When a managing agent came to Bradys for help with recovering service charge arrears from one of their leaseholders, we knew straight away that the matter required a different approach to perhaps more conventional methods of debt recovery.
Bradys’ service charge expert, Emma Voce, handled the situation. Emma explains, “the leaseholder was an elderly gentleman and had failed to pay two year’s worth of service charges on his flat. It quickly transpired that he suffered from dementia and therefore didn’t have the mental capacity to deal with the situation. Following the appointment of a power of attorney, we were able to take the matter forward”.
Sensitivity and tact were key to settling the matter. Emma kept the lines of communication open with the family and maintained regular contact with the power of attorney (the leaseholder’s cousin), taking the time to fully explain the situation to ease their stress and worry.
With no mortgage lender to approach we felt the initial possession proceedings were not an appropriate option due to expense, time and likely stress it would cause the leaseholder and his family. So, after careful and delicate negotiations with the power of attorney and their solicitor Emma put a stop to the court proceedings and agreed to settle out of court via an undertaking for payment upon sale of the property. We felt this was the most amicable option for settling the matter sensitively, whilst still recovering the debt for our client.
The property sold quickly and we successfully collected all arrears, plus interest and costs on behalf of our client. And the other side appreciated the sensitive approach we took towards the leaseholder.
If you are faced with a delicate situation when trying to recover arrears, you need a solicitor that can deal with leaseholders appropriately. Our naturally friendly, yet adaptable approach means we can handle even the most sensitive of cases successfully.
For further information, please contact us.