What to do?

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    What to do?

    Purchased a flat in October 2015, that we rent out. The solicitor doing our conveyancing identified that the accounts for the year ending 2016 had not yet been produced by the management company (Braemar), and he had negotiated to withhold £100 from the seller for 6 months to cover any service charge adjustment. I now realise this was too little for too short a period, but he sold it to us as the best deal he could get from the seller!

    Roll forward to March 2018. The management company was taken over by LIV sometime in 2016 and they eventually got some completed accounts from Braemar for the years 2015 and 2016 and produced their own accounts for 2017. Every year included a service charge adjustment.

    So, we paid the adjustments for 2016 and 2017 but disputed the 2015 service charge on the grounds this year ended 6 months prior to us purchasing the flat and we have never received ANY details of any potential service charge adjustment, until we received the demand in March 2018, 3 years later. I'm not sure if the relevant section 60b information was sent to the previous tenant (as they owned the flat at the end of the March 2015 year), but our solicitor never passed on these documents if they did. So, our first sight of this service charge adjustment was in March 2018, 3 years after the year to which it applied.

    I have asked LIV on a number of occasions to provide proof that a section 60b notice was issued to us, but (as it wasn't) they have simply ignored me.

    Early this week I received a letter from LIV threatening legal action and LOTS of additional costs (administration, solicitors) if we don't pay the outstanding debt within 7 days.

    The service charge adjustment for 2015 is £189. It is an amount we can afford to pay, but the principle of paying it is what is upsetting me as LIV are now bullying us into submission. Clearly, if it goes legal, the fees will likely be far in excess of this amount and given that LIV have far more funds than we have, there's a chance we may loose the case and end up paying a lot more than £189.

    It seems so unfair, but I know I'm going to have to pay this as I can't risk the additional fees.

    This is my last ditch attempt to find a reason not to comply, so would appreciate your thoughts :-)

    #2
    Pay the fee and then escalate the dispute to recover it.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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      #3
      With service charge dispute etc., the advice is always pay it first (under protest), THEN challenge it.
      I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

      I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

      Comment


        #4
        Hi and thanks for your feedback.

        I have decided to follow your advice and have paid the outstanding service charge under protest. Now to escalate the dispute using the LIV complaints process.......

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