UK Property Law
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The bills were addressed to me. MHA would have picked that up from Monmouth Borough Council when they took over the administration. I have paid Rates, sewage and all utilities for the last twenty years or so.
The six houses connected to the Septic Tank used to be Council owned but only one is now still in public ownership.
I am of the opinion that there is no contract between your son andMHA and that if they do sue him, their claim will fail.
It would be different if there was an agreement between youwhereby you agreed to pay the utility bills even though they were in his name.
However if MHA do decide to sue him, he has to do defend theproceeds on the basis that there is no contract between him and MHA
Until they issue proceedings against your son, there he is nothinghe can do.
Incidentally, just because the price of sewage treatment trebleddoes not necessarily mean that the new cost is unreasonable. It may be that theoriginal cost was grossly underestimated. However, you are entitled to anexplanation and they probably don't have one which is why they didn't give youone. I imagine they have just plucked this figure out of midair.
Does that answer the question? Can I assist further or answer anyspecific queries?
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I understand your response that "there is no contract" between MHA and my Son. What about a contract between MHA and myself?
Is this just implied because they took over from MBC?
Thinking about it, there was never an actual contract with MDC. The house was purchased from the Council under the right to buy scheme and the conveyance mentioned joint responsibility for shared facilities. MDC simply went on doing what they did to the Septic Tank and sending bills.
I get your point but I never paid any bills from MHA because I disputed the amount.
Of course, I paid all the bills to Monmouthshire Council before MHA took over in 2008/09.
In I still think it puts you on the hook and not your son.
What is certain is that one of you is liable for the costs, eventhough I accept that the costs are in dispute
Yes, I accept that I have to pay my share of the costs. I have a Bill from 2006 from MonCouncil for £35 pounds, so I multiplied by 3 for the three years and added a bit for inflation and offered then £125 to settle but they didn't like it and want the £433 they invoiced.
I assume they employed a Contractor but they won't give me a breakdown or tell me why the costs have grown so much.
One of the things that you have done, and this is a fatalmistake, because you are in dispute, you have paid nothing.
I think you need to at least pay the amount that you are offered.
Incases like this, I never suggest making an offer. I suggest sending a cheque.Armed with a cheque in the hand for some of the amount that a person wants,compared to an argument over the whole of the amount, (and arguments that theperson may win or lose) the cheque in the hand is a pretty powerful incentiveto accept it.
Soconsider deciding how much you would like to pay the claimant (you need to makeit attractive enough) and send it with a covering letter headed "withoutprejudice save as to costs". That means that the person cannot produce theletter in court as any proof that you admit owing any money at all.
Tellthe claimant in the letter that you are offering this money in full and finalsettlement of all claims against you, past, present and future, and that bycashing it they accept it as such. Tell the person that if they do not acceptit, they should return the cheque to you and if they issue legal proceedings,you will defend them on the basis of A, B, C, whatever.
Tellthe claimant that if they do not understand the significance of the letter,they should take independent legal advice.
Ican tell you this approach works nine times out of 10, provided the offer isreasonable and not derisory.
For legal reasons which I will not bore you with but whichgo back several hundred years, the cheque must not come from you, but was comefrom a third party, friend, relative, solicitor, our accountant, neighbour,girlfriend, wife, husband, whoever, just not from you.
Here is some rather heavy reading http://www.voltimum.co.uk/news/2312/cm/the-law----full-and-final-settlement-.html
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Ok, that seems to cover it. I will rate as requested.
I do hope you get it sorted.
Sorry to bother you again but you said ...
cheque must not come from you, but was comefrom a third party, friend, relative, solicitor, our accountant, neighbour,girlfriend, wife, husband, whoever, just not from you
Did you mean that MY cheque should be sent by someone else or that the cheque should be drawn on someone else's account.
I can get my Son to write a cheque and letter if so.
No, the cheque must come from someone else's account.
Because there is a grey area with your son and his liability, Iwould suggest that it does not come from him but comes from someone else.
You are obviously going to pay that person and all they are doingis making a cheque out from their account.
A simplified explanation is that the person who pays the debt fora smaller amount is deemed to of bought the debt and it would be a "fraud" (notof fraud in the accepted sense) on the person who paid the debt, if therecipient accepted the cheque and then pursued the creditor for the balance.
Ok, that makes sense I guess.
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