Maximum length of time for the collection of leasehold arrears

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    Maximum length of time for the collection of leasehold arrears

    Hello,

    If someone disappears without paying the rent, the ll has six years to obtain a CCJ.

    If a leaseholder doesn't pay the leasehold charges, or perhaps pays only a proportion of the charges, how long can the freeholder wait until they can not get a CCJ against the historic arrears? ie must they take legal action within six years?

    Thanks


    mkll

    #2
    A tenant can start legal proceeding against a LL for the determnination of previously paid Service Charges for upto 12 years, however Im sure I read in the reverse situation that the LL was limited to 6 years.

    Section 32 of the Limitation Act can be used in special circumstances of 'fraud, concelament or mistake' to dispense with any limitaion, I used it to get a refund of wrongly overcharged grount rent, instead of being limited to 6 years, I went back 14 years and got back a nice sum plus 8% interest which soon added up.

    Are you approaching the 6 year limit ?. and just as importantly were all the required statute laws conformed to regarding demands, S47 & S48 LL's name and addresss, the 'Summary of rights' enclosed, demands sent in accordance with lease, sent to right person & address, etc

    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


      #3
      I would only add that

      a; demands pre 1-10-2007 do not require the summary
      b; the costs have been calculated and demanded in accordance with the lease
      c; they have been notified or demanded with 18 months
      d; any major works or long term agreements costs that are qualifying were consulted on

      If your question is I only paid a bit how before he can't sue me is broadly speaking 6 years.

      But if the lease was pre 1996 then he can then still forfeit it putting you in a position of risk with your obligations to a current owner under the contract of sale.
      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


        #4
        Hello,

        The lease was created in the 1980s and the property is an ex-local authority flat.

        The charges have always been presented correctly with the relevant information about what to do should I disagree etc. However, the LA are not dealing with any problems, such as:

        1. 37% management charges that result in a "management" fee that is about twice that a private sector operator would charge.

        2. Buildings insurance charges that are twice that of an identical neighbouring property for no obvious reason, and certainly no reason the LA can articulate.

        I therefore took the view that I did owe the LA money, but I disagreed with the cost of the service and their attitude to spending money.

        Take buildings insurance: If it is pointed out that the LA is paying double, one would have hoped they'd sort out the problem as vast sums of taxpayers' money is being pumped into insurance for Council properties. Their solution? Send a snotty mail saying they follow a process which delivers "best value".

        I've paid a proportion every year and they've made no effort to demand the arrears beyond reminding me once a year. I'm curious to what point they have to start writing off the perceived debt.

        Thanks


        mkll

        Comment


          #5
          Well I'd say 6 years.

          Many LVT's dont like tenants witholding ALL the service charges when disputes arise (in fact legally, i believe its only the absence of the Summary (post 2007) and missing LL's address that give you a legal right to withold money), so paying what you think is a reasonable amount is perhaps a good way forward.

          37% Management Charge is indeed high, although this may depend on what actual amount you have to pay annually, anywherwe between £100 - £275 may be considered reasonable, the RICS code does of coutrse recommend against using % based fees.

          As for Insurance, this comes before LVT's again and again and generally the tide does seem to be turning in favour of tenants, Id recommend writing to say you consider it very high, ask what commissions there are (RICS Code says you are supposed to be informed), get lots of alternative quotes, etc

          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


            #6
            I have to agree entirely with Andydd; it is for the LVT to decide should you choose to challenge them.
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by andydd View Post
              37% Management Charge is indeed high, although this may depend on what actual amount you have to pay annually, anywherwe between £100 - £275 may be considered reasonable, the RICS code does of coutrse recommend against using % based fees.
              The "management" fee is now £250 on a block of flats that requires very modest levels of effort, ie paying electric and gas bills, organising cleaning in a small communal area that's mostly stairs, and sending out the LA tradesman when something needs repairing.

              Private sector companies in the town seem to charge £140 (and maybe VAT) per year, and do an awful lot more.

              The LA has articulated the problem: the management charge covers the cost of staff. My view is that the LA are free to employ as many staff as they like, but the leaseholder should be paying a fair management charge in line with private sector equivalents.

              To help clarify the charge, a social landlord (housing association) charges less than £100/year in management for taking care of an identical block of flats!

              With respect to insurance, all we receive upon questioning is a set of excuses such as sourcing "bespoke features" that they can not list. They've never managed to send me an insurance certificate.

              Comment


                #8
                Hello,

                I've searched some LVT decisions and discovered the LA has already lost an appeal over the 37% management charge, and this was dated 2005. In 2010, the LA implemented a fixed £240/flat service charge, which is somewhat higher than the £100 recommended by the tribunal.

                Hilarious: They knew the problem existed, didn't fix it for four years, and then set a fee that wasn't in line with an LVT decision.


                mkll

                Comment


                  #9
                  Well..if the LA to start to pursue you for the money, assuming there is no limitation defence you may well be able to get the amount reduced by arguing the management fee (and insurance) was/is too high.

                  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


                    #10
                    I've got a couple friends in the same position and we've wondered why the LA has taken no action, and I'm beginning to conclude it's because they know LVT decisions have already gone against them.

                    There are other issues too: They've installed double glazing, replacing perfectly adequate and functional (ie not broken) single glazing, and told leaseholders to pay. There's no provision in the lease for improvements to the property.

                    Is there any well known case law on these circumstances? ie where the LA replaced the windows because they had budget to spend, not because the old windows had failed.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Maybe..my FH goes strangely quiet at times, its because of me he has had to change many things about his whole regime regarding advance payments, S146 Notices, admin charges, interest...and theres more shocks for him to come.

                      Theres lots of LVT decisions about Windows, although case law would require an Lands/Upper Tribunal or High Court decision.

                      By what you have said it does sound like an improvement and the cost may not be recoverable under the lease...but it may depend on other issues.

                      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


                        #12
                        Interestingly Tower Hamlets council was found to be running it's management fees at a profit in order to fund other departments! it was announced as a gesture of good will...!

                        A refund was agreed borough wide of £50. In that case the local residents leaseholders group were behind it if I recall, and you may get help locally.
                        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


                          #13
                          Management charges: the LA claims it is running the department at a loss, however the LVT decision I discovered states this is their problem. And that makes perfect sense: If they want to provide final salary pensions and above average wages, with plenty of days off ("privilege days"), they should not look to leaseholders to fund this lifestyle.

                          Windows: My view on this matter is that I have purchased a lease and when the lease requires renewing, the freeholder is within their rights to charge a fee for the renewal that takes into account the improvements they've made to their property.

                          Comment

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