What would you do?

by Readers Question

9:03 AM, 4th October 2018
About 3 months ago

What would you do?

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What would you do?

We have 3 properties. The landlord owns the freehold and estate agency below our 3 flats. We are the only people who own flats in this block. His wife runs a letting agency. She rented the 3 flats out for us, took deductions from our rental income to pay for her services, Vat, and also the landlord’s service charge (her husband), this totaled £2750.

Now, this was in 2014. Now, he is claiming he was never given this money by his wife, amazingly. So, we checked her company out and she declared it as dormant, never traded and closed it.

However, she invoiced us via this company, charged us VAT when we now find out she was not vat registered and so on and so on.

So, I guess my question is, can we chase her personally for the funds to be refunded via courts?

Many thanks

Paul



Comments

Neil Patterson

9:06 AM, 4th October 2018
About 3 months ago

Hi Paul,

It sounds like HMRC would be very interested in their situation so I am guessing they may be keen to repay the funds asap?

AA

10:28 AM, 4th October 2018
About 3 months ago

Agree - Also VAT fraud is a serious business. They are in serious s*** . They are just too dumb to realise this. If they are collecting VAT, whether they are above the threshold or not, they have to pay HMRC. So in a nutshell - fines, penalties, amount due , interest and a tax investigation. Get onto the HMRC hotline.
But you cannot be silent on this matter and have a duty to report this to HMRC.

Michael Barnes

13:12 PM, 4th October 2018
About 3 months ago

If he wasn't given the money by his wife, then it seems to me that that is his problem, not yours.

Darren Peters

10:26 AM, 5th October 2018
About 2 months ago

Presumably you paid his wife via bank transfer and not cash in hand? Or perhaps she held back part of the rent received? Either way you have a trail of the funds you've already paid.

Tim Rogers

10:48 AM, 5th October 2018
About 2 months ago

Agree with all the previous comments, definitely his problem not yours and HMRC / Vat man is going to be very interested.

I think this is your second post concerning this property, so I wondered if for the Longer term you had considered forcing the purchase of the freehold. It may well prove less of a cost than you think, will remove any further issues and deal with any future lease extensions etc...

Graham Bowcock

13:33 PM, 8th October 2018
About 2 months ago

Dear Paul

It seems like you have been taken in here, which is always unfortunate and one of those situations that gives the whole industry a bad name.

You mention a company and then ask if you can sue the owner personally. If you dealt with a limited company then the answer is no. Hopefully it will be clear from any correspondence (please tell me there is some) whether or not the lady was trading as a limited business or not. If she was, then your contract rests entirely with the limited company and it is this entity (which may have gone bust) that you have to pursue to recover funds.

If the lady was not limited and was a sole trader, then you can sue her personally for your money.

As for the husband's money, I think that you are perhaps legally on a sticky wicket here. It looks like the agent (wife) was acting as your agent, so effectively you have failed to pay the service charge. Husband and wife are not interchangeable when it comes to responsibility. It would be the same situation if they were not related; for example if you owed money to a plumber, you would still be liable if you agent did not pay it.

I am intrigued as to what these people have said to you. They clearly need to maintain some ongoing relationship due to the leasehold situation, so it beggars belief that they are behaving like they are. If they are not prepared to sort things out the suing them is your best way forward - and reporting them anyway for VAT fraud.

Good luck
Graham


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