Freeholder playing dirty tricks

by Readers Question

20:53 PM, 30th March 2015
About 4 years ago

Freeholder playing dirty tricks

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Freeholder playing dirty tricks

I have a dispute around ground rent with the property management company and desperately need some advice. Freeholder playing dirty tricks

I am the owner of flat and as per the lease agreement there is a £200 ground rent charge that I am liable to pay annually. As per the agreed procedure, they send me a letter demanding ground rent, after which I make the payment.

This year, the first letter I received from the management company was on the 14/02/15 which had the ground rent charge along with late payment charge of £35. I immediately called them to enquire about this late payment charge, as this was the very first letter I’d received from them. According to their agent they had sent an initial letter on the 17/11/14, which I never received. On the same call I offered to pay them the ground rent of £200 excluding the late payment charge. They declined to accept the payment on the grounds that I have to pay the entire amount including the late payment charge as well. When i challenged the late payment charge, I was asked to write an email explaining the situation. I did exactly that, but never had a response back from them. I have emails with date and time stamp to show that the email were send to the management company as requested.

The next I heard in this matter was another letter, this time from a property debt collection company with an additional fee of £235 on top of the ground rent, for total charges of £435!!!

I have now written letter several letters to the company requesting to explain the reason for these charges when I had offered to pay in the first instance. I have explained that I wrote an email to them, as per their request, when their agent declined my previous offer but never received any clear response from them.

Can anybody advise what I should do next please?

Regards

Arun Aiyer



Comments

Mark Weedon

10:32 AM, 31st March 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Arun

Send them a cheque for £200 recorded delivery advising them that if they do not accept you will refer the matter to the FFT.

I would suggest you diary the date the ground rent is due in future and send it without waiting for their request.

AA Properties Wales

13:31 PM, 31st March 2015
About 4 years ago

What's the name of this company?? I have been through.The same and WON

Shakeel Ahmad

13:55 PM, 31st March 2015
About 4 years ago

I have had the sane issues with F/H. Some times they don't post it in order to slap on the charges.

Please check all the details on the demand are correct i.e. they have the address of the property, the period, name of the Freeholder, Freeholders address etc. As this is required by law.

Get your demand by email. This way there is no issues of delivery and you can also make an internet payment.

Advance Block Management

14:11 PM, 31st March 2015
About 4 years ago

I would pay the ground rent which is due. Than also write a letter advising the situation and explain why their admin charges haven't been paid. If you know when the ground rent should be paid, I would also advise for you to chase the demand up if you don't receive it in time. Good luck.

Tony Church

22:55 PM, 31st March 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Advance Block Management" at "31/03/2015 - 14:11":

This sounds familiar I had more or less the same experience with a freeholder, where I own a flat, i was also a little late with a ground rent payment , then they added fee after fee after fee to the ground rent, which totaled up to more than £800 which they claim they are adding daily interest payments.in my opinion This is disgraceful.
Who is the FFT?

Gary Nock

7:10 AM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

1.Write a letter sent recorded delivery to Freeholder and debt collectors stating that the admin charges and fees are in dispute. That further harassment for the debt is in breach of Section 40 Administration of Justice Act and the Office Of Fair Trading Guidelines 2012 for collection of debt. Advise debt collectors you will contact their trade body to request removal of their licence if they persist. If they breach what is in (2) below advise Freeholder of this and tell them you will apply to First Tier Tribunal for a detrtmination. If you have apied to FTT (£65) then any County Court actionis placed on hold until a determination is made.

2. Check with Lease wrbsite and look at the section on ground rent demands. Unless the demand was in the prescribed form, to the address notified by you to them for service of demands and is in no less than 10 font then you can withold payment and no sanction can be imposed.

money manager

14:34 PM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

A management company may be entitled to send a demand to the property address unless otherwise notified by you, it is quite possible that a tenant may file it in the nearest bin; check your lease. If you are resident the ground rent demand must be in a specified form to be enforceable. The late payment charge in our leases are specified as a %margin over a specified bank's base rate with the account only being in arrears after fourteen days. Check your lease, some mngt. co's blatantly try it on or are ignorant of the lease.

A not disimilar situation occured to us where the conveyancing solicitor paid the then overdue ground rent from completion monies whereupon the mngt. co banked the cheque and forgot to transfer the account. They got short short shrift when finally levying a subsequent demand.

Shakeel Ahmad

17:02 PM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

They try it on i,e the management company.

Gary Nock

20:28 PM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 overrule any parts of lease in relation to service charge demands and penalties.

Doug Green

11:43 AM, 4th April 2015
About 4 years ago

We are having the same issue, thee Management agent being Simarc. I don't recall why we missed a ground rent payment, but wrote saying the fine was unreasonable etc, and sent a cheque for the rent, not the fine, registered.

The cheque came back, wouldn't accept it alone. Similar story to above.

We are taking guidance from the Leasehold Advisory Service.

I'll follow this with interest of course!

Regards - Doug

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