How to recover an outstanding rent, service charge and ground rent arrears
Q. My tenant has fled leaving unpaid rent, how do I recover this?
A. The first step would be to send the ex-tenant a letter before action demanding payment of the outstanding debt.
Q. I do not know my ex-tenant’s new address – what do I do?
A. We can instruct for a trace report to be carried out to find their new address. This is usually carried out on a “no trace, no fee” basis and can cost as little as £30 inc VAT.
Q. Can I recover my legal costs from the tenant/ex-tenant?
A. This often depends on the lease provisions. We will carry out a full review of the lease and any other contractual documentation on your behalf.
Q. What options does a letter before action give?
A. If your tenant is an individual the letter before action will give 30 days for a response. If the tenant is a company then you only need to allow 7 days for a response. The tenant may then pay in full, put forward a payment proposal or ignore the letter/refuse to pay.
Q. Do I have to accept an offer for payment by way of instalments?
A. You do not have to accept a proposal to pay by instalments if you are not satisfied with the amount. However, you must bear in mind that if you issue court proceedings and the judge finds that the proposal is all that the tenant can afford to pay then the judge may uphold the payment proposal.
Q. The letter before action has not resulted in payment – what can I do now?
A. You may now wish to look to issue court proceedings to recover the debt. This is done by filing a claim at court.
Service charge and ground rent
Q. Is there a way of increasing my chances of recovering the ground rent/service charge?
A. As a method of course we always copy in the mortgage company to the letter before action. Often the mortgage company will pay in the event that the leaseholder does not to prevent forfeiture.
Q. Can mfg Solicitors LLP assist?
A. Rebecca Rogers is an expert in the recovery of ground rent and service charges. Over the past 12 months she has recovered some £75,000 worth of ground rent and service charges. For further advice contact Rebecca on 01562 516059 or firstname.lastname@example.org