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

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  • I was clarifying that independent does not mean what many might think it does, as RAM has made clear. It has a specific meaning in this context. I think I have bored everyone enough on that : )

    In this case the Surveyor is required to declare to both that there is a conflict of interest. They might agree to allow him to act for the FH, or ideally sensibly agree he will be independent, paid for by both, and his determination is binding.

    It is not so much about conduct that in acting as advisor and advocate he would not be truthful, but that it is the nature of such problems that there are issues to be argued and more than one outcome is possible. It is also protective of the clients interests as he is being asked to represent one with confidential information about the other. That's why they have to declare and discuss it as they might agree there is nothing for the surveyor to come in conflict with.

    For example the OP might be looking to exercise rights to appoint a manager or compulsory acquisition and depress the purchase price and therefore his interest is best served with a negative outcome than a problem solving one. How does he deal with knowledge that the OP did nothing to mitigate the problem ( I could have left the heating on..wink wink), and cannot reveal that to the FH unless it is obvious. It undermines his credibility as where does his loyalty now lie?

    In this case it crates the practical difficulty that had the inspection taken place without the OP, wherever they then go to, the OP calls up his surveyor only to find that he has to start over...in this case he could only turn to his builder, not his surveyor, he was busy taking the other guys money.

    So that's why he is required to raise the conflict as soon as it arises so that is avoided or resolve it. the fact that he didn't have the address of the premises is a concern, it's a basic step to avoid such conflicts.
    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


    • Hi Guys.

      Quick update on my counterclaim regarding non repairs/maintainance.

      The managing agent recently contacted me regarding an out of court settlement and basically suggested they would correct and repair the problems with the flat and refurbish it to a habitable condition. And to write off the current owed service charge.Then too complete a major refurbishment in the spring at a cost of £6000 per leaseholder.

      As the property has been empty for over 2 years and i have overwhelming evidence of neglect i decided to turn their offer down which in my opinion is perfectly reasonable.

      I have yet another allocation hearing on the 28th november,where the judge has asked them to supply reasons as too why the matter shouldnt be transferred to the LVT as i have requested.

      My current major concern is that i have just recieved their solicitors bill for works carried out regarding this particular litigation and it comes to £1887.55.

      So my landlord has carried out no repairs or maintainance in almost 9 years the building is in a shocking state of disrepair,all the gutters are full of weeds,the soil pipes are not fixed to the walls due to failing render,causing waste to leak into communal areas,there is a rat infestation in the bin stores,and too try and resolve these matters i have to pay their solicitors to fight against me trying too get the property habitable!!

      Since i have returned my counterclaim with more information as the judge requested they have become extremely aggressive and warned me i could be in danger of forfieting my lease.

      My lease does state that ANY solicitors costs incurred by them will be paid by the leaseholder.

      I have been given 14 days to pay their legal bill and if i dont they will commence legal proceedings. Surely this is unfair? Does anyone have any suggestions how to deal with this as they are really grinding me down.

      Many Thanks Stuart.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by sbw View Post
        My lease does state that ANY solicitors costs incurred by them will be paid by the leaseholder.
        The costs can be challenged for reasonableness at the LVT, either as a service charge or possibly (depending on what the charge is for exactly) a variable administration charge, whichever they are.

        If the grounds for forfeiture are arrears of service or variable administration charges then forfeiture will not be possible before an LVT determines it is payable/reasonable.

        Advice given on a no blame basis - take proper legal advice before relying on a post in a public forum.
        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


        • So we assume the solicitors costs they mentioned are not payable in the 'normal' way, i.e the loser pays costs (assuming its on fast/multi track)BUT that they are trying to recoup the costs via the lease ?

          This is quite standard, some leases allow this, others dont, others only allow S146 costs, in any event a S20C application can be made to stop/limit costs and further they can be challanged for reasonableness.

          IF the costs are allowed to be recovered via the service charge this often results in the strange sitaution that costs are split amongst all leaseholders (i.e 10 flats, 10% each).

          At the recent FPRA AGM I went to the ability tfor the Fh to recover costs was refrred to as the 'heads you lose, tails they win' scenario

          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 sbw View Post
            My lease does state that ANY solicitors costs incurred by them will be paid by the leaseholder.

            I have been given 14 days to pay their legal bill and if i dont they will commence legal proceedings. Surely this is unfair? Does anyone have any suggestions how to deal with this as they are really grinding me down.

            Many Thanks Stuart.
            Not sure i understand this, on what basis do they expect you to pay ?

            I thought there hasnt been any court judgment for costs ?

            Are they therefore trying to recoup costs via the lease ?



            a) as a service charge (split amongst all leaseholders) ?

            or

            b) as an administration charge (payable by you) ?

            Surely a separate S20 application could be made to LVT ? To ask that no costs be allowed or they be examined for reasonableness.

            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


            • Having thought about this a little more, there is potentially a problem for you (sbw). It all depends on what the lease actually says.

              S20 orders apply to service charges only.

              To fall within the definition of a variable administration charge (sch. 11 CLRA 2002) it has to be a charge of a certain type (application charges, information charges, late payment penalties, breach of lease charges). I don't think that the charges you refer to fall into the required categories.
              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


              • Hi Andy.

                The judge has said to stay silent on costs?
                But the breakdown from the solicitors is for sending emails between the freeholder themselves and the agents,and to examine evidence and documents and hundreds off pounds in disbursements? meetings between the freeholder and themselves lasting 2 hours at £275.00 per hour etc etc.

                It makes no mention off the fact they have been to 3 allocation hearings so perhaps i will get another bill for that!

                Cheers Stuart

                Comment


                • Sorry, but an administration charge will embrace costs under a typical section 146 clause which includes "preparation or consideration of", or similar wording under (c) and (d).

                  You will see LVTs have been variable in whether they were in themselves , as say a service charge is, reasonably incurred, or not.

                  it's frustrating to say "they're wrong and they also charge me?!" but you have to treat it as fighting a war on two fronts, not trade them off.
                  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


                  • Payability of their bill.

                    1: what is the wording in your lease re legal costs?

                    2: has it been invoiced to you and in what format?

                    I am thinking that dependant on 1 and that the court has not set any costs yet, it must be invoiced by the landlord with the summary for admin costs and then you would apply to the LVT on those costs.
                    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


                    • Hi,

                      I will check my lease this evening and find the exact wording.

                      Many thanks Stuart

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                        1: what is the wording in your lease re legal costs?

                        2: has it been invoiced to you and in what format?

                        I am thinking that dependant on 1 and that the court has not set any costs yet, it must be invoiced by the landlord with the summary for admin costs and then you would apply to the LVT on those costs.
                        The OP isn't referring to administration costs so the SOTRAO for such costs are not required.

                        It is also irrelevant as to whether the Landlord has demanded payment of the legal costs or not, provided the tenant is liable to meet such costs as directed by the Lease, then they are payable.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by dant View Post
                          The OP isn't referring to administration costs so the SOTRAO for such costs are not required.

                          It is also irrelevant as to whether the Landlord has demanded payment of the legal costs or not, provided the tenant is liable to meet such costs as directed by the Lease, then they are payable.
                          Well we really need to see what the lease says but both service charges and administration charges must be demanded in the proper way or the leaseholder can withold payment.

                          Sorry, but an administration charge will embrace costs under a typical section 146 clause which includes "preparation or consideration of", or similar wording under (c) and (d).
                          I'm not sure whether we are disagreeing on this or not but yes, costs associated with a breach of covenant are classed as admin. costs but legal costs as per this matter aren't.
                          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


                          • Originally posted by dant View Post
                            The OP isn't referring to administration costs so the SOTRAO for such costs are not required.

                            It is also irrelevant as to whether the Landlord has demanded payment of the legal costs or not, provided the tenant is liable to meet such costs as directed by the Lease, then they are payable.
                            But dant under c & d (above) legal costs are classed as admin costs....

                            Any charges arising under the lease that are not service charges or rent are admin charges and the SI then does apply. And I have the LVT decisions that agreed with me

                            Yes he is liable, however statute allows him the right to challenge their reasonableness, and is entitled to withhold them until they are billed with the summary.

                            Sorry.
                            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 leaseholdanswers View Post
                              Any charges arising under the lease that are not service charges or rent are admin charges and the SI then does apply. And I have the LVT decisions that agreed with me
                              OK, we do disagree and I've seen at least one LVT decision where a charge associated with a lease is deemed not in the LVT's jurisdiction (not rent). The type of admin charge that the LVT can decide upon are defined in sch. 11 of the Commonhold & Leasehold Act 2002.
                              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


                              • Originally posted by siva View Post
                                I'm not sure whether we are disagreeing on this or not but yes, costs associated with a breach of covenant are classed as admin. costs but legal costs as per this matter aren't.
                                I can't say what the breakdown of the £1877 is/are and was restricting my comment to, before seeing the actual clause, making an assumption that the costs that a landlord can recover would say be limited to the " all to do with " a S146.

                                I suspect in re reading there might be more info than #112 but I would in the same fashion, say that generally the overall costs are not entirely related to pursuing a S146 and is advice of a general nature or conduct which such clauses often do not cover. We'll see I hope tomorrow.
                                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

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