Refused payment on service charge?

by Readers Question

8:27 AM, 27th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Refused payment on service charge?

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Refused payment on service charge?

I have paid our landlord by cheque our service charge less an amount that I am in dispute hence not the full amount asked for.cheque

They have refused the cheque and say that it has been shredded and have now employed a solicitor to collect arrears!

As far as I am concerned the cheque is still in circulation as I have no proof it was shredded and they refused payment.

It is not my fault that the service charge is now overdue – anyone any ideas.

David



Comments

Neil Patterson

8:31 AM, 27th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi David,

As you are in dispute the Landlord did not want to accept your cheque for a lesser amount as it might imply that they are accepting your terms. Therefore they are still going for you for the full amount (rightly or wrongly).

Even if you have been told a cheque is destroyed you should still always stop the cheque with the bank. Therefore you can safely issue a new cheque if you so wish in the future.

Robert Mellors

10:00 AM, 27th April 2016
About 3 years ago

As well as getting the bank to stop the cheque as Neil suggests, I would suggest that you then make payment to them for the amount you wish to pay (the part that is not in dispute) by BACS transfer direct into their bank account.

Personally, I would also issue them with an invoice for any bank charge you've had to pay for stopping the cheque (if they did not wish to accept the cheque, then they should have returned it to you, not shredded it). Send the invoice with a covering letter advising that reasonable administration charges will be added for any future debt collection letters you have to send, any referrals to debt collection agencies, any legal action, etc, and that statutory interest may be charged. - But perhaps that is just me responding to a perceived injustice, and it could end up getting very messy and time consuming, so most people may be best to avoid escalating this (especially if there is any chance of resolving the initial dispute).

Karen Peel

10:18 AM, 27th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi David

Unfortuntely what you are doing will only end up costing you dearly.
The law states you have to pay what you owe on the service charge and argue it later!

I know it is not right but that is the law.

Don't fall into the trap that has been set for you by the landlords.... I have seen it time and time again... Principles will cost you dearly if you are not careful.

Please do some homework on the Leasehold Knowledge web sit or the government funded quango http://www.lease-advice.org, but I would suggest you do not use their recommended lawyers but get your own!

S.E. Landlord

10:35 AM, 27th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Pay the full service charge, add a comment paid under duress if you wish.

Then request any documentation and copy of receipts relating to the items you wish to dispute, check what your lease says on the matter and write to the landlord quoting the lease and ask they credit your account with the amount. If not satisfied with response consider taking them to the FTT or possibly issue a county court summons who may refer it to the FTT.

Steve From Leicester

11:14 AM, 27th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Pay up and write "Without prejudice" across the top of the cheque. Dispute it later.

Stop the old cheque and don't get into a petty argument about the tenner it costs you to do so - focus on the actual dispute.

David Aneurin

14:12 PM, 27th April 2016
About 3 years ago

What are the disputed amounts?

david corless

17:20 PM, 27th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "David Aneurin" at "27/04/2016 - 14:12":

hello David
the amount is the percentage charge per flat in the unit
for 13 years it was a set rate until the new mgn company took over and increased my percentage
hence increasing my costs
so I have adjusted the money to the old rate

david corless

17:23 PM, 27th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "S.E. Landlord" at "27/04/2016 - 10:35":

they will not accept a chq now saying it is with their solictors
so issueing another will only bring the same result

david corless

17:27 PM, 27th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "27/04/2016 - 08:31":

yes have stated that the chq should have been returned
and have stated that I have no proof of it been destroyed therefore as far as I am concerned it is still in circulation with them therefore they are holding the amount on the chq
that is why I am not stopping the chq
David

S.E. Landlord

17:35 PM, 27th April 2016
About 3 years ago

I think I would ring Lease for advice, I would also either send a cheque for the full amount and keep photocopy of cheque with letter and proof of posting or get a solicitor to do it on my behalf.

As to what is the correct amount of service charge, what does the lease say as to how service charges should be calculated, if your amount has gone up has somebody elses gone down. The landlord should also explain how the percentage has been arrived at.

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