Malicious Falsehood

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    Malicious Falsehood

    A company which is NOT my direct landlord has written to my lenders (again) purporting that I am in arrears with service charges.

    Note that these imbeciles have sued me before and their claim was dismissed... because the company is not my direct landlord and under the lease it is not entitled to any money from me!!

    I am waiting for them to sue me for a second time so I can get the judge to slap a civil restraint order on them, meaning they can't sue me again (unless they obtain the court's prior permission, which is unlikely).

    I should have no problem obtaining that because judges don't like claimants who keep making unmeritorious claims.

    However, I am wondering if I can also countersue them for malicious falsehood and claim from them the money they are maliciously claiming from me. I seem to remember reading somewhere a long time ago that it is possible to do that, but now I can no longer find the source of that information.

    Is anybody here familiar with malicious falsehood law in the UK?

    #2
    Would your situation be covered by the fraud act ?

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/contents

    Comment


      #3
      Sadly yes having had a keyboard warrior driving a property manager, assistant and accountant nuts!

      The proof lies in the intent of the assertion or claim and the damage it caused. In this case it is hard to say it was malicious as they would assert that you were in arrears. it would more likely fall into harassment, quiet enjoyment or fraud if you can prove that demands were not sent with the intent to earn fees, especially on low ground rents.

      Do you have legal expenses cover on your insurance- use that.
      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
        Originally posted by Perplexed View Post
        A company which is NOT my direct landlord has written to my lenders (again) purporting that I am in arrears with service charges.

        Note that these imbeciles have sued me before and their claim was dismissed... because the company is not my direct landlord and under the lease it is not entitled to any money from me!!

        I am waiting for them to sue me for a second time so I can get the judge to slap a civil restraint order on them, meaning they can't sue me again (unless they obtain the court's prior permission, which is unlikely).

        I should have no problem obtaining that because judges don't like claimants who keep making unmeritorious claims.

        However, I am wondering if I can also countersue them for malicious falsehood and claim from them the money they are maliciously claiming from me. I seem to remember reading somewhere a long time ago that it is possible to do that, but now I can no longer find the source of that information.

        Is anybody here familiar with malicious falsehood law in the UK?
        *Are* you in arrears with service charge?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
          Sadly yes having had a keyboard warrior driving a property manager, assistant and accountant nuts!

          The proof lies in the intent of the assertion or claim and the damage it caused. In this case it is hard to say it was malicious as they would assert that you were in arrears. it would more likely fall into harassment, quiet enjoyment or fraud if you can prove that demands were not sent with the intent to earn fees, especially on low ground rents.

          Do you have legal expenses cover on your insurance- use that.
          The ground rent has always been paid.

          No service charges have been demanded by the actual landlord - so there are no arrears to speak of.

          Plus, the monies they are after now are unspecified 'arrears' - so even the actual landlord would have difficulty collecting those - whatever they are!!

          Additionally, the company making the malicious/libellous assertions ought to know by now that they are not contractually entitled to demand any monies from me because the judge told them so in no uncertain terms when she dismissed their first vexatious claim.

          I cannot sue for harassment because I hold the property in a limited company.

          And I suspect I cannot sue for nuisance either because they are not physically interfering with my quiet enjoyment.

          But they have defamed me to my lenders, not once but repeatedly, and they did so in the hope of obtaining those monies from my lenders, of course.

          If they do sue me for a second time - which hasn't happened yet - I want to make sure this time it costs them and I get compensation.

          After all, the judge did warn them last time that they had a duty to check their facts were correct before issuing proceedings, and she even added that if a similar claim came before her again there would be sanctions.

          I just wish I knew what sanctions to ask for if it came to that point - which seems very likely, I might add.

          If they basically lie to my lenders in an attempt to extract money they are not entitled to, I should be able to countersue them for the same amount for malicious falsehood or attempted fraud. It would seem natural justice...

          Comment


            #6
            OK, I've found this:

            Malicious Falsehood.

            Malicious falsehood exists to protect against statements which themselves are not defamatory but are untrue and cause damage. It is possible to have a statement which is not defamatory and a claim in libel or slander would not succeed but a Claimant still has a claim in malicious falsehood.

            An example of malicious falsehood would be a situation if somebody says that a solicitor has retired from practice. As a consequence this could cause financial loss through lost trade.
            It is a false statement; it is not defamatory because it does not suggest anything bad about the solicitor ,just that he is not now practicing.
            Another example might be a comparative advertisement; a false statement about your competitor’s products is unlikely to be defamatory but if false may well give rise to an action in malicious falsehood.
            In a claim for malicious falsehood the Claimant must prove that the statement was not true and published maliciously.

            Malice is defined as a statement made by a party who knows that the statement is false or reckless as to its truth. Being negligent as to to the truth of the statement is not sufficient.

            A Claimant has to establish that he or she has suffered actual damage/ loss in order to be able to bring an action for malicious falsehood. There are acceptations.It is not necessary to prove actual damage if the words in dispute are

            calculated to cause financial damage to the Claimant and are published in writing or the permanent form or;

            calculated to cause financial damage to the Claimant in respect to his office, professional calling, trade or business.

            The limitation period for a malicious falsehood claim is as a defamation claim 1 year.

            If the party making a statement publishes a correction quickly and realises the error it will go some way to reducing the prospect of a successful claim by the Claimant being able to show malice.

            http://www.carruthers-law.co.uk/what.../#.UJQEM28xqKI
            Well, it stands to reason that if they write to my lenders to try and get money from them - which I would then have to repay - the words are calculated to cause me financial damage.

            Comment


              #7
              There is difference between damage caused as a consequence and actions done intended to do so.

              That the court is unhappy with the unspecific nature of charges is one thing, but ans lng they can assert a service charge is due, the claim has a a basis if daft.

              The quiet enjoyment applies to invoicing and issuing proceedings which are merit less, as it is a form of interference to your quiet enjoyment. It is also harassment as a person or persons took the decision. I dimly remember a case where a company of convenience- the co owns the one flat, it is owned and occupied by you- can still be harassed.

              So, lets start with whey and what for they are billing you.

              No service charges have been demanded by the actual landlord
              Suggests they could but haven't- why is that.
              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


                #8
                Does this entity claim to be an agent (in any sense) of the landlord? Or do they claim other justification for their charges?
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                Comment


                  #9
                  I would of thought that you need to be 100% suucessful in a court and/or LVT with a very clear determination that the alleged service charge arrears are not payable at all and perhpas some comments from the court/LVt 'ticking off' the FH would be helpful..before you go after them for damages, of course you may also need to prove the damages, i.e. does your mortgage company now look at you in a far less favourable light.

                  This is an area of law that needs tightening up, at present a Fh can make an approach to the mortgage company willy-nilly with no real evidence of an actual debt needed.

                  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
                    Well lenders are supposed to contact the borrower and notify them first. I am sure the CML "bible" sais so and that mortgage "contracts" require any breach to be notified.

                    There is no small coincidence that many of those that are "not contacted" are non payers and who do not reside at the property.
                    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
                      Originally posted by Perplexed View Post
                      A company which is NOT my direct landlord has written to my lenders (again) purporting that I am in arrears with service charges.

                      Note that these imbeciles have sued me before and their claim was dismissed... because the company is not my direct landlord and under the lease it is not entitled to any money from me!!

                      I am waiting for them to sue me for a second time so I can get the judge to slap a civil restraint order on them, meaning they can't sue me again (unless they obtain the court's prior permission, which is unlikely).

                      I should have no problem obtaining that because judges don't like claimants who keep making unmeritorious claims.

                      However, I am wondering if I can also countersue them for malicious falsehood and claim from them the money they are maliciously claiming from me. I seem to remember reading somewhere a long time ago that it is possible to do that, but now I can no longer find the source of that information.

                      Is anybody here familiar with malicious falsehood law in the UK?
                      You need to be very careful here.

                      A debt can be assigned in two ways. Legal assignment or equitable assignment. When a debt is assigned with legal assignment it is executed by deed and you have to be told about it in a notice. However with equitable assignment, no notice is required, but the true beneficiary of the debt needs to be joined as applicant to the case. They can join at any time, even just before or at the hearing.

                      I did have a link to a very good thread on consumeractiongroup.co.uk about this but can't find it.

                      Take advice before acting on what I've told you.
                      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


                        #12
                        Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                        There is difference between damage caused as a consequence and actions done intended to do so.

                        That the court is unhappy with the unspecific nature of charges is one thing, but ans lng they can assert a service charge is due, the claim has a a basis if daft.

                        The quiet enjoyment applies to invoicing and issuing proceedings which are merit less, as it is a form of interference to your quiet enjoyment. It is also harassment as a person or persons took the decision. I dimly remember a case where a company of convenience- the co owns the one flat, it is owned and occupied by you- can still be harassed.

                        So, lets start with whey and what for they are billing you.

                        Suggests they could but haven't- why is that.
                        Sadly the Protection from harassment Act 1997 has been changed so that a company can no longer sue for harassment.

                        And I do not occupy the flat, it's rented out.

                        But what you tell me about nuisance is potentially very useful.

                        The actual landlord never issued any service charge demands, either directly or though an agent, due to incompetence I presume. So if they lose out it's their problem. They are such a large company (no names) that it's a drop in the ocean to them anyway.

                        They are also pretty horrid to deal with so I'm not going to donate my work to them so they can collect what they haven't bothered to demand.

                        They bought the freehold 7 years ago and it's still raining into my flat because of their incompetence - but that's another story altogether.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by siva View Post
                          You need to be very careful here.

                          A debt can be assigned in two ways. Legal assignment or equitable assignment. When a debt is assigned with legal assignment it is executed by deed and you have to be told about it in a notice. However with equitable assignment, no notice is required, but the true beneficiary of the debt needs to be joined as applicant to the case. They can join at any time, even just before or at the hearing.

                          I did have a link to a very good thread on consumeractiongroup.co.uk about this but can't find it.

                          Take advice before acting on what I've told you.
                          There is no debt.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by andydd View Post
                            I would of thought that you need to be 100% suucessful in a court and/or LVT with a very clear determination that the alleged service charge arrears are not payable at all and perhpas some comments from the court/LVt 'ticking off' the FH would be helpful..before you go after them for damages, of course you may also need to prove the damages, i.e. does your mortgage company now look at you in a far less favourable light.

                            This is an area of law that needs tightening up, at present a Fh can make an approach to the mortgage company willy-nilly with no real evidence of an actual debt needed.

                            Andy
                            Andy, if you read my original post, these idiots have already tried to sue once and the judge dismissed the claim. The judge told them none of the money they were claiming was payable because they are not my direct landlord.

                            So now at the very least I'll get the court to slap a civil restraint order on them so they can't sue me again.

                            But this time around I also want compensation because I am sick and tired of having to explain myself to my lenders when I have done nothing wrong, and I am sick and tired of spending time defending their baseless claims.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                              The quiet enjoyment applies to invoicing and issuing proceedings which are merit less, as it is a form of interference to your quiet enjoyment.
                              Which statute relates to quiet enjoyment, please?

                              Also, do you know what level of damages are normally awarded for nuisance claims?

                              Dang, judges have documents they refer to when awarding damages, and some of them occasionally crop up on the internet.

                              Comment

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