7:52 AM, 8th July 2018, About 5 years ago 41
I purchase a leasehold flat in late 2005, during the several years I lived there and for the following 5 years it was let, never at any time did I received correspondence from either the Freehold Co. or their Management Company.
During this time or the first 2 years there were numerous letters addressed to the former owner, all from the same company. I took these to the estate agent whom I bought through to enquire if they held a forwarding address or could contact the company. The letters kept coming, several times I returned to sender with “No Longer at this Address” written on the envelope.
In 2014 in my absence I was presented a bill for outstanding service charge arrears for £6,500 approx. As I was working abroad and the tenants/letting agents were too slow in contacting me, I was unable to enter any defence. So a CCJ was enter by default.
Since 2014 I have been challenging this and at no time have I, nor my solicitors been able to obtain any letters, invoices, service charge demands or such like that were served to my flat in my name prior to 2010.
I have made several thousand pounds in payments to reduce the sum, never accepting and always “under protest” awaiting documentation.
From when I purchased in 2005 there were a number of Residential Management Co. employed, before the current ones took over in April 2010. Both previous companies were dismissed under non too convivial circumstances, both no longer exist. One of them had a serious fire destroying its offices in 2007.
The current RMA had to do a “Trace of Ownership” with the Land Registry in July 2013 to find the identity of the leasehold/owner for the County Courts I assume. Then paid a further fee as “Registration”. This does seem to indicate that they were unaware of who owned the property.
But they maintain that from 2010 they were sending correspondences to the flat in my name. But have failed in all this time or been able to provide any proof of these.
The earliest correspondence they have provided which showed an Open Balance of nearly £3,000 from the period 2005-11, when the management was conducted by the two other agents. However the Freeholder should have the copies, right?
Now I am selling the property and although initially they made an offer in final settlement for £1442, but when my solicitors requested how this figure was deduced and would they mark the CCJ as “satisfied” on payment, the Freeholder who then having got wind of my pending sale, withdrew the offer increasing it to £3,000…..But again without anything to quantify this figure.