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    • straas
    • By straas 11th Jan 18, 1:54 PM
    • 78Posts
    • 62Thanks
    Ground rent arrears / Debt collection
    • #1
    • 11th Jan 18, 1:54 PM
    Ground rent arrears / Debt collection 11th Jan 18 at 1:54 PM
    Hi, hoping for a bit of help:

    We purchased our home approx 4 years ago, and didn't receive a demand for ground rent until December 2017.

    The letter demanded the ground rent arrears and an administration charge of 60.

    I was in the process of querying the charge with the ground rent company and am currently awaiting a reply as I asked for a breakdown of the administration charge as I felt it was unduly high.

    The total of the administration charge and the ground rent arrears was circa 76

    Today I have received a letter from a debt collection agency demanding nearly 400.

    Where do I stand on this?

Page 2
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Jan 18, 12:32 PM
    • 44,393 Posts
    • 52,681 Thanks
    I've paid the 16 and send emails to both the ground rent company and debt collectors.
    Originally posted by straas
    I would pay the 16 immediately, and then write (letter - OK send an email version as well) reviewing the history eg
    Why ask for advice but then ignore it?
    • straas
    • By straas 12th Jan 18, 1:43 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Why ask for advice but then ignore it?
    Originally posted by G_M
    I sent the letter, but obviously the email went first.
    • straas
    • By straas 15th Jan 18, 1:10 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    I received a letter from the ground rent company declining my payment and referring me to the debt collection agency.

    I have had no response from the debt collection agency.

    What should I do? When I spoke to them they said I had 7 days from the date on the letter(9th Jan) before "the next step"
    • G_M
    • By G_M 15th Jan 18, 1:23 PM
    • 44,393 Posts
    • 52,681 Thanks
    What does 'declining' mean? You sent a cheque and they sent it back?

    or they simply wrote back saying..... whatever, but your payment is in their bank?

    If they ignored your questions I would write again requseting replies.

    This may go to court, but the more correspondance you produce for the court showing you have

    a) paid
    b) been reasonable
    c) asked reasonable questions which have been ignored

    the better the court's view of you will be.
    • straas
    • By straas 15th Jan 18, 3:09 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    I attempted a payment on their website, they sent a letter saying they'd declined it.

    I sent the payment on Friday and received the letter on Saturday so I assume it was automated.

    I've been doing a bit of research and someone on the consumer action group forums states that the administration charge should be accompanied by a summary of rights - the one I received wasn't - does this mean the administration charge is not valid?

    They furthermore have added 120 to the account for passing it over to the debt collectors - which accounts for the jump from 76 - 392 somewhat.
    • Richard Webster
    • By Richard Webster 15th Jan 18, 4:57 PM
    • 7,451 Posts
    • 7,179 Thanks
    Richard Webster
    I gather this is a lease of a house. Any idea of the date of the lease?

    It is only in very recent years that admin charges like this have been added to lease wording. My guess is that if the ground rent is only 4pa then the lease is at least 50 if not nearer 100 years old.

    So you quite reasonably ask them to state where in the lease wording it says they can add on an admin charge.

    When you bought your solicitors should have given you the name and address of the freeholder and at that time they should have been told of your details as new lessee. If when you bought the freehold title was not registered (very possible if the freehold had been in the same hands for many years) your sellers may not have had a ground demand from their then freeholder for many years and did not have up to date details for him. Perhaps the freehold changed hands and the new freeholder decided to seek back ground rent?

    As a retired conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful assuming any properties concerned are in England/Wales but I accept no liability for it.
    • straas
    • By straas 16th Jan 18, 2:12 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    The lease dates from 1929 - I don't have any wording as such of the lease. I dug out the documents for when we bought and I have a letter off the conveyancer stating that 4/ year is due to a named individual (not the current ground rent company)

    The reply I initially had off the ground rent company (before they stopped communicating) states that the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 over rides any wording in the lease?

    What about not supplying the summary of rights when the demand for an administration charge was sent?
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