maintenance company, not sending details

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    maintenance company, not sending details

    Hi All, I hope this is the correct place for this thread.
    I have home on a newish estate which has maintenance company doing grass cutting and tree inspection etc. We have a deed of covenant, but I along with a dozen or so residents are disputing what the company is charging for, not least because the price is around 50% higher than they first quoted.
    I have sent numerous letters to them requesting a breakdown of their charges, to only get a snotty response back saying they are allowed to charge the fees. yet no details.
    So I have issued a CPR 31.16 request after they threatened legal action.
    I just wanted to ask if anyone has any more input for me, I have requested details of their sub contractors to see if they are trying to milk us for more profit.
    If need be I can post up the letters sent if it helps.
    Thanks in advance

    #2
    1. Do you own:
    a. a leasehold; or
    b. a freehold?

    2. Is it:
    a. a house; or
    b. a flat?

    3. Is the management company:
    a. the owner of the freehold reversion; or
    b. named as a party to your lease but not owner of a reversion; or
    c. merely an outside contractor? In this third case, was it engaged by:
    i. the freehold reversioner; or
    ii. the collective leaseholders?
    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


      #3
      Sorry long time away,
      Apologies to Jeffrey.
      We own the house, it is freehold but with Deed of Covenant for Managament company.

      OK this has reared up again, with management company effectively righting off previous charges,
      The difference now is that the charges are way higher than before.
      Basically there are more houses within the charging structure BUT, the area they maintain has not changed. They have increased the charges by the exact percentage of new homes.
      This is totally incorrect, so I have sent the first letter of dispute to them.
      They have breached the Deed of Covenant by not issuing full breakdown of costs yet again.
      Does anyone have experience of this?
      Any advice will be gratefully recieved.

      Comment


        #4
        OK- as it's a freehold scheme, and the service charge covers joint facilities nevertheless, none of the statutory protections (e.g. sections 18-30 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985) applies. The only relevant rules are those in the title documentation.
        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
          Thanks for the reply Jeffrey, I thought that the L&T act was not appropriate, so really I should wait to see what they write in response to putting the account into dispute, there are clear breaches by them on timing of invoices and the details missing.
          I have asked for full breakdown of their costs, I am sure they wont play ball because the sums just dont add up to the increase being correct.
          Also, the company is listed at companies house at a different address, is this something I should also look into?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by bazaar View Post
            Also, the company is listed at companies house at a different address, is this something I should also look into?
            Probably not. Many companies use a registered office address c/o their solicitor/accountant, distant from the properties owned.
            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 Thanks, will keep you updated this time round, The original bills being written off I assume is because of the 18 month rule . Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

              Comment


                #8
                Yes, you are- the 18mth. rule is in LTA 1985 which, as you already know, DOES NOT APPLY.
                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


                  #9
                  Is it possible, or more importantly, do you know of anyone challenging a deed of covenant and breaches therein? at court.
                  My initial thoughts are that original paperwork they supplied suggested that they would keep charges at 10%.
                  They raised it to the 15% allowed for in the covenant ( So a little con there to secure our signature).
                  They also charge for inspections of trees ( total BS, but they have increased the charges by the amount of houses in the estate %. To me this is a bit dubious to say the least)
                  There is no remedy stated on the covenant for US to sue them, but it states they can chase us for non payment.
                  It does say they should act reasonably, so this will be a point for me to argue, in not providing the full costs they bear AND the area they supposedly maintain.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by bazaar View Post
                    Is it possible, or more importantly, do you know of anyone challenging a deed of covenant and breaches therein? at court.
                    My initial thoughts are that original paperwork they supplied suggested that they would keep charges at 10%.
                    They raised it to the 15% allowed for in the covenant ( So a little con there to secure our signature).
                    They also charge for inspections of trees ( total BS, but they have increased the charges by the amount of houses in the estate %. To me this is a bit dubious to say the least)
                    There is no remedy stated on the covenant for US to sue them, but it states they can chase us for non payment.
                    It does say they should act reasonably, so this will be a point for me to argue, in not providing the full costs they bear AND the area they supposedly maintain.
                    Is there an aribitration clause in the deed for disputes?

                    Check your purchase file these companies are often owned by the residents but they "forget" to transfer control...

                    We did actually ask one of the big lawyers in an online webinar about FH house rights on SC, yet to receive an answer.....

                    You can challenge at the county court, and they will kick it over to arbitration and amongst other criteria the main one is the supply of goods and services and unfair terms in contracts.
                    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks for the reply, there is no arbitration clause, only the management co shall have the right (but shall not be obliged) to use security deposit to discharge any unpaid sums.
                      If after 28 days of posting an invoice the transferee shall pay to the management company,
                      1. Interest on such sums
                      2. such sums as represents a reasonable payment for all time expended in the pursuit of all sums.
                      it is very one sided, so I was thinking along the lines of cputr unfair relationship.
                      However, I think I need to wait until they try a DCA to recover.
                      Ive already put account into dispute so that should stall any DCA.

                      As said earlier, they have not given a full breakdown of their costs, I dont think its unreasonable to request this information. It is clearly stated that the final invoice shall be accompanied by a full and detailed explanation as to how the figure for the year is made up.
                      ( Made up being the operative word here)
                      It states specifically on the DOC that

                      Comment

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