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    • Izzy79
    • By Izzy79 9th Mar 18, 9:39 PM
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    Izzy79
    Selling a leasehold flat - service charge surplus.
    • #1
    • 9th Mar 18, 9:39 PM
    Selling a leasehold flat - service charge surplus. 9th Mar 18 at 9:39 PM
    I sold my leasehold property in Feb 2017.
    I agreed that the buyer's solicitor kept a retention of 80 in case the Service Charge accounts were in deficit.
    I have recently received the accounts for the financial year in question and the accounts are in credit! So I am owed money.
    The management company say they just knock the surplus off the account (they say any surplus or deficit follows the property) and that I need to contact my solicitor.
    I have contacted my solicitor as I now want the 80 retention money back and I also want my share of the surplus back but she's not the best at helping.
    The buyer's solicitor do not seem to want to give me back the 80 (not sure why) and basically my solicitor has said I will have to pursue the new buyer for my share of the surplus.
    Is this correct?
    What can I do if the buyer's solicitor won't return my 80?
    Sorry for the long story. Any advice would be gratefully received.
Page 1
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 9th Mar 18, 11:26 PM
    • 6,306 Posts
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    eddddy
    • #2
    • 9th Mar 18, 11:26 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Mar 18, 11:26 PM
    You should get your 80 back.

    The buyer's solicitor may be waiting for their client (the buyer) to confirm that there was no deficit, and that the retention can be handed over.

    You're not their client, so they won't hand over the 80 at your request.


    Regarding the surplus - did your contract with the buyer say that you would get a share of any surplus? As far as I'm aware, that isn't usually part of a leasehold sale contract.

    If it doesn't say it in the contract, you wouldn't get a share of the surplus.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 9th Mar 18, 11:38 PM
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    G_M
    • #3
    • 9th Mar 18, 11:38 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Mar 18, 11:38 PM
    Who is holding the 80? Buyer's solicitor or yours? Write to whichever it is enclosing the accounts and requesting release of the 80.

    Confirmation will be needed from the buyer - if the buyer disputes, then you're into litigation....

    As edddy says, look at your contract. Wat does it say, if anything, about the surpless. If nothing, you'll be dependant on the goodwill of the buyer......
    • Izzy79
    • By Izzy79 10th Mar 18, 8:02 AM
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    Izzy79
    • #4
    • 10th Mar 18, 8:02 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Mar 18, 8:02 AM
    Thank you for your replies eddddy and G_M.
    I shall ask my solicitor what was in the contract regarding any surplus. But I guess I'll have to say goodbye to that.
    The buyer's solicitor is holding the 80 retention. I sent both sets of solicitors copies of the accounts clearly showing the surplus and my solicitor has sent the buyer's solicitor a letter requesting the return of the retention last month ....but nothing!!!
    If this continues is there some one I can complain to about the buyer's solicitor holding my money?

    Many thanks.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 10th Mar 18, 12:38 PM
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    G_M
    • #5
    • 10th Mar 18, 12:38 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Mar 18, 12:38 PM
    I shall ask my solicitor what was in the contract regarding any surplus.
    Originally posted by Izzy79
    Why? Why not look at your own copy?

    The buyer's solicitor is holding the 80 retention. I sent both sets of solicitors copies of the accounts clearly showing the surplus and my solicitor has sent the buyer's solicitor a letter requesting the return of the retention last month ....but nothing!!!
    If this continues is there some one I can complain to about the buyer's solicitor holding my money?
    As I said above, I believe litigation is the way to enforce.

    Though you could try a complaint to http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page

    Trouble with that is you can only complain about your own solicitor. You can't complain about the actions of a solicitor for whom you are not the client.
    • Izzy79
    • By Izzy79 11th Mar 18, 9:52 AM
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    Izzy79
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 18, 9:52 AM
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 18, 9:52 AM
    A quick update...
    To my surprise yesterday through the post, i received a cheque from the Management Company for the full amount of the surplus! Even though numerous people from the Management Company (told me and my solicitor) said they would not refund the surplus to me!!
    So now I actually owe the buyer his share of the surplus which can be taken out of the 80 retention and hopefully I'll get the difference back.
    Crazy that these management companies are so big and have so many branches over the country that they don't know the protocol for doing certain things.....
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 11th Mar 18, 10:41 AM
    • 6,306 Posts
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    eddddy
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 18, 10:41 AM
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 18, 10:41 AM
    A quick update...
    To my surprise yesterday through the post, i received a cheque from the Management Company for the full amount of the surplus! Even though numerous people from the Management Company (told me and my solicitor) said they would not refund the surplus to me!!
    So now I actually owe the buyer his share of the surplus which can be taken out of the 80 retention and hopefully I'll get the difference back.
    Crazy that these management companies are so big and have so many branches over the country that they don't know the protocol for doing certain things.....
    Originally posted by Izzy79
    Be careful about handing over any money to the buyer at this stage.

    Based on everything you've said, it sounds like this money has been paid to you by the management company in error. (The management company have even told you that they will not be paying you.)

    If a payment has been made in error, you must pay it back when requested.

    This could just be an error made by an accounts clerk who his picked up the wrong name and address from their systems.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 11th Mar 18, 11:45 AM
    • 44,056 Posts
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    G_M
    • #8
    • 11th Mar 18, 11:45 AM
    • #8
    • 11th Mar 18, 11:45 AM
    As edddy says, the 80 should be reclaimed via solicitors in the normal way. This cheque has no effect on that and, indeed, may be reclaimed in the future.

    But the old adage 'possession is 9/10th of the law' applies - so cash the cheque and hang on to the money for now.
    • Izzy79
    • By Izzy79 11th Mar 18, 4:20 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    Izzy79
    • #9
    • 11th Mar 18, 4:20 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Mar 18, 4:20 PM
    Shall be cashing the cheque in first thing tomorrow!
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