Liability for previous leasholder's underpaid major works bill

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Liability for previous leasholder's underpaid major works bill

    I purchased a flat in July 2012 as a leaseholder. A week ago I received a demand from my freeholder (housing association) to make a payment for an underpaid bill related to major works completed in 2009.

    Am I liable to pay ? I have never had any debts in my life and I am a law abiding citizen but struggle to understand why would I have to pay for something from over 4 years ago.

    During purchase process my solicitor conducted several checks and highlighted some planned major works that would take place in the future but never made my aware of any unpaid bills from the past.

    Housing Association suggested that the vendor and their solicitor were simply dishonest and I was naive to purchase without checking. I have indeed called the housing association during the purchasing process but was assured that any unpaid service charges or other debts are simply recovered from the sale process.

    Any suggestions, advice ?

    #2
    You can indeed be liable for previous debts but this is for the solicitor/conveyancer to check !
    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
      At the time of purchase your conveyancer would/should have made enquiries re. any arrears and received replies from the freeholders.

      So, either the freeholders did not disclose the arrears, or they did and your conveyancer did not take any notice - which constitutes negligence. And if your conveyancer did not enquire about any arrears that's negligence too.

      If your conveyancer was negligent he is now liable to you for the arrears you are being asked to pay.

      If I were you I would approach your conveyancer and ask why he didn't tell you about these arrears, then see what he says.

      Professional indemnity insurance for law firms is expensive and if they made a mistake they will probably be eager to settle rather than risk being sued for negligence, because in that case they would have to tell their insurers and their already hefty premium would soar - and if they have already been sued they may even be unable to insure at all next time around, which would force them out of business.

      So I would start by writing to your conveyancer a terse letter asking why he did not tell you about these arrears when you bought.

      I think law firms are obliged to keep files for 6 or 7 years, so it should still be possible to dig up the file and see exactly what happened.

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you very much.

        I contacted my solicitor and they are trying to go through the archives to find a relevant file. I have electronic copies of all the documents handled during the purchasing process and the only one that seems to be relevant is a Purchase Pack where the vendor answered "no" for any known disputes related to the property (unpaid bill from 2009 is a dispute isn't it ?). Otherwise there is no specific question asked in regards to any debt associated with the property.

        I will try my very best not to be fobbed off by my solicitor. At the same time the HA are being more and more aggressive in their demands.

        Comment


          #5
          Hi there

          Now, you have to be careful here because there are two sets of enquiries made about leasehold properties.

          On the one hand enquiries will be made with the seller (or outgoing leaseholder); on the other, enquiries will also be made with the Freeholder, and these tend to be questions relating to outstanding arrears and future major works.

          So don't let them fob you off with the wrong set of enquiries.

          Oh, and of course, if they did not make any enquiries with the Freeholder they were negligent.

          P.

          Comment

          Latest Activity

          Collapse

          • Reply to S20 - Quotes not valid for long enough for 30 day consult
            by Flatman78
            Thanks Gordon999

            You can see from above reply to Macromia that's your comment wouldn't be relevant to me. there is no managing agent. It's just me (FH) and LH in upstairs flat.
            Thanks for taking time to reply though....
            23-05-2022, 20:29 PM
          • S20 - Quotes not valid for long enough for 30 day consult
            by Flatman78
            Hi LZ Community

            Just wondering if anyone's had/having any issues with S20 and allowing leaseholder 30 days to review estimates, raise concerns etc.

            Building material prices have fluctuated massively since covid and brexit.
            with a combination of Brexit, impact from russia/ukraine...
            23-05-2022, 14:42 PM
          • Reply to S20 - Quotes not valid for long enough for 30 day consult
            by Flatman78
            Thanks Macromia, I'm hoping not to have to request quotes to include extra 'contingency' as I know some building materials literally jumped by up to 80% pretty much overnight and so I / we could end up paying a hell of a lot more than we have to go with a 'protective' quote.

            It's only me...
            23-05-2022, 20:27 PM
          • RTM Hand Over Issues
            by martin15
            RTM handing over issues

            Our RTM companies comprise 4 blocks of 6 identical two bedroom flats and each block is registered at Companies House as a separate company.
            Following the acquisition date, it was discovered the former directors ignored legal advice and changed property management companies...
            23-05-2022, 19:36 PM
          • Reply to RTM Hand Over Issues
            by ash72
            You could sue the other company for the money owed.
            23-05-2022, 19:48 PM
          • Reply to RTM Hand Over Issues
            by Hudson01
            I am clearly no expert but i think this statement from the all knowing WWW appears to fit the bill for what has happened to you.................

            '' Fraud can be broadly defined as the deliberate use of deception or dishonesty to disadvantage or cause loss (usually financial) to another...
            23-05-2022, 19:48 PM
          • Reply to Old managing agents accounts
            by Gordon999
            You could show the last service charge demanded by previous managing agent . There should be a final summary of the service charge account.to show the unspent funds.
            23-05-2022, 18:26 PM
          • Old managing agents accounts
            by jazzythumper
            Since obtaining the RTM and changing the managing agent, we have never been given full accounts / receipts for the previous year(s). We believe that as the old freeholder and leaser holder of one of the flats were represented by the same solicitor that prior to the sale of the freehold, we were subsidising...
            20-05-2022, 11:21 AM
          • Building works & S20 process
            by RichA
            Hi. I have a freehold after selling a leasehold flat in a block of 4 flats. We don't currently have a managing agent, so these duties currently fall to me (I am holding off appointing a managing agent whilst the leaseholders consider whether they want to RTM).

            The block needs some maintenance...
            21-05-2022, 17:20 PM
          • Reply to Building works & S20 process
            by Macromia
            Good questions.
            The fact that the cost of work means that Section 20 consultation is required doesn't necessarily mean that it is major work that will require a project manager and, although most leases will contain clauses that allow the cost of project management to be recovered from leaseholders,...
            23-05-2022, 18:23 PM
          Working...
          X