Legal Q&A: will refusing to pay a valuer's fee affect my credit rating?

I am nearing the end of the process of extending the lease on my flat via the statutory route. I do not want to pay my valuer's fee but, if I refuse to pay the invoice, will it affect my credit rating?
Question: I am nearing the end of the process of extending the lease on my flat via the statutory route. However, I do not want to pay my valuer's fee, because the premium I have agreed with the freeholder is significantly more than the amount my valuer originally said. If I refuse to pay the invoice, will it affect my credit rating? 

Answer: Applying for a lease extension under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 is a complex process, and it tends to be difficult to calculate at the outset what the final cost of a lease extension is likely to be.

Hopefully, you instructed a valuation surveyor experienced in lease extensions under the Act and who was knowledgeable regarding your local property market. The valuation depends on such matters as the unexpired term of your lease, ground rent payable, the current value of your flat and the likely improvement in value following the grant of the new lease, and will be the best estimate the valuer can give based on market forces.

Your valuation and that of your landlord were likely to have been some way apart and your surveyor should have advised you of that and warned you of the worst-case scenario. If the surveyor was negligent in the advice given to you, then you may have grounds to claim that you should not pay all or part of the invoice.

If you do not pay the valuer's fee and have no grounds for so doing, the valuer may issue a small claim against you and if judgment is entered against you, your creditworthiness will be affected if this is not paid promptly.

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

What's your problem?
If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona is legal director in the real estate group of Foot Anstey LLP in Exeter (fionamcnulty@footanstey.com)
 
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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