Liability for previous leaseholder's service charge/bills

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    Liability for previous leaseholder's service charge/bills

    Hi,
    Can somebody advise me on who is responsible to pay the previous UTILITY BILL for a leasehold property?

    I purchased a long leasehold flat in 2008 and share the freehold in a block of 10 flats.
    I would like to point out that there is only one water meter to supply water to the block.
    Therefore, we pay the service charge that includes the water rates.
    Now to my surprise, after two years, the management is saying that the previous years (prior to my purchase) the water bills were only estimated, and they will not tell me when was the last time the meter was read before 2008.
    I would like to know if I am responsible to pay the utility bill, for the period before my purchase.

    #2
    If the service charge includes the water rates, that's not easily alterable. In fact, your flat does not then have a utility bill- the bill covers the block- so your question really means "Am I liable for service charge pre-dating my purchase?" The answer depends on the Contract into which you entered when purchasing and what (if anything) it obliged V to do. Read it and report back to us.
    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
      Originally posted by mohshafie View Post
      I would like to know if I am responsible to pay the utility bill, for the period before my purchase.
      normaly, short answer = no

      Solicitors usualy ask the previous flat owners, and freeholder / Managing company / Agent, "are there any upaid bills, and is the maintenence charge payable up to date".

      We assume the answer came back "no unpaid bills". Although you may not find these answers in your documentation when you get the keys to your flat / bill from Solicitor.

      Before you bought the property, it did not belong to you, so realy, not your concern.

      BUT, if there was an underestimate, the under estimate for 2007, would be included in calculations for 2008 maintenence charges - the time you were there, paying a reduced fee in 2008 and 2009 based on pre 2008 estimates.
      If the estimates were wrong, and the word is "estimate", then when the correct price is formulated, then the short fall will have to be met by you and all other owners.

      Only the owners have the money to pay maintenence and water charges, no on else. Have you ever tried to get a utility company to read a meter, and they never do, so all you can do is base costs on estimates till the final price comes through.

      You can not ignor the actual costs that they now have, and the costs to run the place has to reflect the actual costs, and if there is not enough money in the bank, then yes, you will be asked to pay the shortfall from the previous estimate.

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