How do i get my clown managing agent to supply me with appropriate information?

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  • " I owe my freeholder £750, he wants £10000k in legal costs and still won't fix the roof"

    Sort of stuff the local press likes to see perhaps?

    I might do two things. Section 20 etc allows for costs that "will or may" be demanded. If he has expressed an intention to recover in the service charge, then make an LVT determination. Clever paid for drafting might drag in the underlying issues. A call to the local court manager and see if they can persuade the Judge to have a hearing to refer matters to the LVT.
    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


    • Good Morning gents.

      Yes,i have it in writing in my bundle there many failings regarding requests for payment,
      i have basically quoted the relevant rules...section 22 i think? regarding the requirements and have gone on to say:

      "with the above in mind i would like you to consider the legality of requests for payments from myself,on numerous occasions i have asked for receipts and invoices regarding alleged works carried out i have not recieved them,on many occasions i have asked for a yearly maintenance/budget accounts and once again have not recieved them.

      " Most if not all service charge and related charges are not supplied with the prescribed terms notice".

      "Many of the invoices and demands do not contain the landlords address and contact details"

      " many service charge invoices are not even sent to my home address as they are sent to a different property".

      "Whilst on the subject of correct address i would like to correct your practise as all your correspondence contains the postcode bn24 my actual postcode is bn25"

      Regarding the statement above i have another 8 leaseholders who are in agreement with it.

      As for transferring to the LVT i approached this in an earlier hearing and the judge instantly dismissed it by saying that i was on the appropriate track regarding my counterclaim.

      The only positive i can see for the adjournment to mid april is that i may get the same judge from an earlier hearing who was extremely supportive and was disgusted by the landlords behaviour and seemed to be fully conversant in the landlord and tenant act.

      Cheers guys

      Comment


      • Sorry no the track issue and lvt is not understood. While an lvt has consideed counterclaims in dermining sc,the court is the best place. However a distinction has been lost in that the court can,i feel should, ask the lvt to determine certain matters. I did post that earlier before this hearing.......do pursue this the ll might even agree- shame you didnt. I am not sure you have grasped my earlier post there is chance for you to do so.
        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


        • Originally posted by sbw View Post
          Good Morning gents.

          Yes,i have it in writing in my bundle there many failings regarding requests for payment,
          i have basically quoted the relevant rules...section 22 i think? regarding the requirements and have gone on to say:
          OK, well you should be able to refer to s21 LTA1985 without the other side saying it is a suprise argument and therefore unreasonable behaviour.

          With such a large claim for costs from them based on the terms of the lease you need to point the Judge to s21b(4) :

          Where a tenant withholds a service charge under this section, any provisions of the lease relating to non-payment or late payment of service charges do not have effect in relation to the period for which he so withholds.

          You may need to say you were withholding both because of the state of the property and because demands were invalid.

          You should also ask the Judge for a s20C order and tell him that no costs are due under the lease until a proper demand for them is made. If you should receive such a demand you want to dispute it at the LVT.

          So you're saying to the Judge. Don't make an order for costs based on what it says in the lease because you require time to prepare to argue the unreasonableness of them. The LL is free to demand those costs later.

          As for transferring to the LVT i approached this in an earlier hearing and the judge instantly dismissed it by saying that i was on the appropriate track regarding my counterclaim.
          The LVT is more likely to pick up on s21b LTA1985 than the Court so there is an advantage of asking for the Court Case to be stayed and part of the case to be transferred to the LVT. Also, you will get a second chance to dispute the service charges themselves on the basis of reasonableness, failure to consult, or demands being outside the time limits.

          The only positive i can see for the adjournment to mid april is that i may get the same judge from an earlier hearing who was extremely supportive and was disgusted by the landlords behaviour and seemed to be fully conversant in the landlord and tenant act.
          You might also get one who knows nothing of leasehold law, is easily impressed by Barristers and doesn't like Litigants in Person!

          The case I was referring to in my last post was the Court of Appeal Case Yorkbrook Investments Ltd v Batten (1985) 276 EG 545, CA. In that case the tenant had withheld payment alleging that the LL was in breach of some of his obligations.

          You can probably rely on s21b(4) too to argue that they can't withhold services because the 'no pay, no services' covenant does not apply whilst you are withholding payment.

          Try and keep things simple but be prepared for the worst case scenario.

          As the Judge is about to ask the other party to state their case, take control of the situation. Interrupt 'Excuse me Sir/Madam'. Ask for a transfer to the LVT for the service charge part (if you want it to go there) and if he says no then interrupt again and tell him/her you have a statutory argument which defeats their whole case and application for costs. Provide the Judge and the other side with a copy of s21b and you will have taken the initiative and possibly saved a lot of time.

          Be prepared to use your other arguments if the Judge insists on letting them present their case.
          I accept no legal responsibility for comments/advice I make on this forum. Please check with a solicitor before acting on statements made in a public forum.

          Comment


          • http://www.residential-property.judi...3_14_37_43.pdf

            Browsing through recent local lvt decisions and found this, whilst not binding, some interesting comments about recovering legal costs via the lease in last two paragraphs.

            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


            • Originally posted by andydd View Post
              http://www.residential-property.judi...3_14_37_43.pdf

              Browsing through recent local lvt decisions and found this, whilst not binding, some interesting comments about recovering legal costs via the lease in last two paragraphs.

              Andy
              I am a big fan of his decisions they are often eminently practical and sensible.

              I laughed at the Nepotism is only of consequence if" they stitch you up".
              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


              • Not so keen on some of his RTM decisions but that's a great document.

                One in the eye for lessees who want to DIY to save money but then expect the LL to be responsible!

                Comment


                • Nepotism
                  Officially sanctioned by the LVT

                  thats going on a t shirt
                  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


                  • Just reading a FRPA newsletter and it has small feature confirming that a FH cant use the 'subject to leasee paying charge' argument and quotes Yorkbrook v Batten (1985), discussed here > http://www.bpe.co.uk/commercial-liti...-run-down-flat and allowing tenant to offset cost of repairs (if FH doesnt do them) in Lee-Parker v Izzet.

                    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

                    Latest Activity

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                    • Hidden Admin Fees
                      37eeyore
                      My son is a leaseholder in an ex local authority flat that is now owned by a housing authority. I have recently been checking his service charge bill and received a summary of charges and copies of the repairs invoices. When I matched up the invoices to the summary I discovered that every invoice had...
                      28-01-2017, 13:32 PM
                    • Reply to Hidden Admin Fees
                      andydd
                      Aha.;.thanks leaseholder64, not something I'd come across before and explains the reference to UC by the FH/LL. I havnt read the document completely but it makes some sense, for example a Service Charge would normally cover repair costs, etc and you would expect UC to cover this amount BUT Service Charges...
                      23-08-2017, 16:05 PM
                    • Reply to Hidden Admin Fees
                      leaseholder64
                      The real question is how do they come up with 15%. Splitting the excess over the fixed cost in proportion to input costs is a cheap way of meeting the UC apportionment conditions. That way, larger jobs will subsidise small ones, but that won't affect how much you actually pay. However, the 15% needs...
                      23-08-2017, 14:30 PM
                    • Reply to Hidden Admin Fees
                      37eeyore
                      The lease says - all other costs incurred by the Landlord in or in connection with maintenance or management of the building. No fixed fee mentioned although, as I said, we pay a fixed management fee.

                      They have a qualifying long term agreement with a company to carry out all maintenance....
                      23-08-2017, 13:59 PM
                    • Reply to Hidden Admin Fees
                      leaseholder64
                      Although the RICS guidelines (which may not apply in all cases to RSLs) recommend a fixed annual fee covering the basic service, and routine maintenance, they do accept that:



                      may be subject to additional charges, and 15% is in the right ball park. What they do say is that...
                      23-08-2017, 13:48 PM
                    • Reply to Hidden Admin Fees
                      37eeyore
                      It's not the management fee I object to. This is a fixed amount that we pay every year and is clearly stated on the service charge demands. What I object to is the 15% admin fee they they add to every repair bill before they charge us. The figure for maintenance on the service charge demand is a lump...
                      23-08-2017, 13:11 PM
                    • Reply to Hidden Admin Fees
                      leaseholder64
                      Looking further through the UC document, apportioning the management fee by input costs appears to be acceptable to the state.

                      Looking at the actual legislation, the general maintenance element is covered not just for shared ownership cases, so I think that painting is in. Ground floor...
                      23-08-2017, 13:01 PM
                    • Reply to Hidden Admin Fees
                      37eeyore
                      Thanks for the in depth reply.
                      I don't see how it affects the 15% admin fee they add on to invoices as these are only for repairs to the communal areas of the building. Everything else is included in the maintenance charges which don't have 15% added because they are covered by the management...
                      23-08-2017, 12:52 PM
                    • Reply to Hidden Admin Fees
                      leaseholder64
                      http://webarchive.nationalarchives.g...s-guidance.pdf is or was the rules for paying service charges out of universal credit.

                      Allowable charges are:


                      In category A, the only allowable charges are:



                      It is therefore necessary to separate communal...
                      23-08-2017, 12:12 PM
                    • Reply to Hidden Admin Fees
                      andydd
                      Yes thats a standard catch all clause, mine has one too, but an FTT would look at it and only allow actual costs incurred to be recovered, they cant just make up an amount..it would allow a certain reasonable cost of management to be recovered, either self management or more likel;y the cost of employing...
                      23-08-2017, 11:46 AM
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