A HUDDERSFIELD couple are celebrating after a 10-month wrangle over an alleged £1.75 debt was finally resolved.
Authors Aileen Armitage and Deric Longden, of Park Drive, had been in dispute for almost a year over the ground rent demand.
And they were outraged after their bill from Estates and Management Ltd was bumped up to £71.75 because of £70 administration letter charges.
"It's like banging your head against a brick wall with these people," said Mr Longden. "I have made about 30 phone calls and never been able to get through to the London-based company.
"I have heard of other people experiencing similar problems."
But after the Examiner called the company the problems were sorted within half an hour, a missing cheque was found and administration charges dropped.
A spokeswoman from Estates and Management apologised for the error and the delay in sorting out the difficulties
The couple live in an Edwardian house overlooking Greenhead Park, which was once divided into two flats. It also has two garages.
Each year they receive four demands for ground rent for the two flats (now one house) and two garages. The total is £10.
But last March they received only three demands.
Mr Longden sent a cheque for £10 and the cheque was cashed.
But Estates and Management wanted proof of payment of the £10. The firm sent two letters - charging £35 each to cover administration costs.
The company took over the ground rent lease of thousands of Huddersfield people several years ago. Kirklees Council sold the rents in 1994 and 1996, after secret discussions.
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman called for safeguards to protect people from billing abuses after he received many complaints about the company.
A new law is due this year.