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Defence help for service charges

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  • Defence help for service charges


    I am hoping that there is someone on the site that can help me with my defence.

    Please see below draft first draft. I am happy to receive any comments and/or suggestions on amendments.

    I would also like some pointers on counting claiming. There has already been some token acknowledgement by the freeholder's managing agent of non reasonable charges. However I would like these concreted. What is the last date that I can counterclaim and do I have to pay the counterclaim sum if counterclaiming?


    1. I, ............,the Defendant, is a leaseholder in a building containing .... flats ,at............ and which is now a Tripartite Lease.

    2. Save as specifically admitted in this defence, the defendant denies each and every allegation set out in this particular of claim.

    3. the defendant, received the claim form, Claim No: ................. from the.................... on ...........2019.

    4. the defendant denies that monies are owed to the Claimant as alleged in the Particulars of Claim

    5. The Claimant states in the Particulars of Claim that their claim is based upon the defendants failure to pay ground rent

    6. The defendant denies that they have breached the covenant referred to in paragraph (a) of the particulars of claim in that monies are owed in ground rent. On the .....19 an invoice was sent to the defendant by the claimant for ground rent/maintenance/insurance and misc etc. this document does not state that any ground rent are owed or in arrears.

    7. The defendant is unable to admit or deny the claim of breach the covenant referred to in paragraph (b) of the particulate of claim as The Claimant has failed to provide adequate information in response to the changes in the variation of the section 20 schedule of works.

    8. Under section 19(1)(a) and section 19 (1) (b)The Claimant has failed to provide details of how the service charge has been varied to enable me to properly assess my position with regards to the determination of the reasonableness of and liability of this claim.

    9. At the date of filing this Defence the Claimant has 'signed off 'on works never undertaken but specified as part of the section 20 schedule of works, and billed for.

    10. Section 19 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states that a service charge is only payable in so far Section 19 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which states that a Service Charge is only payable to the extent that the works or services are carried out to a ‘reasonable standard’ and in so far as reasonably incurred and represents value for money.

    11. Further section 19 of the landlord and tenant act states that if a leaseholder can provide sufficient evidence to suggest that costs were not incurred, but formed part of a service charge demand, then the burden of proof lies with the claimant to provide evidence that these costs were actually incurred.

    12. Having varied the schedule of works bill by at least 10% in breach of section ……(?) the claimant did not have good reasons for the decisions they made in including any such cost on the basis that these costs have not been incurred as the works were not carried out, and/or carried out all works to a reasonable standard or reasonably incurred and or that in order for works to be classed as a ‘repair’ they must be a response to ‘disrepair’.

    13. On the ........2019, the defendant made the Claimant aware in writing and provided photographic evidence of poor workmanship/work not completed/damage to my sole demise area to date not all of my concerns and queries have been responded to

    14. From the 1st October 2014 all professional property managers are equired to join one of the three Government approved statuary Redress Schemes:

    despite repeated request the Claimant has failed to provide information on their complaints procedure and information on which redress scheme they have been obliged to register with.

    15. Under Civil Procedure Rule 16.5 (4) Where the claim includes a money claim, a defendant shall be taken to require that any allegation relating to the amount of money claimed be proved unless he expressly admits the allegation. Therefore, it is expected that the Claimant be required to prove the allegation that the money is owed as claimed. further if a Lease allows for a type of cost to recharged, that does not automatically mean that the amount which is charged is reasonable.

    16. The defendant requests the court orders the Claimants to provide the necessary documentation/evidence in response to my original queries in order for me to fully plead my case else the Claim should stand struck out.

    I7. In the event that the relevant documents/evidence are received from the Claimants I will then be in a position to amend my defence, and would ask that the Claimants bear the costs of the amendment.

    18. It is denied that the Claimant is entitled to the relief as claimed or at all.

    Statement of Truth

    I believe the facts stated in this defence are true.

  • #2

    Its been a long journey, but im happily relieved to announce i have achieved wonderful success and undergone a great learning curve.

    I found a brilliant surveyor. With his report, i managed to over halve the horrendous major works bill. whats more the surveyor was the cheapest of the quotes obtained, knew his job inside out, and completely showed up the freeholders own surveyor.

    A bit of even more luck was also on my side as i managed to find and obtain a pro bono barrister to represent my case, (assessment by the senior barrister showed my case had merit i already knew this, but early on everyone was telling me just to pay up. Thank God i didn’t listen).

    Cannot empathise enough the need for evidence, and i managed to build up plenty that was relevant to use against the freeholder which he had trouble arguing against.

    i ve cost the freeholder quite a bit of money, (hooray) but a least justice was done, and i know so much more now about leaseholder rights, the legal system, and where to go for free legal help.

    i wish everyone with a fight on their hands all the very best. Persevere, and research, research reserve. you CAN win! i did.


    • #3
      Originally posted by realfedup View Post
      Its been a long journey, but im happily relieved to announce i have achieved wonderful success

      . . . . i managed to find and obtain a pro bono barrister to represent my case.

      This is such good news.

      Especially the bit about getting a barrister to act for you pro bono (so you didn't have to pay any legal costs).

      Well Done You (and your barrister )

      Legal Disclaimer

      I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specialises in consumer credit. If you need to contact me you can send a message by clicking on my username or by emailing me at or by telephoning 0330 053 9340. My Direct Line is 0151 254 6986 Our initial advice is always free.

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