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Property Management company, Court claim / CCJ help!

Hi all,

First post so please bear with me. 

I have had an ongoing dispute with the property management company that is supposed to look after our housing estate. I haven't paid anything since they took over in 2020 and now it has eventually escalated to recieving a claim form. It is worth noting that there have been many, many complaints about the company from all residents on the estate, however they have successfully bullied all but around 9 of us into paying. 

The amount owed was £700, which was then escalated to £900 with the debt collection letter and now the claim form has come through from court, it is now at £2400. It's absurd but busines is business i suppose, but here are my issues below:

1) I haven't been very good at keeping the complaints towards the management company ongoing. I have always captured photos of the estate through my time here, but usually somebody on the estate has collated images and sent them. There was a meeting once with the management company rep a couple of years ago but it was at 11am on a weekend so everyone was at work...

2) When I received the debt collection letter, I had sent an email to both the management company to explain my complaint and issue further, and also to the debt collection company to say that I had contacted the management company with my complaints and queries. Both of these emails were not acknowledged by either party. Should there be some chain of communication after the debt advice letter? Can they ignore my emails and just send me a court claim?

3) The claimant on the debt collection letter and the court claim form is a housing association I have nothing to do with. The figures etc are all correct as to what the company claims I owe them (and I would if the work on our estate was being carried out, but then I would also have no issue paying). But the claimant is a housing association I have never had anything to do with, no contact, no nothing. The management company is noted as an agent in the court claim form. I have contacted the housing association via phone and have spoken to two different people who both seemed confused and one of them actually told me he is unsure how they are taking me to court as I have no legal relationship with them at all. My details are not on their system etc. Can i dispute the court claim on the grounds that I have had no dealings with the housing association and therefore I haven't been able to speak to anyone who knows anything about the case there?
If the management company is working on behalf of the housing association, can the housing association still claim against me?

I'm in a bit of a hole and as much as I resent this horrendous company, I wish I had just paid at £900 and just lost the headache tbh. I am of course very concerned about getting a CCJ now too. It feels completely like financial bullying to me. I am trying to atleast just take this a step back so I may have the option to do just that, but in order to do that, I presume I have to prove the county court claim form has been wrongfully filed. I've had lack of communication through this whole process from all parties, no contact information for claiming company at all, and of course, have no connection at all to the claimant.

Any help would be great! Ive tried ringing all the helplines but they either cant help me because of my situation or becuase of the type of claim it is, or can't help with the legal side of things. I just want to be clear before I send any forms back to the court.

Thank you for reading and thanks in advance,



  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Forumite Posts: 6,175
    1,000 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Presumably the Housing Association is the freeholder or master leaseholder? In which case your lease would be with them, normally it's the management company you have no direct contract with as its the freeholder that's established them as their agent to look after the day to day running. 
  • eddddy
    eddddy Forumite Posts: 15,431
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper

    I don't think you've said - do you own a leasehold flat; or a leasehold house; or a freehold house; or something else (are you a tenant, for example)?

  • coypondboy
    coypondboy Forumite Posts: 93
    Second Anniversary 10 Posts
    beware of the forfeiture of lease rules if you do not pay your service charge
  • Raz123456
    Raz123456 Forumite Posts: 2
    Name Dropper First Post
    @DullGreyGuy thanks for replying. I have no idea to be honest. I've looked back through all my documents and there is nothing to say anyone owns or leasing any of the land on the estate. I purchased my house directly from the builders and until now I've had absolutely zero communication or relationship with the housing association. Any comms have been from the management company including invoices each year for the service charge costs.

    @eddddy thanks for replying. I own my house/mortgage on a freehold. So completely away from any housing association ties there. 

    @coypondboy thanks for replying. Yeah I have seen all that in my documents when I bought the house. Worst case I can afford to pay the fee, but it's just so begrudging as its all stemmed from the poor service received and then poor communication with regards to debt collecting. I have no comms at all with the housing association and upon calling them, they had no idea who I was so not sure I could have resolved it with them?
  • eddddy
    eddddy Forumite Posts: 15,431
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper

    It looks like @DullgreyGuy and @coypondboy thought your property was leasehold.

    If your property is freehold, their comments don't really apply.

    If your house is freehold, you probably signed a transfer deed when you bought it - so you agreed to the terms of the deed. That deed will say what charges you have to pay, and for example, what extra you can be charged if you don't pay on time.

    So you can read that deed to see if it allows the management company to charge you all the extra fees and legal costs. But the bad news is, it probably does allow them to.

    You can show the deed to a 'specialist' solicitor if you want, to see if they agree that you have to pay - but then you'll have to pay the solicitor's fee as well.

    And/or you can pay the charges "under protest" or "without prejudice" - to stop the court action. Then have some time to think through whether you want to argue, or even take the management company to court.

    Or you can try negotiating with the management company - maybe something like "If I pay immediately, can you waive some of the fees?" (But that might be wishful thinking.)

    If the service charges are set-up as something called an "Estate Rentcharge", things might be very serious. The Management Company might be able to take possession of your house if you don't pay.

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