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  • FIRST POST
    • Stuckinmud
    • By Stuckinmud 17th May 18, 9:21 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Stuckinmud
    Possible forced sale sale of apartment!
    • #1
    • 17th May 18, 9:21 PM
    Possible forced sale sale of apartment! 17th May 18 at 9:21 PM
    I need advice...

    My mother owns a property in London.

    Now she has failed to pay her contribution towards the maintenance on time. I believe there is 12k outstanding.

    Now I've been told that the council are trying to force the sale of the flat. I believe the solicitors have actioned a court order.

    Now I'm wondering what can I do to slow the process/ limit the damage my mother has created.

    I plan on reconciling my mothers supposed payments against the original invoice. However, I don't know what to do regarding the legal side of things. I know the story that I've told is lacking detail, but this is all that I know at this point in time.
    I've requested copies of all of the legal documents, so hopefully I will be able to gain a greater understanding surrounding this hot mess within the next couple of days.

    Now I would appreciate it if someone could point towards the right direction regarding say legal counsel (preferably free as I'm a broke grad fresh out of uni) or say legal sites.

    Note:
    Background on what I can do to settle the liability.
    I plan on taking over the management of this property in September. I can't do so now as I'm abroad completing an internship/I'm not liquid. I will be starting a graduate role in September and I will be using my salary to settle the liabilities on this apartment.
Page 1
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 17th May 18, 9:51 PM
    • 7,665 Posts
    • 7,802 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #2
    • 17th May 18, 9:51 PM
    • #2
    • 17th May 18, 9:51 PM
    What about your mother's financial position? Is the reason she hasn't paid the bills because she can't afford to, or something else?


    Does she live in the property?
    • John-K
    • By John-K 17th May 18, 10:00 PM
    • 654 Posts
    • 1,011 Thanks
    John-K
    • #3
    • 17th May 18, 10:00 PM
    • #3
    • 17th May 18, 10:00 PM
    If you slow the process she!!!8217;ll likely rack up more fees. Why has she not been paying, and what has happened to get to this point?
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 17th May 18, 10:04 PM
    • 58,492 Posts
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    Thrugelmir
    • #4
    • 17th May 18, 10:04 PM
    • #4
    • 17th May 18, 10:04 PM
    I plan on taking over the management of this property in September.
    Originally posted by Stuckinmud
    Future plans have no relevance. Action is required now. Sounds as if the Council has provided ample time for the matter to be resolved. Court being the final option.
    Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 17th May 18, 11:02 PM
    • 6,336 Posts
    • 6,193 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #5
    • 17th May 18, 11:02 PM
    • #5
    • 17th May 18, 11:02 PM
    Now she has failed to pay her contribution towards the maintenance on time. I believe there is 12k outstanding.

    Now I've been told that the council are trying to force the sale of the flat.
    Originally posted by Stuckinmud
    You need to be careful.

    Is the freeholder attempting to force a sale, or much worse, is the freeholder applying to forfeit the lease?

    Forfeiting the lease is a draconian measure, it means the lease ends with no compensation to the leaseholder (i.e. your mother loses a flat that may be worth hundreds of thousands.)

    As LEASE says...

    A leaseholder who fails to pay service charges, ground rent or administration charges which are due, could face sanctions from the landlord. These could include the landlord seeking a county court judgement, approaching the leaseholder!!!8217;s mortgage company and ultimately the landlord could seek to forfeit the lease and repossess the house or flat. This is a right in law, but it is not possible to obtain possession without a court order. The process is commenced, generally, by the service of a valid notice under section 146 of the Law of Property Act 1925, the Notice of Seeking Possession.

    Link: https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/service-charges-other-issues/#32
    • Stuckinmud
    • By Stuckinmud 18th May 18, 9:13 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Stuckinmud
    • #6
    • 18th May 18, 9:13 AM
    • #6
    • 18th May 18, 9:13 AM
    She can't afford to pay the bills.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 18th May 18, 9:37 AM
    • 20,148 Posts
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    agrinnall
    • #7
    • 18th May 18, 9:37 AM
    • #7
    • 18th May 18, 9:37 AM
    She can't afford to pay the bills.
    Originally posted by Stuckinmud
    Then she can't afford to live there. I suggest she sells and moves to somewhere that she can afford.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 18th May 18, 9:43 AM
    • 7,665 Posts
    • 7,802 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #8
    • 18th May 18, 9:43 AM
    • #8
    • 18th May 18, 9:43 AM
    She can't afford to pay the bills.
    Originally posted by Stuckinmud
    And it sounds like you can't either. So is selling it a bad idea?
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 18th May 18, 9:43 AM
    • 4,364 Posts
    • 6,242 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #9
    • 18th May 18, 9:43 AM
    • #9
    • 18th May 18, 9:43 AM
    She can't afford to pay the bills.
    Originally posted by Stuckinmud

    You can't just not pay the bills because you can't afford it. If you can't afford to live where you are living you sell the flat and move to somewhere that you can afford.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 18th May 18, 10:06 AM
    • 6,336 Posts
    • 6,193 Thanks
    eddddy
    Now she has failed to pay her contribution towards the maintenance on time. I believe there is 12k outstanding.
    Originally posted by Stuckinmud
    She can't afford to pay the bills.
    Originally posted by Stuckinmud

    You and your mother REALLY, REALLY need to get to grips with this and find out what legal steps the council (the freeholder) is taking.


    This pensioner owed 9k in service charges (for maintenance). He did nothing about it. His lease was forfeited.

    i.e. His freeholder repossessed his 800,000 flat. He was left with 0.

    Link: https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/plantation-wharf-leasehold-pensioner-has-forfeiture-order-on-his-800000-flat


    (It's not like a bank/mortgage repossession, where the flat is sold, and you get whatever is left over. If the lease is forfeited, you get nothing.)
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 18th May 18, 10:15 AM
    • 661 Posts
    • 1,199 Thanks
    BBH123
    That case in the link is an absolute disgrace.
    Save 12k in 2018 challenge #14
    3700/ 10000

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    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 18th May 18, 10:52 AM
    • 1,714 Posts
    • 2,294 Thanks
    NeilCr
    I'd say that this will have been going for some time, too. That amount of money owing and the fact that they are prepared to go to court doesn't speak of something that's happened overnight.

    We had to take someone to court for non payment of service charges once. No-one wanted to do it but he, wilfully, refused to pay. In the end, there was a charge put on his house. He moved fairly soon after so we did get the money owed.

    The thought of taking someone's house away is a complete anathema to me. I just don't think I could do it. But, all the other residents were, in effect, paying for his service charges and were very much up in arms. To be fair, he was also a nuisance and broke gates etc.

    The others are right. You and your mum have to deal with this now. Eddddy is, as usual, spot on.

    ETA.

    As a first step engage with the council. In my experience debtors often don't do this and silence makes creditors wary. If nothing else, it might just buy you some time, if they think someone is, actually, trying to resolve the situation.
    Last edited by NeilCr; 18-05-2018 at 10:56 AM.
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 18th May 18, 12:37 PM
    • 1,099 Posts
    • 1,733 Thanks
    parkrunner
    That case in the link is an absolute disgrace.
    Originally posted by BBH123
    A reasonably happy ending though, at least better than the alternative.

    https://www.betterretirementhousing.com/pensioner-73-given-last-minute-reprieve-over-forfeiture-of-his-home/
    • thelem
    • By thelem 18th May 18, 12:49 PM
    • 700 Posts
    • 513 Thanks
    thelem
    Absolutely engage with the council. Even just telling them that someone else is aware of the problem and looking at how they can solve it may be enough to get them to delay their action. The council would rather not take your mother to court, but they need to collect the arrears (I imagine it's even a legal obligation for them to collect the arrears)



    Best case you and the council can agree a payment plan that will clear the arrears. If you do that, make sure you stick to it. What are you expecting to earn as a graduate? 12k is a lot if you're only earning say 20k per year. What happens if the graduate role falls through? Will this be a gift to your mother? Make sure you both understand if you expect the money to be repaid (even if only in the event of her death).


    More likely, you'll realise that between you you cannot afford the arrears and on going costs of this property. Can either of you increase your income? Check if there are any benefits either of you could be claiming (this site is a great place to start, also try your local Citizens Advice Bureau).



    If you still can't afford it, you'll need to sell it and find somewhere cheaper. If you can show that the flat is on the market the council may be willing to pause the court action.



    Do not allow the lease to be forfeit (see posts above).



    Whatever you do, keep communicating with the council, and respect any dates/deadlines they give you.
    Note: Unless otherwise stated, my property related posts refer to England & Wales. Please make sure you state if you are discussing Scotland or elsewhere as laws differ.
    • Stuckinmud
    • By Stuckinmud 21st May 18, 9:23 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Stuckinmud
    Hi,
    I've been offered and I've signed the contract for the graduate role. The salary is 35k during the first year, so I should be able to cover her liabilities.
    I will gift the money to her, because she needs it. If she leaves me extra upon her death then that would be nice, but at this moment in time I will class this transaction as a gift.

    Now once I secure the docs this week I will be calling the council & co to attach myself to any payment plan that's currently live right now.

    Edit - your advice is right on the money.. i will talk to my mum about the gift.
    Last edited by Stuckinmud; 21-05-2018 at 9:35 AM.
    • Mutton Geoff
    • By Mutton Geoff 21st May 18, 9:34 AM
    • 1,130 Posts
    • 1,224 Thanks
    Mutton Geoff
    Now once I secure the docs this week I will be calling the council & co to attach myself to any payment plan thats currently live right now.
    Originally posted by Stuckinmud
    Are you sure that is a wise move? A legal connection to the debt will screw your own credit rating which could take years to recover.


    I'm not saying don't help, but be careful the way you go about it.
    Compensations/Refunds from Banks & Institutions - 4,165 | Stooz Profits - 7,636 | Quidco - 4,014

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