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Shared ownership rent incorrectly charged.
Hi all, I hope everyone is well.
I have a question that I am unable to find any way of answering at present and am hoping some one may be able to offer a little help with.
About 4 years ago I finally got on the property ladder with a local housing association by buying a 30% share of a property. This of course means I have a mortgage toward the 30% I bought and pay rent on the remaining 70%. This has been working well up until last week.
I received a letter from the housing association saying I was just short of £500 in arrears with my rent for the year April 2023 to March 2024. Apparently they had been undercharging me, but the only paperwork I have from them says my monthly rent is exactly what they have been taking via direct debit. They are now saying it is nearly £50 a month more than they have been charging and they want me to pay up.
Obviously the timing is bad as I had just got home from Christmas at my mums, but worse than that, I am getting married in March and have bills coming out of my ears, so it really couldn't have come at a worse time.
I have told them that this is their mistake and I have the direct debit payment schedule from them in writing, which I have paid without fail.They have of course offered to setup a payment schedule, which I agreed I would discuss with them, but I also told them that I would need to check if they are within their rights to renege on a written payment schedule (which I have). I also questioned why it has taken them 9 months to realise this mistake and pointed out that it puts me in a very difficult situation financially. All they did was flex their muscles and say they would escalate the situation if I didn't pay.
Is it acceptable that they sent paperwork saying I owe £x per month, which I have paid without fail, and then decide they should have charged £x + £50 per month? Or can they only start charging the extra from the point where they actually issue notice?
It just seems rather one sided to me and at a time when I am already stretched to the limit financially. And while they have said it was their mistake, they have not made any apology, they are just acting in an aggressive manner with a very matter of fact attitude.
Any help or advice would be very gratefully received.
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