Ground Rent demands- s.166 of 2002 Act- Shenstone

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    Ground Rent demands- s.166 of 2002 Act- Shenstone

    Hi all,

    The company who i pay my ground rent to forgot to send me a bill last year and to be honest, i never noticed (probably due to the fact that i had a baby last year and had more pressing matters!). For whatever reasons, they never chased it.
    I received a bill off them a few weeks ago for two years worth of rent. I sent them a cheque straight away. I have just received a letter off them saying that the payment was received outside the time scale and that they had sent me a warning letter (i never received it). They say they started action to recover the debt and costs have been occured. The costs are not a huge amount, but thats not really the point to me.
    They say at the bottom of the letter "For your information, our administration and recovery costs are allowed for in Section 146 (3&5) of thr Law or Property Act".
    I have tried to do a bit of research into this, but to no avail. Is this correct? I have not received any kind of letters from their Solicitors or debt companies etc. It appears it has simply been passed to the debt recovery team of the same company. Is this enough for them to chanrge me admin costs?
    I am keen to ring them on Monday and play merry hell as i have never received any other letter from them and it appears it has taken them over a year to realise i had not paid last years rent! But i would like to be able to at the very least sound like i know what im talking about.
    Any help would be greatfully received. If im in the wrong, please do tell me and i'll bite the bullet and pay it.

    #2
    CPM ( previously part of Erinaceous ) used to play this trick of using a debt collector for unpaid service charges.

    Simarc is another company that failed send out ground rent demands and then later will slap a huge fee for recovery charges.

    Whats the name of your managing agent and freeholder company ?

    Comment


      #3
      Shenstone Properties

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by frankie3520 View Post
        Shenstone Properties
        Unless the ground rent demand folowed the format specified in s.166 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, and all dates in it (and its date of service) complied with that sectiont, the demand is VOID.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          Many thanks Jeffrey. Is there a particular part i should be looking at or is it generally the whole thing? Im currently looking at this page:

          http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/legResu...=1&SortAlpha=0

          Comment


            #6
            Besides s.166 itself, there's also a prescribed form of Notice: see SI 2004, no. 3096: http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/legResu...=1&SortAlpha=0
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


              #7
              Ok, i have checked and it appears they have complied so far as the correct info on the form is concerned. The only thing i have noticed is that they have quoted "Landlord and Tennant Act 1987". Not sure if this is the right date because everything im looking at from your attachments is from the 2004 act.

              Comment


                #8
                The prescribed Notice under the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002 commence in Feb 2005 , so what kind of demands did you get for 2005 and 2006 and 2007 ?

                This Notice starting from Feb 2005 was introduced to stop dishonest managing agents claiming extortionate recovery charges for deliberately creating rent arrears situations by not sending out demands

                Have you always used the same address for receiving ground rent demands in 2005-2007 ? If so I think you could confirm the ground rent for last year was never posted to you.

                Comment


                  #9
                  i can see your point gordon, but they arent charging me the admin charge for last years rent being late. They are saying that the cheque i sent them covering the last two years rent was received out of date (ie, more than 28 days after they billed me this year).

                  Either they are lying and have been holding onto my cheque on purpose, or the cheque was lost in the post for some time and reached them after the 28 day limit. Either way, they have added on an admin charge saying that because the chq was received late, they have had to commence action to recover the costs. I cannot see what they have done, other than pass it to a female who deals with debts (who works for the same company) and she has sent out 1 further letter, which i have never received. There is no way i can ever prove they never sent that letter out. I suspect they will either say that i am lying and did actually receive it, or it was lost in the post (!).

                  I think my only argument can be is to ask how on earth they can justify the admin charges for one letter, because it appears they have not got solicitors involved in any way.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    After a blazing row with the company this morning, they wont budge.
                    Is it right that they dont actually have to send any reminders for rent out? That it is our responsibility to pay the rent even without a letter saying it is due and how much it is?
                    I am so livid at the way this woman has just spoken to me - right from the moment she picked up the phone she was abusive, sarcastic and downright rude!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re-read s.166 (and it's the 2002 Act, not any 2004 Act nor the 1987 Act, that's relevant). No, you need not pay any ground rent at all unless and until a demand in accordance with s.166 is sent to you.
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Absent freeholder turns up out of the blue

                        and demands seven years worth of ground rent. However there are repairs required to the exterior of the house which is common to several flats (gutter/drainpipe etc). Am I right to withhold payment until the repairs are carried out. Cheers

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Maximum arrears claim (if suing) is six years: see Limitation Act 1980.
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by sammy cook View Post
                            and demands seven years worth of ground rent. However there are repairs required to the exterior of the house which is common to several flats (gutter/drainpipe etc). Am I right to withhold payment until the repairs are carried out. Cheers
                            Ground rent is due and payable for BEING a leaseholder. Non-payment exposes you to forfeiture and often the mortgage lender would prefer to pay and charge everything to your account. Don't withhold ground rent.

                            Repairs to building is a separate issue and comes under service charge administration and depends on what your lease wording says. Service charge demand is a matter you can refuse to pay and raise the problem before the LVT.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
                              Ground rent is due and payable for BEING a leaseholder. Non-payment exposes you to forfeiture and often the mortgage lender would prefer to pay and charge everything to your account. Don't withhold ground rent.

                              Repairs to building is a separate issue and comes under service charge administration and depends on what your lease wording says. Service charge demand is a matter you can refuse to pay and raise the problem before the LVT.
                              I believe I'm correct in adding that forfeiture cant be considered unless the amount owing is more than £350 or is more than 3 years in arrears.

                              I agree with 'dont withhold it', unlike service charges it cant be questioned or challanged, although personally I find myself in the position of being overcharged ground rent for 14 years !

                              Andy
                              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

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