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Help Needed
14-07-2005, 09:12 AM
Post: #1
Help Needed

I will try and explain this the best i can ... but seeing as i dont understand it all its hard.

When i was about to complete on my new home i was told that i would need to pay a charge every year to the prison (who are up the road) for mowing the green out the front of the houses and a surcharge on the street lighting. This figure is only about £15 a year.

Anyway - i received the bill yesterday - which was addressed to the old owners, but i opened it as i assumed it was for me (i haved lived there since Dec and we rarely get post for the prev owners). The bill was for £28, and it covered the lawn mowing, the lighting and also a pro rata fee for fixing some drainage problems. The bill was from April 2004 - March 2005.

It stated on the letter that "should you be the new owner, could you confirm your purchase date to enable us to calculate the figures correctly".

So i just called them (they are a solicitors) and was told that i had to pay the whole bill because my solicitors didnt inform them that i was the new owner of the property. Now - why should they ? I mean, my solictors didnt inform my bank / building soc etc that i was moving. Why would they have informed the solicitors who cover this small surcharge about my moving date ?

When i moved in, i informed everyone i could think of that i now lived there - but i didnt inform the solicitors who are acting on behalf of the prison as i didnt know their details. And then, to be honest i forgot all about it.

Now - i know the figure is small, and paying it isnt a problem, but its the principle. Why state in the letter that they will re calculate the figure if i provide a moving date if they have no intention of doing this. Also - the fact that the previous owner didnt inform them that he was leaving the area isnt my problem. In my eyes he should of told them, same as you would with the council tax office that he was leaving - but he obviously didnt.

What do you think ? Should i pay the bill, or should i send them a letter stating that im not happy and see what happens ?

I'm not perfect, but im so close it scares me
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14-07-2005, 09:20 AM
Post: #2
Help Needed
The bill is not in your name so therefore I don't think you should pay it. I would write to them and tell them they need to bill you from the date that you moved in and you will be happy to pay those charges, but not any charges before that date.
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14-07-2005, 09:25 AM
Post: #3
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I think I'd ring them up and tell them I have no intention whatsoever of paying someone else's bill. I would say that I am about to take legal advice on the matter but just wanted to ask them for confirmation that their letter does actually reflect their intentions, and that no silly mistake has been made, before I contact my solicitor.

Of course this doesn't constitute legal advice, Bonnie. I'm just a bolshie bug ger and don't like being trodden on by officious gits.
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14-07-2005, 02:15 PM
Post: #4
Help Needed
Agree with both ils and dab on this one Bonnie, yes the sum is small, that is totally irrelevant it is the principle.

Send it back with a covering letter stating your date of moving and that you are happy to pay from your dates - but you will be bug gered if you are going to pay someone else's bill.

Thing is it may well be written into the Deeds of the House that your solicitors have to inform the prison's solicitors of your move - in which case it is your solicitors fault - so you always have a fall back position, to send it back to your solicitors.

Quite honestly no-one is going to haggle over £28 - and it will be more than Prison solicitors worth if they pursue it. But they, being solicitors will try and pull a fast one on you [sorry Blink if you read this - big over sweeping generalisation I know!!]

I always cook with wine, and sometimes I actually put it in the food.
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14-07-2005, 02:27 PM
Post: #5
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Pay up, look big and save yourself a load of emotional hassle for the sake of a few quid.

One question I have, is why does the bill cover a 14 month period? Huh

"You can put lipstick on a pig...but it's still a pig!!!"
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14-07-2005, 02:38 PM
Post: #6
Help Needed
Oh no dont'!
Don't pay..strike a blow. 28 pounds is a nice little spree or a meal out etc for you, so stick to your guns.
I think what Flip says about checking the deeds/contract etc is a wise idea.
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14-07-2005, 03:12 PM
Post: #7
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Pah, 28 pounds is a decent starter in a good restaurant! :glare:

"You can put lipstick on a pig...but it's still a pig!!!"
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14-07-2005, 03:52 PM
Post: #8
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Groucho Wrote:One question I have, is why does the bill cover a 14 month period? Huh

Its April 2004 - March 2005 ... where did you get 14 months Huh

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14-07-2005, 04:02 PM
Post: #9
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1 Apr 2004
2 May 2004
3 Jun
4 Jul
5 Aug
6 Sep
7 Oct
8 Nov
9 Dec
10 Jan 2005
11 Feb
12 Mar
13 Apr
14 May 2005

"You can put lipstick on a pig...but it's still a pig!!!"
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14-07-2005, 05:11 PM
Post: #10
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Groucho Wrote:Pah, 28 pounds is a decent starter in a good restaurant! :glare:
You make too much money. Tongue

Sounds to me like your first port of call should be the solicitors who acted in relation to your purchase Bonnie. Presumably it was them who told you about this charge in the first place? Normally they should have apportioned the charge between you and the previous owners, leaving you to pay the bit from when you owned the property.

I wouldn't even bother, at this stage, getting into an argument with the Prison Board. They are probably entitled to claim the full amount from the current owner of the property (you); and you are probably entitled to expect your solicitors to sort this out, even if it means paying the extra bit themselves.

PM me if you don't have any joy. With the greatest of respect to our colleagues, I'm not sure that the above suggestions in this thread are the best way of resolving this.

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