Late ground rent payment charge & legal fees no warnings

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  • Stew
    replied
    sounds like a major win

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  • KingstonBee
    replied
    FYI - I pressed and stated facts and quoted the law etc and they eventually backed down... Mega Chuffed. Didn’t even have to pay any of the legal fees or additional costs. It helps that in the lease as mentioned they had to email or send mail via recorded delivery... Their legal team agreed and dropped the case.

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  • Macromia
    replied
    Originally posted by KingstonBee View Post
    Seems they are purposely trying to make it go to court so they can gain further extortionate fees!! What can I do?!
    There is probably very little that you can do if they are deliberately 'playing games', except to make sure that you keep full records of everything that you have done to try to settle - with evidence that will support what you say if they dispute this in court.
    It is probably best not to have any verbal contact with the freeholder, their managing agent, or the solicitor (unless you can record what is said). Do everything in writing by post (get 'proof of posting' from the Post Office for everything you send), or via email.

    If you have decided to pay the full amount that they are demanding, you could do this by bank transfer and then provide bank statements showing the transfer for evidence if they do take you to court. Alternatively, sent them a cheque and see if they return it.
    If you do choose to pay the full amount I would strongly suggest writing a letter (copied to both the solicitor and freeholder) that clearly states that you don't accept that you are responsible for the full amount that they have demanded and are paying, on a without prejudice basis, solely because you don't want a court battle at the current time. You could also add that you reserve the right to challenge the costs at a later date.

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  • KingstonBee
    replied
    Ok so we’ve decided to just get this out of our hair... BUT PDC are refusing to accept full payment and keep delaying and making excuses about not allowing to do so. I have told them it’ll likely not look good for them in doing so. The freeholder also will NOT confirm (on purpose) they have received the payment for the ground rent which is also delaying things. They are playing games.

    Seems they are purposely trying to make it go to court so they can gain further extortionate fees!! What can I do?!

    Leave a comment:


  • KingstonBee
    replied
    Originally posted by Macromia View Post
    The fact that the freeholder/managing agent has sent an invoice for a "sub-letting registration fee" to you (even if it is something that was sent to all leaseholders), might help you if their solicitor intended to try and recover legal costs using forfeiture clauses in your lease (this possibility assumes that there is no other clause in your lease that allows them to recover legal costs).

    There is a vague clause to say about costs but nothing in monetary terms and isn’t very clear. Even asking Months before any of this was due etc I emailed them to say to please sent invoices via email as post doesn’t always get to us. Funny enough, their legal team was very happy to freely attach invoice in question easily to her aggressive emailed response; Which included that they don’t accept any cost other than the full amount (how can they claim court fees if it’s yet to go to court?!).


    Originally posted by Macromia View Post
    Arguing that forfeiture was under contemplation would usually require that the freeholder managing agent had done nothing to suggest that they intended the lease to continue - which means not sending out any invoices. Hopefully you have kept the invoice and copies of all subsequent communications in case they become useful.

    This one is a little over my head sorry! I have kept all forms of communication including all emails to and from.


    Just waiting to hear back on the decision from the claim form response as I asked it to go to tribunal level first etc.

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  • Macromia
    replied
    The fact that the freeholder/managing agent has sent an invoice for a "sub-letting registration fee" to you (even if it is something that was sent to all leaseholders), might help you if their solicitor intended to try and recover legal costs using forfeiture clauses in your lease (this possibility assumes that there is no other clause in your lease that allows them to recover legal costs).

    Arguing that forfeiture was under contemplation would usually require that the freeholder managing agent had done nothing to suggest that they intended the lease to continue - which means not sending out any invoices. Hopefully you have kept the invoice and copies of all subsequent communications in case they become useful.

    Leave a comment:


  • KingstonBee
    replied
    Originally posted by KingstonBee View Post
    I have been sent a new invoice for “Sub-letting Registration Fee” because the company has done some internal shuffling of accounts - It’s £100! I dont sublet and I live here - I own my flat. They won’t even respond to this query - I assume to purposely delay it to incur costs! Any advice on this too please?

    Update on this: I emailed them to express my confusion and they responded to say that they sent it to every address registered whether they were sub-letting or owner of the flat - Told to disregard it.... I would hate to think how many people think they need to pay when it doesn’t apply to them... so naughty!

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  • Paulsen
    replied
    Originally posted by Section20z View Post
    FTT won't deal with ground rent so that aspect will be heard by County Court.
    Can the Tribunal not deal with it on the grounds that the ground rent is not disputed but the excessive solicitor costs that has been applied?

    Leave a comment:


  • Section20z
    replied
    FTT won't deal with ground rent so that aspect will be heard by County Court.

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  • KingstonBee
    replied
    I clearly said in the defence form from the court that I would like this case to be first heard at the Tribunal stage. I’ve been making sure I get all details in order and I’ll definitely action your suggestion around mediation should this happen.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paulsen
    replied
    PDC is a vile and nasty company with out a doubt! I was unlucky in court and got a judge who hadn’t read through all the paperwork and couldn’t be bothered as these cases should be heard in the Tribunal instead. She made that clear at the beginning but the PDC law barrister argued the court had jurisdiction on the case. This is why I feel you might be better off in the Property Tribunal as they do go through all the paperwork.

    You will be recommended meditation before court which I agreed to and PDC representative also did. However on the day of mediation they didn’t answer the phone. They lied in court and said the phone lines didn’t work! Well they worked for me and the woman doing the mediation even emailed with no response! If the same thing happens to you tell the one from the mediation that you want it in a email that you were available at the agreed time but the other side didn’t respond. At least then they can’t lie in court.

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  • KingstonBee
    replied
    Had some advice from Citizen advice and a housing charity, and they both say they to do what’s been said above as in pay the amount that’s owned minus any fees and defend the case. They can’t give additional advice once it’s gone further though.

    Since emailing the Company and calling PDC we have now been totally ignored by them! They won’t respond to anything. On top of that I have been sent a new invoice for “Sub-letting Registration Fee” because the company has done some internal shuffling of accounts - It’s £100! I dont sublet and I live here - I own my flat. They won’t even respond to this query - I assume to purposely delay it to incur costs! Any advice on this too please?

    I’ll be glad to sell this flat and see the back of them - Nasty people!

    Leave a comment:


  • Macromia
    replied
    Don't do nothing while you wait, make every effort than you can to seek legal advice.
    You may find that the recommendation from people who have legal training is to pay what has already been demanded because it is likely that you will lose in court and end up with additional costs to pay.

    Obviously I hope that this wouldn't be the case (and my person view, based on what you have said, is that it is worth fighting), but the case won't be decided on what is fair, it will be decided by what the law says, and how well the legal position is argued.

    Leave a comment:


  • KingstonBee
    replied
    Macromia,

    Great, I’ve done and said all that on the defence section and was very clear about them not engaging in settling the matter outside of court etc.

    Let’s wait and see what comes back.

    Leave a comment:


  • Macromia
    replied
    Originally posted by KingstonBee View Post
    Macromia,

    I checked with the courts and it has to be done by tomorrow - I’ve paid the GR & I so do I defend in full or part?
    If "tomorrow" (presumably now today) is the 14th day after the court papers were sent, you should be able to send back just the acknowledgement of receipt, which would then give you 14 more days for a proper response (perhaps time to get legal advice).
    You must get at least that to the court though, or you may have judgement for the full amount awarded against you in default.
    You may also wish to consider whether to ask for the matter to be transferred to the appropriate First Tier tribunal.

    If you are going to defend against the claim, you will need to acknowledge that you accept that the ground rent is due (state that this has now been paid, and the date that you paid it) but that you contest the remainder of the claim.

    You may be able to use arguments about the freeholders and their solicitors not trying to come to an agreement without court to limit any award of costs against you if it comes to that (but expect them to lie and say that they have tried to reach an agreement).

    Leave a comment:

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