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Rentcharge / Chief rent -- Shenstone problems?(6 Posts)
I'm considering buying a freehold property where the owner has to pay £10 p.a. rentcharge to Shenstone Properties Ltd. A quick google search shows them to be notorious and there are a lot of complaints against them from the 2010s, but there's not been many recently.
Does anyone deal with them? Has it calmed down?
Is the property still worth pursuing?
A rent charge, or chief rent, is an annual charge payable by the freeholder to the holder of the rent charge. The holder of the rent charge has no other interest in the property. It is not a ground rent. There is no service charge payable. Just pay it and ensure you have proof of payment and, preferably, a receipt.
There is usually no way for the rent charge holder to increase the charge either btw as they are usually historical and the odd amounts come from converting pounds, shillings and pence to decimal.
We used to have one which was £7.44. There is a rent charge where we currently live, but no one has ever tried to collect it and I cannot trace the rent charge holder.
Could anyone please give me some advise, I have received a final demand for chief ground rent the letter they sent was dated the 21st April 2016, which I did not receive till the 16th May 2016, the amount wasn't due till the 1st June 2016, I sent the cheque on the 20th may 2016. Today I have had a letter from the arrears department informing me that this has not ben paid. On phoning the company I came across a extremely rude woman who told me that they have not received the cheque and now I owe them £82.00 (£70) for admin and recovery costs. They are now threatening me with a County Court judgement if this is not paid with 14 days. The very rude woman would not listen to anything I was saying and just put the phone down on me, now it seems to be constantly engaged. Can this company do this? do they have to have proof of when they sent letters out (rude woman said that they don't )
Could someone out there who may have had the same problem please let me know if this can be enforced and have a CCJ against my name
sorry the name of the company is Shenstone Properties
Jan - It is a rentcharge that they are enforcing. I'm not a lawyer by any means but I'm having my own battles with another parasite which has educated me somewhat in this issue.
What they are charging you is based an an old law, (section 121, law of property act, 1925). Technically, if you haven't paid their demand within forty days of asking, they can take possession of your property until the charges and costs are paid. Of course, I don't know anyone who has actually done this, but a county court judgement is certainly possible.
Rather than contact the company by phone, continue all correspondence with them via email so that you have a record of everything. Let them know that you have already sent the payment and it's unfortunate that they did not receive it. As much as you cannot prove that you sent the cheque, they cannot prove that they didn't receive it. I'm sure the County Court would not look on a company that did not take any reasonable steps to resolve the matter before going to court.
Have they given you any other method of payment apart from cheque? If not, ask them to give you an option to pay online so that there's a record of payment. I personally would be loathed to pay the admin fee if i'd sent the cheque, but you might want to do so if you just want the problem to go away. Alternatively, call their bluff and be prepared to go to court to contest it if they insist on the costs.
Finally, obtain an application for a Redemption Certificate from the Rentcharges Unit, Department for Communities & Local Government, 3rd Floor, 12 Princes Parade, Princes Dock, Liverpool L3 1DE. ( Tel: 0303 4444558) to redeem the rentcharge and get rid of your problem once and for all. It will cost you about 16 times the original cost, (less than £200), but it's better than the hassle of having to deal with parasites.
Read further here:
I have been dealing with Shenstone since 2009 and would like to let you know that following the advice from mathematricks above I have finally had success in getting a redemption certificate for my property. It took almost a year but that was because the government department (long title above) was having a long consultation process but its been worth the wait. Shenstone continue their sharp practices but if people knew that by filling in a form to apply for a redemption certificate they can free themselves from this dreadful company maybe they would do it. I was paying £1.25 every 6 months and Shenstone wanted a settlement figure of £850 - that's 340 years worth! After going through the process I got a settlement figure of £43.18 (17 years) and I am free of them. Hurray! Its pretty straightforward, just keep copies of everything and send it all under 'signed' for post.
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