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House with fleecehold debt need advise please.

Hi
all. I own a home on a new build estate that has a ground maintenance fee. 3 years ago I had an issue with a damaged fence so I contacted the management company over the phone to have it repaired. They didn’t do it for over a year so I stopped paying the charges. This fence had bits of damaged metal that scratched my son. Which was the last straw. Hence why I stopped paying. Then last year I received a letter from lmp law demanded I pay the charges and a £250 solicitor fee for the letter they sent to me. I contacted them and explained why I withheld payment they explained I couldn’t withhold payment so I asked them to set up a payment plan and agree to fix the fence. I contacted them today as I hadn’t heard from them since October and they forwarded an email from November that I had missed somehow which instead of a payment plan had a further £400 in costs added to it. Additionally to this she added a further £400 to the costs today. My charge is £560 costs added on by solicitor  are around £1200. 
Is there anything I can do. They are threatening to add this charge to my mortgage with an s121. Not too sure what this is. All help appreciated. 
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  • pinkshoes
    pinkshoes Posts: 20,005
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    Hi
    all. I own a home on a new build estate that has a ground maintenance fee. 3 years ago I had an issue with a damaged fence so I contacted the management company over the phone to have it repaired. They didn’t do it for over a year so I stopped paying the charges. This fence had bits of damaged metal that scratched my son. Which was the last straw. Hence why I stopped paying. Then last year I received a letter from lmp law demanded I pay the charges and a £250 solicitor fee for the letter they sent to me. I contacted them and explained why I withheld payment they explained I couldn’t withhold payment so I asked them to set up a payment plan and agree to fix the fence. I contacted them today as I hadn’t heard from them since October and they forwarded an email from November that I had missed somehow which instead of a payment plan had a further £400 in costs added to it. Additionally to this she added a further £400 to the costs today. My charge is £560 costs added on by solicitor  are around £1200. 
    Is there anything I can do. They are threatening to add this charge to my mortgage with an s121. Not too sure what this is. All help appreciated. 
    Pay it?

    I'm assuming these charges are listed in the ground maintenance fee paperwork you signed?

    Or pay the original charge and not any added charges, making it clear that you are paying the original charge, but expect them to also maintain the grounds, as per the contract.

    What was your son doing on the fence? Most fences are there as boundaries to areas, rather than things to climb on or brush past. 

    If you want the fence fixed and it makes up part of the ground that they are supposed to maintain, then you get together with other residents, and put in writing the request to have it fixed. If they don't do it, give them a sensible deadline to do it, making it clear court action will follow. If they still don't fix it, get a quote to have it fixed, and take them to court for this amount.


    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
  • Jonboy_1984
    Jonboy_1984 Posts: 1,194
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    Is the fence on your property?

    (just trying to understand how you got to the decision that withholding payment was a suitable solution). 
  • Is the fence on your property?

    (just trying to understand how you got to the decision that withholding payment was a suitable solution). 
    Sorry it’s not exactly a fence. This runs around a communal grass area. So it’s one that’s not owned by anyone privately. 
  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,392
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    edited 12 January at 11:00PM
    Failure to repair is not a reason to withold payment.  Injury to your son due to failure to repair after notification of a defect may be grounds to bring an action.

    A no win no fee lawyer may take it up and suggest to the managing agent a sum of £1200 may be an appropriate sum to bring an end to both issues.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,342
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    daveyjp said:
    Failure to repair is not a reason to withold payment.  Injury to your son due to failure to repair after notification of a defect may be grounds to bring an action.

    A no win no fee lawyer may take it up and suggest to the managing agent a sum of £1200 may be an appropriate sum to bring an end to both issues.
    Admittedly we don't have much detail about the extent of the OP's son's injuries (or what other evidence surrounds the incident) - but "scratched" doesn't immediately suggest to me a £1200 claim...
  • daveyjp said:
    Failure to repair is not a reason to withold payment.  Injury to your son due to failure to repair after notification of a defect may be grounds to bring an action.

    A no win no fee lawyer may take it up and suggest to the managing agent a sum of £1200 may be an appropriate sum to bring an end to both issues.

    I reported the fence to them initially and carried on paying.  Then about a year later my son got hurt and I stopped paying. My issue then was I didn’t report him getting injured to the maintenance company I just stopped paying until they’d fix it. I did take pictures at the time but if need to go through my gallery. Do you reckon I still have a claim. I can recall a neighbour’s child getting hurt in a similar manor as well. 
  • @pinkshoes
    id happily pay the £585 I owe. But don’t think the law firm will let it go at that. 


  • @pinkshoes
    id happily pay the £585 I owe. But don’t think the law firm will let it go at that. 


    He got hurt on one of these led pieces. It was sticking out a lot more than this. 
  • km1500
    km1500 Posts: 2,120
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    you need to separate the two issues

    firstly you need to pay the debt and all the charges associated with it as I would be very surprised if they were not correct. if you don't pay everything then all that will happen is you get further charges and maybe even court action against you

    you can of course ask them if they will set a payment plan

    separate to this you can look at maybe a claims lawyer and see if you can get anything for the injury to your child.
  • pinkshoes
    pinkshoes Posts: 20,005
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    @pinkshoes
    id happily pay the £585 I owe. But don’t think the law firm will let it go at that. 


    Well for starters just pay the £585 in the normal way! You cannot withhold the ground maintenance fee that is due. 

    You could then say you are not paying any additional fees because firstly you only withheld payment due to their negligence to maintain the grounds as per their contract, and secondly you find their fees excessive.

    You might even want to state that if they continue to pursue you for the additional fees added, you will be taking them to court for a personal injury claim for the injury that your child sustained due to their negligence. 
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
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