a. Ground Rent Recovery
b. Service Charge Recovery
c. Enforcement of Judgments
Before accepting any instructions we will carry out a review of the Lease/Transfer to ascertain whether costs are recoverable contractually from the debtor. Where those costs are recoverable we will accept the instruction on the basis the landlord enters into a Conditional Fee Agreement with us. The essence of the CFA is set out below:
It is important before signing the agreement you read its content entirely.
Following our review, a letter will be sent to the debtor in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims. This protocol affords the debtor 30 days to respond.
Our standard fixed fee for taking your instructions and drafting a pre-action protocol letter is £200.00*.
Our likely disbursements are as follows:
Office Copy Entry £25.00* plus £3.00 (not subject to VAT at 20%)
Lease / Transfer £25.00* plus £3.00 (not subject to VAT at 20 %)
In the event payment isn’t made by the debtor following our pre-action protocol letter and your instructions are to issue proceedings in the County Court our team of paralegals, overseen by our service charge and ground rent recoveries managers, will prepare the necessary documentation to instigate legal proceedings.
Our standard fixed fee for reviewing the matter and drafting the necessary documentation is:
|PDC Law Fee
|Less than £1,000
|£1,000 – £2,999
|£3,000 – £4,999
|More than £5,000
In order for a claim to be issued the Court will require us to pay a Court Fee, which will be requested from you. Those fees at present are set out below:
|Value of Claim
|More than £300 but not more than £500
|More than £500 but not more than £1000
|More than £1000 but not more than £1500
|More than £1500 but not more than £3000
|More than £3000 but not more than £5000
|More than £5000 but not more than £10000
|More than £10,000 but not more than £200,000
|5% of the value of Claim
|More than £200,000
Our fee includes:
Court matters can usually take up to 8 weeks from proceedings being issues to a judgment being obtained.
In the event the case become defended our senior litigators** comprising solicitors and paralegals will guide you through the Court process. Costs are incurred at hourly rates as set out in the below table:
|Grade A: Directors or solicitors with over 8 years’ experience
|Grade B: solicitors with over 4 years’ experience
|Grade C: Solicitors with under 4 years’ experience
|£150.00* - £175.00*
|Grade D: Trainee solicitors or paralegals
|£110.00* - £150.00*
An estimate of the costs will be provided from the outset and at regular intervals. The average cost of a small claims defended claim is between £2,500.00 - £6,000.00.
|Court hearing fee:
|£55.00 - £1,090.00
|Variable but usually range from £100 - £3,000*
It is difficult for us to be able to provide a timescale on these matters but the average defended case takes up to 12 months.
Once a Judgment has been entered by the Court, there are various methods of enforcement available to the creditor. We will discuss which methods are available to you on a case-by-case basis together with the costs, but have set out below the general methods of enforcement available to all creditors. NB where the property is leasehold / freehold and relates to Service Charge and/or Ground Rent recovery other methods are available.
1. County Court Bailiffs
This method of enforcement is generally for debts under £600.00. Where we advise you to enforce a debt with County Court Bailiffs we charge £121.00 in respect of the Court Fee and £100.00* in respect of our fees.
2. High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEO)
This method of enforcement is generally for debts over £600.00. Where we advise you to enforce a debt with HCE we charge £66.00 in respect of the Court Fee, £75.00* in respect of an abortive fee (payable to HCE) and £43.13* in respect our fees.
3. Third Party Debt Order (TPDO)
This method of enforcement is available for any debt amount but can only be effective where you know the debtor’s bank details and they are financially stable. Where we advise you to enforce a debt with a TPDO we charge £110.00 in respect of the Court Fee, between £100.00-£250.00* for Counsel to attend a hearing and £100* in respect our fees.
4. Attachment of Earnings
This method of enforcement is available for any debt amount but can only be effective where you know the debtor is working and where they are working. The debtor’s employer will be ordered to make deductions from the debtor’s wages each month to the creditor until the Judgment is satisfied. Where we advise you to enforce a debt with an attachment of earnings we charge £110.00 in respect of the Court Fee, between £100.00-£250.00* in respect of a hearing fee (payable to Counsel) and £100* in respect our fees.
5. Charging Orders and Orders for Sale
This is a two-step method of enforcement and there is no obligation or requirement to make an application to the Court seeking an order to sell the debtors property to pay the debt.
a. Charging Order
A Charging Order is not generally considered a method of enforcing a Judgment but rather a way of securing the debt against the debtor’s asset(s). Where we advise you to place a Charge on the debtor’s asset(s) we charge £110.00 in respect of the Court Fee, £40.00 in respect of Land Registry Charges and £83.33* in respect our fees.
b. Order for sale
Once the Court has granted a Final Charging Order against the debtor’s asset, we may advise you to enforce the order by way of an Order for Sale. If granted, the Court will order the Judgment creditor be given permission to sell the debtor’s asset not below a certain price. Where we advise you to enforce with an Order for Sale our costs vary, the Court charge an application fee of £308.00, Counsel’s fees range from £500.00-£1,500.00* per hearing and our costs range from £1,500.00-£3,000.00*.
In the event the matter has been with us from either the pre-issue or issue stage and we are working under the CFA, we will not seek payment of any costs from you but instead will recover all sums together with our fees from the debtor.
* All costs are exclusive of VAT at 20%
**We use the term litigators to describe both lawyers and non-lawyers.
The relevant works will be carried out by our Enforcement, Defended, Litigation and Possession teams whom you can find here.