Unexpected leasehold forfeiture letter

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

    Unexpected leasehold forfeiture letter

    Hi,

    We had an unexpected leasehold forfeiture notice (section 146) from a solicitor this morning as our ground rent is arrears on our buy-to-let property. We never received any request for ground rent and the summary of our purchase of the property from our solicitors says the lease is collected by our property management company - Firstport.

    We have called up Firstport who have said its nothing to do with them and passed on to a different company that have stated its accurate, they've been sending notices to the rented property and that we must pay it. If the letters were sent there they were never forwarded to us. The fees are £350 but the admin fees now cost an additional £700.

    It was purchased as a buy-to-let so should the solicitors have informed them of a different billing address? Given the solicitors said it was paid via Firstport, who have our billing address, can we lodge some complaint regarding that? Do we have any other options than paying this additional £700?

    Thanks


    #2
    Always pay first, then argue. I take it that your lease doesn't compel you to notify the freeholder of lettings? If you'd done that, they'd have the correct address.

    Comment


      #3
      Given you knew that the ground rent fees did need to be paid, had you not thought that they were either very late or were being sent somewhere else ? And then maybe chased where they were.

      Comment


        #4
        £ 1050 just to send a forfeiture ( proposed ) letter. ? ? ?

        Should the solicitors have informed them of a different billing address, YES, as all communications would be to your home address and not the flat. This is one point you must insist on in your Written reply, but call sol's to verify the legal address that was given to the freeholder.
        if it was your home address, then state they did not send info there, so here is the cheque for just the ground rent


        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
          Given you knew that the ground rent fees did need to be paid, had you not thought that they were either very late or were being sent somewhere else ? And then maybe chased where they were.
          That was the gist of the county court judgement awarded against me.

          Comment


            #6
            Yes, as lessees we know ground rent is payable so arguably we should ensure it is paid even if it is not demanded. It's always a good idea to ensure the freeholder is aware of a service address and you retain evidence of providing it.

            I suggest you check whether the freeholder had the service address and take it from there. Whatever you do, pay the ground rent and make sure it is clear the payment is for the ground rent and not the administration fees. If they accept the ground rent the s.146 notice will not be valid as they will have waived their right to forfeit. When you write ask for a breakdown of the administration fees and what authority they rely upon for the fees. (The latter part of my last sentence was good advice given by a valued contributor to Landlord Zone i.e. Lawcruncher in another post.)

            Do you make payments of ground rent electronically or by cheque? If former make sure the reference is Ground Rent and state the period/s. If a cheque write on the back of the cheque what the payment is for and which period/s it pertains to. Arrange for the return of the cheque from the bank once it's cleared.


            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by JK0 View Post
              Always pay first, then argue.
              No! Never! Paying under protest is very risky. You will never get the money back without going to court.

              This is the usual scam. Send the rent demands to the property address and then when it comes to the letter demanding extortionate fees suddenly they know the tenant's actual address.

              What does the lease say about charging fees?

              Check with the conveyancer who acted on the purchase what address was given in the notice of assignment.

              Whatever the position no way can hundreds of pounds of fees be justified for chasing rent.

              At this stage just pay the rent. If they return it let us know.



              Comment


                #8

                Originally posted by boletus View Post
                That was the gist of the county court judgement awarded against me.
                Did you know about the Claim and CCJ prior to the Solicitors letter you received (presumably at your home address)?

                If the Claimant used the property address instead of the (home) address to which the Freeholder and his Agent were clearly instructed to use, you should promptly apply for a Claim to Set Aside.

                That would effectively put it all back to before the Claim was issued - and therefore nullify the Fees. The application fee is £255 which is less than the £1,050 Fees being sought.

                If not done before, once you have the Set Aside, promptly pay the GR so they have no reason to issue a new Claim.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I don't think the original poster alluded to a CCJ but nevertheless useful information Deepwater.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by vmart View Post
                    I don't think the original poster alluded to a CCJ.
                    Apologies. My error. I didn't check and assumed the quote was by the OP.

                    My response was prompted by similar cases with a similar sized MA who failed to implement a notification of change of address, despite having acknowledged the change by email. In time they proceeded to get 2 CCJ's against a Leasee (a relative). The first got immediately paid by the Mortgage Lender following receiving a forfeiture notice. The MA, their Solicitors and the Mortgage Lender had all adding several £K fees. Both my relative and other Leasees in the blocks will be watching the accounts closely to ensure the costs, repaid fees and interest do not get charged back to the Service Charge Account but all sit with the Managing Agents!
                    Excuse for being slightly off-topic.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      No need to apologize. Your points are nonetheless useful to others and might become relevant to the OP.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        We've contacted the conveyancing solicitor and they're looking into it for us - they have stated so far that the documents they have say that the property management company are meant to be collecting it, and they absolutely have our address and have done since the first bill. They think the other company should have been collecting it from the property management company, or at the very least would've been able to get an address from them much earlier.

                        We'll ask our solicitor if we can pay the rent while challenging the additional fees.

                        We have 21 days remaining now before it goes to court.

                        Thanks for all the advice!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Stotherd View Post
                          We'll ask our solicitor if we can pay the rent while challenging the additional fees.
                          Yes you can.

                          Comment

                          Latest Activity

                          Collapse

                          • Right to Manage Costs
                            by Pariah81
                            Hi,

                            I am part of a residents association that is exploring right to manage (RTM).

                            We are a 30 flat block in the Ealing area.

                            We want to get advice on the process so how much should we be expecting to pay for our legals?

                            I'm also aware we have to pay...
                            21-09-2021, 13:48 PM
                          • Reply to Right to Manage Costs
                            by lampshade
                            ERMmmm....it would be very interesting especially as our Freeholder, who owned the company that Managed the building gave the contract to another fringe company, and the fees doubled to £10k pa....and if 12 of us leave that will cause fee problems for the remaining 2 flats, but not our problem....will...
                            23-09-2021, 17:50 PM
                          • Reply to Right to Manage Costs
                            by Section20z
                            Yes, you should be able to. We did something similar for one of two blocks with same name just different flat numbers. First step is to get 6+ owners to take part and form a company to serve the notice. A reluctant freeholder will fight every step so you may need professional help to get it right....
                            23-09-2021, 17:35 PM
                          • Reply to Right to Manage Costs
                            by lampshade
                            Interesting....I have one lease in a total of 3 blocks totalling 34 flats. All managed under one managing agent appointed by the FH.
                            But each block, whilst seemingly are all connected there are 3 separate blocks of about 11 flats in each. Each block has both front and back entrance, and unique...
                            23-09-2021, 15:29 PM
                          • Reply to Reasonable solicitor fees?
                            by eagle2
                            You can insist on a summarised time record showing the number of hours spent by each grade of solicitor on the different aspects of the work involved. You can then compare it with your own solicitor's time records in order to raise a specific complaint.

                            Intead though, I suggest that you...
                            23-09-2021, 14:42 PM
                          • Reasonable solicitor fees?
                            by LizLease
                            After six long and tedious months of negotiations to extend the lase on a flat, we are nearing completion and I have been sent the final balance.

                            I was shocked to be presented with a £2,700 bill for the freeholder's solicitor fees. When I first inquired about renewing the lease, the freeholder...
                            21-09-2021, 17:17 PM
                          • Reply to Negotiating a lease extension
                            by sgclacy
                            Does that include the surveyor fee ?...
                            23-09-2021, 14:36 PM
                          • Negotiating a lease extension
                            by LizLease
                            Hi all, I am new to the forum.
                            I am looking to extend the lease on a flat (currently under 70 years).
                            I received a quote from the freeholder and a valuation from a surveyor (£3k lower than the freeholder's figure).
                            I spoke to the leasehold Advisory Service who said to ask the surveyor...
                            21-01-2021, 12:44 PM
                          • Reply to Negotiating a lease extension
                            by LizLease
                            Thank you both

                            sgclacy, if you are talking about the "deed of surrender and regrant of lease", that is a 10 page document and as far as I am ware, there are no specific issues or complications with it. It's a flat in a 30 year-old small block of flats and there are no odd clauses...
                            23-09-2021, 12:17 PM
                          • Reply to Reasonable solicitor fees?
                            by LizLease
                            Thanks for the replies.
                            It has taken 6 months because the surveyor - who was dealing with the negotiations - was useless and not proactive / reactive. Add to that the fact that we had reached a deal I said OK to, then the freeholder and their solicitor turned around and said actually no, they...
                            23-09-2021, 12:09 PM
                          Working...
                          X