Brady Solicitors’ property-manager-turned-lawyer Michael Young has been helping a client managing an exclusive freehold development to collect substantial arrears on a no-cost basis.

The estate, a ‘gated village’ in the south of England consists mostly of freehold properties that are liable for substantial annual charges for the maintenance of the communal areas. An increasing number of the property owners were defaulting on their service charges, which our client’s existing solicitors had been unable to recover through ‘traditional’ debt recovery methods.

When Brady Solicitors took over the case in early 2014, it was quickly apparent that, for the majority of property owners, it was more a case of ‘can’t pay’ rather than ‘won’t pay’, with debts averaging more than £5,000.

The Brady Solicitors approach to recovering the freehold debts

‘The property owners were burying their heads in the sand, hoping the debts would miraculously go away, and some of them were facing the unhappy prospect of county court judgments (CCJs) being issued against them’, explains Michael (pictured centre with Clare Brady and Matthew Wayman).

‘Unlike with leasehold service charge debts there was no obvious route to resolving the arrears situation. Instead, we picked up the phone to the leaseholders, we talked to their lenders and we used our legal expertise combined with knowledge of the property management sector to help each individual debtor to find a repayment solution.

‘We were able to help one property owner avoid an IVA and helped others to remove charging orders on their properties.

‘And the client is happy too: we have been able to recover £60,000 of arrears and all at no cost to them, meaning they have been able to get on with managing this highly desirable development in an effective manner.’

Specialist arrears recovery help and advice

For help with recovering either leasehold or freehold service charge debts, contact Brady Solicitors’ specialist team on 0115 985 3450 or by email.