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Advise on Leasehold/Service Charge case

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Tuesday 23 June 2015 9.11pm
I need some urgent advice on a major issue I have with the council.

I bought a council flat on a right to buy several years ago. In the last 4 years there have been several works the council have done and the charges were quite substantial. One the first invoice I was given an option to spread the payment. On the others no such option was offered, although they claim it was offered. The charges in addition with the annual service charges, it became quite difficult to keep up.

In February 2014 the council took me to the county court. I explained at the court that I could not make the full payment but was prepared to enter into an agreement to make instalments, but for reasons I was never made aware of the council suspended the case only to resurrect it in May this year. Between the original case and now I have been making instalments and reduced the balance.

On or around the 15th of May I received 'Judgement for Claimant' for the value of 1,329.61, including charges and interest. The council had commenced county court action in February 2014, but suspended it, but I was not aware that it had been suspended. I spoke to the council because the value claimed was incorrect as I had made a payment of 300 before I received the judgement. They confirm it. I sent an N245 to the court providing income and expenditure and the sum I am able to afford. I have not yet had a reply from the court. The Balance due from the case is now less than 1000 due to the instalments I have been making

On 18th June I received a 'Breach of Lease' notice from the council enclosing Notice under Section 146 of the Property Act 1925 and asking that I make full payment within 21 days or further legal action would be taken resulting in forfeit of the lease. This was despite not receiving any decision from the County Court.

I have researched Section 146 of the Property Act and I do not believe the council are acting in accordance with the law. Further I have spoken to the council and more than one occasion and had various email exchanges about the possibility of instalments payments but they are refusing to even consider it, even though they can see that I am making an effort to make payment.

I am not sure what steps I can take now and my wife and I are quite worried at the possibility of losing our home and would like some advice on how to tackle this issue.
Wednesday 24 June 2015 12.07pm
Sorry to hear you've had to go through this. Shelter the housing charity might be able to advise you on this - worth a look on their website or calling them:

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