unpaid service charges

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    unpaid service charges

    I’ve recently bought into in a building of 8 flats. The freehold was obtained in 2009, with long leases. The freeholders manage the building. They pay a monthly service charge that’s calculated to cover outgoings, and no more. There’s no sinking fund. One of the flats is owned by the former freeholder which is a huge and notorious property development company, call them ‘Fresh’. In 8 years, they have never paid their service charges (now amounting to L5000), nor responded to requests and no one has done much to chase them up. (I doubt the requests technically complied with the exact terms of the lease). We (the freeholders) now want to refurbish the outside of the windows which are in dire condition. (This is required by and provided for in the lease.) We’ve all agreed to pay in the special assessment of L3500 each. However we would also need the money from ‘Fresh’ to start the work. How do we get them to pay in this prospective special assessment; and can we recover the past service charges. Can we do this in one action? Are there any time bars. If we got a judgment, they’d probably ignore it. Since they’re a huge company, is there any real chance we actually get any of the money?

    #2
    Why did the service charge requests not comply with the lease. That's a bad start and the main problem you face. If they have to pay then you take them to the FTT. You will win.

    If they don't have to pay.... then well... you have worse problems.

    If there was no sinking fund, and they did not pay, and sc only covers direct costs, how is your bank balance positive? - that makes no sense.

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      #3
      Some notorious firms won't pay any bill until they are sued. Thats the way they operate.

      So you should get a quote from legal firms which offer a service to claim and collect arrears in service charges.

      Try a getting a quote from slcsolicitors as they may offer to do it for free .

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        #4
        If demands didn't comply with the lease then it sounds like Fresh had a valid right not to pay and any attempt in court will fail, you need to provide us with more info.
        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.

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