA lists - go through Tribunal cases to find managers who have actually been appointed in your area. Then contact the folk who appointed them. I know a bit about some of the appointed managers in London. Many of the actually appointed managers have done a horrendous job. There are not a whole lot of them.

                              If you want to go for someone who has never been appointed, go for a big firm with a good reputation -- but remember you are appointing an individual human (within that company) not the company itself. You want to get a management plan that has guarantees that will be imported into the management order (to do with transparency, adhering to the lease, and sorting out what needs sorting).

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