Brady Solicitors’ ability to balance the interests of both the managing agent and leaseholders was highlighted in a recent case handled by service charge expert Emma Voce where substantial service charge arrears were impacting on the management of the block and the client needed us to move quickly.

Emma secured payment of a large sum of arrears and major works contributions in under two months, despite an absentee leaseholder.

Pre-instruction checks

Emma said “Our client was struggling with an absent leaseholder who had repeatedly defaulted on his service charge payments. As the arrears were higher than usual and included major works contributions we offered to conduct some initial checks to trace the leaseholder before taking on the case. The address was confirmed to be correct, but the leaseholder did not respond to any demands that were sent.”

Arrears were impacting major works

The block of 13 flats needed urgent major works carrying out and the service charge arrears from this one leaseholder was initially preventing the works from starting. The managing agent, however, had found a solution by getting the other leaseholders to make a supplementary payment to cover the absentee leaseholder’s contribution towards the works.

Speedy recovery

Although the works were going ahead, there was still the pressing matter of recovering the service charge arrears as quickly as possible to reimburse the other leaseholders. Emma moved swiftly to obtain a judgment for payment and then entered into negotiations with the leaseholder’s lender to settle the arrears in full.

The lender made full payment of a substantial amount of service charge arrears at no cost to the managing agent. The recovered funds were refunded to the other leaseholders via the service charge account.

Our new client was delighted with Emma’s proactive approach in resolving this matter quickly so the rest of the leaseholders could be fairly refunded what they paid for the major works, and a line drawn under the long-running problems with the repeat defaulter.