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Apartment Refund Advice

mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 830
edited March 2017 in The cake stop
Ok so in Dec 2015 we were in the process of selling our apartment - To get the sale through we agreed to pay for an upcoming wall repair that the property management company was proposing - The buyer was going to walk away and we also knew that our onward purchase would fall apart so we agreed to stump up the £1500 to pay for the repair bill. The money was paid into the property maintenance account and each payment is assigned a unique ID that corresponds the the apartment number that paid and the person that paid.

We paid this 2 months before completing so there was never any question of who was the legal owner etc when the cost was paid - We have all the receipts etc so no issues there. Anyway we have subsequently been informed (the management company must still have our email on file) that the wall repair project has been abandoned and the money has been refunded into the maintenance account problem is that as we no longer live there and we are no longer the legal owner we cannot request the money back - Instead the new owner has to authorize the payment to be sent to us (even tho they did not pay the money and have no legal right to the money anyway).

Our solicitor has asked our buyer/ buyer solicitor to email the property management company confirming that he did NOT pay and he was NOT the owner at the time - Once this is done then we get the cheque but he is being a censored and just not responding. It makes no sense as the property management company have already confirmed via email that he is NOT legally entitled to the money and his solicitor has also acknowledged that he will never be allowed to take the money as he never paid it in the first place so I don't know why he is being a nob about it.

The sale went through fine and our property was exactly as described and we left it in mint condition so I can only assume he thinks that if its left long enough then he will somehow inherit this cash - Our solicitor has made it clear that with the receipts / Email transcripts etc we have and confirmation from the management company there is ZERO chance he will ever be entitled to the case.

Not sure what to do ??? Our solicitor has said that all they can do is chase him - They can't force him to send this stupid email acknowledging that he did NOT pay the money.

I can't really take him to court as he has not done anything wrong he is just being a nob.

Advice please ?


  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 830
    I should add that we were liable for the £1500 anyway even if we moved out as the bill gets sent to the owner at the time the wall repair job was raised so either way we would have to pay £1500.
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 830
    Erm not sure why it typed doorknob - Must be auto correct it should have read "arrogant f**k knuckle"
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    Won't the £1500 show as credit on his leaseholder account? Maybe that's why he's not rushing to do anything?

    I agree he's being a prat, btw.

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 25,472
    If you have the transaction dates of the sale, why does the management company need confirmation from the buyer? You have legal documentation of the facts.
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 830
    My thought exactly - The management company know that I paid and know that I owned the property. They can see the receipt showing a BACS transfer from my account the theirs but they refuse to send the money back to me without first getting the new owner to email them confirming that he is fine with it.

    My point to them (which falls on deaf ears) is that it has F**k all to do with him - He was NOT the person who paid nor was he the owner when it was paid - I have receipt and confirmation letter from the management company thanking me for the £1500 and obviously all the flat sale stuff showing that the new owner was not the new legal keeper until 2 months later.

    One of the problems is that the management company won't allow anyone to speak directly to their solicitor help team (the people that sort this stuff out) instead you have to speak to some call center douche bag that is on £7 an hour and they simply don't give a f**k.

    I am going to keep chasing him for as long as it takes - Ultimately I may end up emailing our buyer's solicitor direct with a pre-written email then all they/he has do is type his name and send it.

    Some people are just pricks and would not help anyone unless there was something in it for them.
  • type:epyttype:epyt Posts: 766
    Reading the scenario you described, the £1.5k was paid for upkeep relating to the property which you then sold ... I'd say it's just one of those things and although it stings you paid £1.5k to allow you to sell your house, which you did ...

    We had similar with a 'reserve' fund with the factors of our previous flat and although I was p'd at them having £850 of my money they never ever tried to use whilst we were there (and in fact could not fully account for for over 100 flats) it was paid for the benefot of the property/estate not me individually ,,.

    The reality is you should likely never have found out about it and would have lived your life with less to moan about ...
    Life is unfair, kill yourself or get over it.
  • diplodicusdiplodicus Posts: 702
    type:epyt wrote:
    Reading the scenario you described, the £1.5k was paid for upkeep relating to the property which you then sold ... I'd say it's just one of those things and although it stings you paid £1.5k to allow you to sell your house, which you did ...

    We had similar with a 'reserve' fund with the factors of our previous flat and although I was p'd at them having £850 of my money they never ever tried to use whilst we were there (and in fact could not fully account for for over 100 flats) it was paid for the benefot of the property/estate not me individually ,,.

    The reality is you should likely never have found out about it and would have lived your life with less to moan about ...

    Harsh......but fair :)
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Erm just off the top of my head, what about the small claims court? Starting the process would probably have the desired effect?
  • hdowhdow Posts: 178
    So you paid £1500 to ensure a sale went ahead. The sale went ahead. You are in the same position now as if the wall had been fixed.
    The new owner has an apartment with a wall that may need repairing in the future although it was supposed to be repaired at point of purchase. The new owner has £1500 to pay for such a repair.
    Also if the sale had not gone through you may have broken a chain with lost survey and other fees as well as loads of bother sorting out another place.
    All in all have you really lost out? Not really. Bit like the proverb of the vineyards. Look for the good things and move on.
  • andy9964andy9964 Posts: 930
    Hdow wrote:
    So you paid £1500 to ensure a sale went ahead.

    He paid for a job to be done, which would ensure the sale.
    The job wasn't done, and the sale went ahead. Someone has his money for doing nothing.
    Yes, he's in the same position, but that's not really the point.
    +1 for the Small Claims
  • I'm not sure if I got this completely right but it sound to me like this

    New owner wanted £1500 job completing before he agreed to buy. Once it was sold he decided to stop job going ahead in the hope the wall will be ok , he pockets 1500 and gets the job completed on the cheap but it's backfired and now he can't actually touch the money and the wall is not repaired. So it's either fraud or misappropriation. I would say small claims as it sounds like he has tried to pull a fast one and it's gone wrong. Tough luck on him. If you paid for work that went undone it's your money regardless .
  • INPTTINPTT Posts: 16
    They didn't give you any form of receipt saying its your money?
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 830
    Ok so to resolve some confusion - As we were in the selling process and roughly around the time the new buyer put in an offer we got a demand from the PM company stating that we needed to pay £1500 to cover a wall project. The new owner wanted us to drop the price by £1500 which was going to cause a massive delay to paperwork etc so we said that we would pay this (as technically we were liable anyway as we were still the owners). We paid this in full and received a FULL receipt confirming that WE paid this.

    Several months later we received a email stating that the project has been cancelled so all money has been refunded into the associated account (each property has a maintenance account), Problem is there is some stupid rule that to get the money refunded to our joint account we need the current owner to agree to the refund even tho he did not pay the money ( a fact that no one is trying to contest) nor was he owner when the money was paid. Not sure why it has anything to do with him but until he gives the green light the money stays in the account.

    The worry is that whilst he cannot take the money himself if another project comes up that the residents have to pay for then they automatically take it from the balance of the maintenance accounts

    Basically I think he is trying to delay so that we either go away or so that he has this free £1500 buffer for any upcoming projects - Ultimately it means he won't have to pay as much.

    Basically he is being an idiot and deliberately trying to delay things.

    We have agreed to send a formal complaint letter to the CEO of the PM company (via our solicitor) if we don't get the money asap.
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 830
    Also there is Zero chance of the wall being repaired in the future as they have removed the wall all together and decided to put up a row of shrubs instead (This has already happened and was covered as part of the gardening account - A different pot of cash covered by service charges) , In the email they acknowledged the project was 'indefinitely abandoned' so absolutely no chance of it being requested in future.

    The sale was on as long as he did not have to pay £1500 which he has not so the fact that the money has been refunded a mute point for him - He got the property without a extra £1500 bill - End of story for him.

    We are owed £1500 - Its a simple case of paying for something £1500 (Wall) that never materialized so as with any other good or service if you don't get what you pay for you get a refund - WE ARE OWED THE MONEY OTHERWISE ITS THEFT.
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 830
    Again I also re-iterate they PM company have gone on record (emails) stating that the money IS OURS and we are owed it but for whatever stupid internal reason they have not transferred it yet. We have all the evidence inc receipts etc and we have confirmation from 3 people at the PM company that the money is indeed ours so there is no legal grey area its just a case of our new buyer being a d*ck and not giving a verbal or written agreement to the PM to transfer out of the account into our joint account .
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    The question is - what could happen to the money if you still owned the property.

    You say it's been transferred to the general maintenace account. Can an owner request money to be refunded out of that account? Or do they just use it as a deposit for their own contribution?
    Is £1500 a lot for the GM account?

    The PM company may say that the contribution you made to the project was on behalf of the property - so the £1500 belonged to the property, not you specifically. I just don't understand why they'd say the money is yours if they can't send it back to you without the new owners permission - that's like saying that the money is his but they think you should have it.

    It's going to be down to the letter of the contracts with the PM co. But think about it - if you were willing to risk it - would you have accepted a £1500 reduction in price instead of paying this money up front? You'd be no better off ...

    Btw - what bike/accessories are you buying once you get the cash?
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 830
    Lol - I do fancy a nice Colnago Master if I find a decend 2nd hand one out there !

    Your point about the PM company not telling me is correct - Why would they tell me if I was not entitled to it. Each apartment has its own fund and owners can only 'see' the fund they cannot take money out - Which is why I find it odd that they need the new owners permission.

    The PM company have confirmed via email that there conditions allow for a refund to the original payer if a project is flat our rejected (as in this case) and that is what was said in their original email so really the only thing that is stopping all this is the stupid rule that says the new owner has to allow the management company to take money out even tho everyone is in agreement that its MY money.

    Its a complete and total mess!

    This is why I will NEVER own a leasehold ever again - Seriously if someone offered me a 2 bed apartment for 50% off I would still refuse as PM companies are the absolute scum of the earth -

    I swear this entire delay tactic is just so they can keep the money in the hope that a new project appears that is also massively overpriced and they can take the money I paid to pay for it.

    To give you an idea of how much of a con this all is the original plan was for a wall - A single skin bog standard brick wall running 7m in length at a height of 1m this is on private land so no traffic management required. They estimated the cost at £38'000!

    Note they had at the time £51'000 in a 'major works account' that residents paid into as part of the massive service charges but according to the PM company the wall did not qualify as a 'major work' and as such the owners had to pay separately - Total con artists!
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 13,280
    I think you need another solicitor. This smacks of "unimaginative dullard" to me.

    It also sounds like a PM company unfortunately having to keep your money and trying not that hard to get it to you.

    Are you barking up the wrong tree by hassling the people who bought your flat?
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,394
    So to break it down.

    You had a liability which was £1500 to repair a wall.

    You paid this sum as it was agreed and fair the liability to pay crystallised during your occupancy.

    The sale went through regardless of the work being done and the new owner didn't drop his price and paid in full. The repairs were cancelled.

    So you want a refund based on the repairs not going ahead? But at some point in the future they will be required?

    I'd suggest your initially being misdirected by the PM company to avoid paying and the only way to resolve this is through the small claims court. It's about £75 to bring a claim and a lot more than £1500 to defend the claim so apply pressure where they'll feel it. If you engage a solicitor your looking at £200-£250/hour for a half decent and capable legal mind and even then nothing in court is certain.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 6,938
    Slowmart wrote:
    So you want a refund based on the repairs not going ahead? But at some point in the future they will be required?
    I think the OP said there's no chance of the repairs being undertaken as someone (the PM company?) has subsequently decided to remove the wall that needed repairing for other reasons.
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