Recently a long-standing managing agent client of Bradys instructed them to recover £8,000 worth of service charge arrears from a leaseholder in Norwich. Unfortunately, during the process the leaseholder became deceased, which meant Bradys had to adapt their approach to recovering the arrears, whilst being respectful of the leaseholder and their family.
Bradys were initially instructed in August 2021 and began by sending the leaseholder a letter before action. The leaseholder’s solicitors replied on their behalf, looking to resolve the debt without going to claim. However, following numerous correspondence with them, no agreement was able to be reached and the case proceeded to claim.
Following proceeding to claim, the debtor’s solicitors applied for an extension as they intended to provide a defence, but ultimately no defence was supplied. Bradys therefore went back to court to gain a default judgement, but whilst waiting for this the leaseholder sadly passed away.
Having been informed of the passing of the leaseholder it would have been easy to stop proceedings, as it would now be even harder to recover the arrears. However, Bradys persisted and proceeded to gain a default judgement from court. Having gained the judgement Bradys’ approach then changed, as they began to try and communicate with the leaseholder’s executor’s solicitors to recover the arrears but were ultimately unable to do so. This therefore led to a section 146 notice being issued, which would lead to the repossession of the property should the arrears not be recovered, which initiated a response from the executor’s solicitors.
Following lengthy discussions between Bradys and the executor’s solicitors it was agreed that the arrears would be paid upon the sale of the property. This suited all parties involved, as the executor would not be out of pocket and did not have the pressure of having inherited someone else’s debt. Bradys’ client also benefited from the outcome as it meant there was no requirement for a hearing. Additionally, not only did they receive the arrears they were initially chasing including legal costs, but they were also provided with payment for all service charge payments due during the time legal proceedings took, which had lasted just over 18 months due to the complexity of the case, amounting to just under £30,000.