Leaseholder in Australia not paying service charge/ground rent on time?

by Readers Question

13:16 PM, 24th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Leaseholder in Australia not paying service charge/ground rent on time?

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Leaseholder in Australia not paying service charge/ground rent on time?

I live in a property with 3 flats. One of the flat owners owns the share of freehold of the property along with myself. The leaseholder of the 3rd flat is failing to pay the service charge (£250 every 6 months) on time nor is he paying the yearly ground rent (£200) on time and is constantly in arrears and will pay when he feels like it. He lives in Australia so all communication is via email and text messages which he rarely responds to. We have put up with this for 4 years and it’s about time we got on top of this.late

I have been reading up about sending a formal demand notice in writing, but I am unable to send a letter to his home address in Australia because I do not know the address. I have only found a PO BOX address for his place of work (which appears it’s his own company) which I found on google. Can a formal demand notice be sent via email??

On top of this, the property is in desperate need of major works. A good £10k or so which we got 3 quotes for back in summer which will be split between the 3 flats. We are all in agreement that works need to be done and with the cost. Myself and the other share of freehold can pay for our share outright but the leaseholder cannot hence we are delaying works till next summer (even though the lease says he has to pay if we tell him too basically). I suggested a payment schedule for the next 6 months via email so that his funds are there in the maintenance account when we need to pay contractors (since we made the mistake in the past of paying contractors and them getting very angry with late payment as the leaseholder was not paying into the account on time).

What are the steps I need to take here?

Many Thanks
Maria



Comments

Neil Patterson

13:19 PM, 24th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Maria,

I am sorry I am personally short on answers, but the Leasehold Advisory Service is always a great place to start >> http://www.lease-advice.org/

John Pettman

14:56 PM, 24th October 2016
About 2 years ago

I would suggest that the very first thing you do is download a copy of his title from Land Registry
cost is only £3.00 plus another £3.00 if you want a copy of the filed plan which is not necessary in this case.
Hopefully you may find under the" Charges Register "that he has a mortgage secured on it. Then you write to the Mortgagee setting out you case and mentioning that the buildings insurance may not be renewed and that their security is at risk and further you will be forced to issue S146 notice regarding forfeiture of their security. If the property is tenanted the tenant may have an up to date address or put you in touch with any managing agents
Regards
John Pettman

Maria Cohen

11:55 AM, 17th November 2016
About 2 years ago

Thanks for your comments. Does a ground rent demand notice and a sevice charge demand notice legally have to be sent via post? Is email a suitable form of sending these notices? Thanks


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