9:08 AM, 6th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago 8
Dear All, I am a leaseholder in a large building, and pay my half-yearly service charges on receipt of emailed invoices from the managing agent. Out of blue, I received an emailed bill this September from a debt collections law firm, demanding legal costs/late fees of £2,593 on top of ‘unpaid’ July service charge invoice of £1,541.
I immediately paid the July SC £1,541 invoice in full and explained to both firms that I had not received any email since the last SC invoice dated 13th May, therefore totally aware of this July invoice, and asked for evidence of it being electronically served on me.
I even offered to set up a Direct Debit with the managing agent, basically handing my bank account to them, in a desperate move to avoid future such pitfalls happening again.
I got virtually no response to my emails/calls until 5th October. Their email said: “It appears the original invoices were emailed and indeed received, yet this did not yield in payment”, but offered me a much-reduced legal cost of £966 as “a full and final settlement strictly on a Without Prejudice”, to be paid by 8 October 2021.
As they still have not provided evidence of the July SC invoice being served on me, I declined to pay the £966.
The whole experience has caused enormous mental distress while I am trying to recover from a recent physical injury. Despite knowing I am totally in the clean, these people’ threat to pursue me in court hounds me daily. I have put my flat in the market to avoid future trouble from this managing agent.
Is there any route to get assistance without hiring expensive lawyers (as I was told a loser does not need to pay for the winner’s legal cost)?
Any advice/support will be greatly appreciated.
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