Overpayment of service charge arrears by previous tenants lender.

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    Overpayment of service charge arrears by previous tenants lender.

    I am the nominated Director of an RTM company formed by the 3 leaseholders about 3 years ago.

    One of the leaseholders and RTM member had their property re possessed by the bank last year. The leaseholder was in service charge arrears and I wrote to the bank to advise them as I knew the flat was going to auction.
    I subsequently received a payment by transfer to the service charge account. A few weeks later I received another payment for the same amount.
    I have written to the bank 3 times now to advise them and had no response.
    In order to account for the money, I have entered the amount as a liability on the RTM year end accounts.

    The property has a new leaseholder who also became an RTM member.
    At this year's AGM I went through the accounts and advised of the overpayment and my intention to keep trying to contact the bank.

    The new leaseholder is now selling the flat and is claiming that the overpayment belongs to him and wants the money reimbursed to him.
    He is refusing to pay the second part of his service charge on the basis of the overpayment.
    I maintain that the RTM may still have a liability to reimburse the bank once they discover their error.

    Can anyone help clarify the position regarding the overpaid amount?

    Without going into lengthy discusion, the overpaid money is the banks money, not the RTM money, and not the leaseholders money.

    You tell the leaseholder it's the banks money, as the bank inadvertantly sent money twice, and it does NOT belong to the leaseholder.
    Also tell him that he must pay the service charge as claiming money that is not his has not relation to his obligation to observe the lease and pay the service charges by the due date. If he does not pay, you will take him to court.

    Be firm, it's not his money.


      You are absolutely correct, it is manifestly a banking error. The simples way to deal with this is make the purchaser's solicitors aware of the debt and that you will not be accepting notice nor deal with a licence to assign, if applicable, and advise the freeholder so that they will not accept notice either.

      that is quickly followed by an N1 claim form or online money claim slp the legal costs on the service charge account, bill it witht eh summary of admin rights as well as the service charge summary, and copy the new statement to the purchaser's solicitors and the sellers.

      the only way to deal with chancers like this is with "both barrels" After all in many cases you are going to have to chase them later or upset the new owner so place the aggravation where it lies.
      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.


        Thanks for the input.

        I plan to respond to his solicitor who has requested various information for the sale of the flat and to request confirmation of the position put forward by their client in respect of these monies. In the response I will set out what I believe my position to be.

        I suspect that the leaseholder is chancing their luck and once the solicitor is aware can set him straight. Hopefully the matter will go away regarding the leaseholders claim and ensure that it goes on record.

        I can then try again to contact the lender and return the monies and get shot of the problem.

        If anything changes I will add an update.

        Thanks once again.


          Even better tell them you wont do a thing until they pay the half year. You are not obligated n any way to deal with pre sales enquiries.

          As to the lender write to them attach a cheque and send it to the registered office.
          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.


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