Residential Lease Arrears
Part 1: Pre-Litigation Process
We advise on the recovery of arrears, including but not limited to Ground Rent, Service Charges, Insurance and Ancillary Charges in relation to residential properties. Our pre-litigation recovery process includes letters, emails, telephone calls and trace enquiries. Our costs will depend on the value of the debt and what level of recovery you require.
The time it takes to process a claim from initial instruction will vary according to factors as to whether a response is received, whether a dispute is raised and if so how complex it is. Other factors are the time it takes the court to process court proceedings if issued and to list a hearing if required. Subject to the above, typically an undefended claim will take approximately 12 weeks from receipt of instructions to obtaining judgment.
Please note that in the majority of cases the lease will include a contractual costs clause under which the leaseholder will be liable to pay costs meaning that the costs will be recoverable. We will advise on this and in the event that there is no such clause, we will advise on your options in terms of how to proceed and costs recovery.
Obtaining the Land Registry Title : £20.00 – £27.50
|Debt Value||Our Costs|
|Under £50.00||£85.00 – £303.00|
|£50.00 to £100.00||£125.00 – £303.00|
|£100.01 to £250.00||£150.00 – £303.00|
|£250.01 to £350.00||££220.00 – £303.00|
Freehold Matters, or Leasehold Matters over £350.00 or over 3 years – Our costs £250.00
Pre-Litigation Mortgagee Charges
Where payment is not made by the Freeholder(s)/Leaseholder(s) and where a mortgage is in place we will write a minimum of 2 letters to the Mortgagee : £209.00
Pre-Litigation Dispute Charges
Prior to the issue of a Claim or a Tribunal Application being made, if a matter is disputed, our Pre-Litigation Disputes Team will initially attempt to resolve the issue with the Freeholder(s)/Leaseholder(s) on your behalf. If, after the initial response further work is required, we will advise you at that stage. Any additional work will be charged at the hourly rates detailed below.
Charge: Hourly Rates per below:-
|Grade A: Solicitor / Legal Executive (over 8 years’ experience)||£201.00|
|Grade B: Solicitor/ Legal Executive (over 4 years’ experience)||£177.00|
|Grade C: Solicitor / Legal Executive (under 4 years’ experience)||£146.00|
|Grade D: Trainee Solicitor / Paralegal||£111.00|
Trace Service Charges
There are times when we are unable to engage with the Freeholder(s)/Leaseholder(s) and it may be necessary to carry out further checks to verify their contact information : £40.00 – £68.00
Part 2: County Court Claims, Judgment and Enforcement
Prior to issuing proceedings, we obtain a copy of the specific Transfer/Lease relating to each property at this stage to ensure that the relevant clauses of the Transfer/Lease are quoted within the Claim; the charge for this is: £33.00
If the Freeholder(s)/Leaseholder(s) continue to fail to respond to correspondence, our next course of action would usually be to issue a County Court Claim; the charge for this is: £247.50
In addition to our costs, the County Court Issue Fee is also payable, on a sliding scale set by the Court* as follows:
|Value of Claim||Court Fee||MCOL|
|Up to £300||£35.00||£25.00|
|More than £300 but not more than £500||£50.00||£35.00|
|More than £500 but not more than £1000||£70.00||£60.00|
|More than £1000 but not more than £1500||£80.00||£70.00|
|More than £1500 but not more than £3000||£115.00||£105.00|
|More than £3000 but not more than £5000||£205.00||£185.00|
|More than £5000 but not more than £10000||£455.00||£410.00|
|More than £10,000 but not more than £200,000
(NB: MCOL Issue limit is £100,000)
|5% of the value of Claim||4.5% of the value of Claim|
|More than £200,000||£10000.00|
*These figures are set by the Courts and are subject to periodical increase by the Courts.
If a full Admission is received following the issue of the Claim we will process the application and deal with enforcement if necessary.
Where no response is received to the Claim we shall request that Judgment is entered against the Freeholder(s)/Leaseholder(s).
Once Judgment has been entered, the Litigation Team will review the matter in full and advise you as to the enforcement options available to you, together with their associated costs.
The Litigation Disputes Team deals with defended claims which are typically within the Small Claims Track jurisdiction of claims up to £10,000.00 in value. The above hourly rates apply to this work.
The average range of costs applicable to dealing with defended cases is from £250.00 for cases that settle shortly after being defended up to £5,000.00. These figures cover all costs for work carried out from the point of a Defence being filed up to the matter being concluded.
In addition there will be disbursements on top of the court issue fee (see above) examples of which are:-
Land Registry fees for copy documents – £3.00
Court hearing fees – £35.00 to £335.00 in the Small Claims Track currently depending on the value of the claim (higher fees will apply to a fast track or multi track claim)
Advocate’s fees – normally in the region of £185.00 plus vat to £400 plus vat (although may be higher depending on advocate to be instructed.
These are the costs for a standard claim in the Small Claims Track of the County Court. More complex cases, cases that exceed the Small Claims Track jurisdiction or cases that are referred to the First Tier Tribunal for determination are likely to result in higher costs. Other examples of situations where costs are likely to be higher include cases where interim applications to court need to be made, a larger number of witnesses are required to give evidence or perhaps in a case where expert evidence is required. In these circumstances we will provide an estimate of the costs likely to be incurred.
In the event that a judgment is obtained, see above for enforcement.
NB: Unless otherwise stated, costs and disbursements shown are exclusive of vat where payable.