Reasonable solictor fees for debt letters?

by Readers Question

20:12 PM, 10th April 2017
About 2 years ago

Reasonable solictor fees for debt letters?

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Reasonable solictor fees for debt letters?

I own a small flat in a Victorian Block and over the last 3 years the management company have constantly been requesting improvements fees, to the tune of around £30,000 over the last 3 years. As they do not accept credit cards, I usually wait till their solicitor writes me a letter then I pay the solicitor by credit card together with a 2% card fee.

Usually they send me an LA1 letter by post and email and I pay immediately by card. However, I have been on holiday the last 2.5 weeks and when I returned yesterday there was an LA1 letter demanding payment of £5,800 within 7 days, and another LA2 letter demanding payment within 7 days again – except that the first one has a fee of £155 plus VAT and the second one a further fee of £100 plus VAT.

I immediately called the solicitors and told them that I had been on holiday and as they did not send any emails this time, I had no way of knowing that they had sent a letter as I was on holiday – I sent them proof of my flight tickets as well.

They came back and simply refused to waive the second fee of £100 saying that it’s not their problem that I as on holiday (“and in any case emails are a courtesy and they do not need to send them”) and that I should pay it or else they will take court action or approach my mortgage provider to pay it.

I feel that for a BOG STANDARD letter, the fee of £150 and then £100 on top of that for the second one is unreasonable, and secondly in any case that 7 days’ notice is also unreasonable – had it been 14 days, I would have been able to pay it when I come back before the second letter was sent

Is there anyone out there with advice for me on how to handle this? I just feel that the fees are unreasonable.

Thanks

Cliff



Comments

Rob Crawford

14:13 PM, 11th April 2017
About 2 years ago

Hi Cliff, please can you advise if the fees have been agreed in the contract you have with the management company? From what you have explained I assume they bill you a couple of times prior to their engagement of a solicitor to collect the debt. If so the delay in payment is your choice and as such you will suffer the debt collection solicitor fee. Most solicitors will administer a minimum 1 hour fee circa £70 - £250. As such I doubt the fee charged would be seen as unreasonable.

Yasin Leysan

9:51 AM, 16th April 2017
About 2 years ago

Hello Dear,

Write them a letter explaining the reasoning you have not paid and offer them your affordable terms to settle the unpaid amount and they should accept this without taking court action, but if they ignore this then you have this letter to show to the court that your willing to sort out this matter but is them who are treating you unfairly by refusing way of payment plus adding up unnecessary extra charges.

I hope this helps


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