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    • skeet79
    • By skeet79 13th Jun 19, 8:38 AM
    • 9Posts
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    skeet79
    Claim for Historic Service Charge
    • #1
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:38 AM
    Claim for Historic Service Charge 13th Jun 19 at 8:38 AM
    Hi - hoping someone can advise...

    Out of the blue this month, I've had a claim from a debt recovery service for 500 to cover service charge underpayments (including 80 admin fee from my management company and 200-odd from the debt recovery company itself).

    I have a complete service charge payment history, and this is the first I've heard that I've underpaid. It may well be that I've missed an adjustment, but nobody has ever told me this (and the service charge company have said that i'm currently paying the right amount).

    The statement they've given me doesn't really account for how the debt was accrued, it just has two lines " B/Fwd Balance From XXXX to 31.03.2018" and "SCA Deficit Y/E 31.12.2017". These account for periods before the current management company took over.

    I'm happy to settle any debts that have accidentally accrued, but I'm a bit uncomfortable with the way this is asked. I would have liked to have seen a more detailed month-by-month breakdown, rather than essentially a line that says 'money what you owe someone that isn't us' - otherwise I've no way of checking the accuracy of the claim, the independence of the two debts, or the timeliness of the request?

    How would folk proceed?
Page 1
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 13th Jun 19, 9:01 AM
    • 9,510 Posts
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    EssexHebridean
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:01 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:01 AM
    I think if it were me in the first instance I'd write saying that as far as I was concerned I did not owe this money as my service charge account is up to date, and has been up to date throughout my tenure, and this has been confirmed by the management company, so could they please go away and leave me alone as this is not my debt.

    If they wish to pursue things after that, tell them to provide a full detailed breakdown of the charges they are demanding - dates, items, and copies of correspondence from the management company where this was notified to you. Have you contacted the old management company themselves to see what they say?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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    • skeet79
    • By skeet79 13th Jun 19, 9:07 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    skeet79
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:07 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:07 AM
    I'm not sure the old management company are still in existence (and they're also referencing the management company before that).

    It may well be that I've accidentally underpaid waaay back when, but I didn't know this. I'm happy to take it on the chin if it is my debt, but it feels a bit heavy not to at least show me a full statement of account.
    • muhandis
    • By muhandis 13th Jun 19, 9:10 AM
    • 981 Posts
    • 729 Thanks
    muhandis
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:10 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:10 AM
    If they haven't ever tried to recover any underpayments from you previously and this is the first you are hearing of it, I wouldn't cough up any random admin fees, etc and would certainly expect a clear explanation as to the breakdown of the claimed debt.

    I'm not sure the old management company are still in existence (and they're also referencing the management company before that).

    It may well be that I've accidentally underpaid waaay back when, but I didn't know this. I'm happy to take it on the chin if it is my debt, but it feels a bit heavy not to at least show me a full statement of account.
    Originally posted by skeet79
    • skeet79
    • By skeet79 13th Jun 19, 9:14 AM
    • 9 Posts
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    skeet79
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:14 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:14 AM
    Thanks. I've basically replied to both the management company and the debt recovery folk to say "if you could give me a month by month breakdown of my statement in the period affected, I'd be happy to review my bank account to confirm any alleged underpayment"

    So far, they just keep replying with the same statement, with balanced carried forward and a clean set of payments.

    Just wait it out?
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 13th Jun 19, 9:17 AM
    • 9,510 Posts
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    EssexHebridean
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:17 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:17 AM
    Thanks. I've basically replied to both the management company and the debt recovery folk to say "if you could give me a month by month breakdown of my statement in the period affected, I'd be happy to review my bank account to confirm any alleged underpayment"

    So far, they just keep replying with the same statement, with balanced carried forward and a clean set of payments.

    Just wait it out?
    Originally posted by skeet79
    I'd also make the point that so far as you are concerned there is no debt owing until they prove otherwise, be careful not to do anything that could be seen as acknowledging a debt, won't you.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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    • skeet79
    • By skeet79 19th Jun 19, 11:00 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    skeet79
    • #7
    • 19th Jun 19, 11:00 AM
    • #7
    • 19th Jun 19, 11:00 AM
    I'd also make the point that so far as you are concerned there is no debt owing until they prove otherwise, be careful not to do anything that could be seen as acknowledging a debt, won't you.
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Ok, I did this - but I'm getting nowhere. I've had a final demand for payment from the debt collection agency and no response to my emails saying that I contest the debt and want to see a more detailed breakdown.

    With the property company I'm stuck in a cycle of asking for a full statement of account and getting answers like this:

    "Good morning,

    Apologies for the delayed response,

    As your account has be referred to our debt collection company we are unable to send you an account statement, you will need to contact Property debt collect directly to arrange to clear the arrears on your account."
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 19th Jun 19, 11:18 AM
    • 758 Posts
    • 489 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    • #8
    • 19th Jun 19, 11:18 AM
    • #8
    • 19th Jun 19, 11:18 AM
    Try a subject access request. The property company has 30 days to send you any personal information including these statements.

    Contact the debt collector and tell them you are seeking further advice/information as you do not owe the money.

    Sounds like amateurs or a self-managed operation.
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.
    • skeet79
    • By skeet79 19th Jun 19, 2:46 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    skeet79
    • #9
    • 19th Jun 19, 2:46 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Jun 19, 2:46 PM
    So I got a more detailed response including a statement which evidences underpayment against a historic service charge (until now, I had no idea about this ... but fine, I'll accept this part)

    The other half of the debt is simply labelled 'accounting deficit' ... but without any breakdown of what this actually relates to?
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 19th Jun 19, 4:07 PM
    • 758 Posts
    • 489 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    Was the service charge as part of a leasehold agreement or as part of a rental agreement?

    If it was the former, you'll need to read your lease - but they are usually watertight. But if you do want to challenge a leasehold bill you can do it at the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)

    https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/first-tier-tribunal-property-chamber
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 20th Jun 19, 10:48 AM
    • 9,510 Posts
    • 48,974 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    I'd also want more information on that "accounting deficit" before paying up, personally. Almost sounds like "we messed up the figures and are trying to claw it back without telling anyone it was out error" doesn't it!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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