Three of a kind beats two of a pair

Arnold v Britton [2012] EWHC 2451(Ch) is the third holiday chalet / service charge case we’ve covered in short order (the other two are here and here). Coincidence or evidence of a growth area of work I wonder?

Anyway, back to the case. The issue was whether or not the lease provided for the payment of a service charge as defined by s.18, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, that is to say, a charge which, inter alia, “varies or may vary according to the relevant costs”.

There were five forms of lease with five forms of clause.

Version 1: “To pay to the Lessors without any deductions in … Read the full post

The anachronistic roundabout

An odd appeal on an adverse possession case, of no legal interest per se, but entertaining on the facts.

Devanney v LB Hounslow [2012] EWCA Civ 1660 [not on baili yet. Transcript on lawtel]

Mr D operated a mobile cafe from a layby on the edge of Heathrow Airport. He had done so for a number of years. Hounslow owned the layby, which adjoined land owned by BAA. A fence was put up between these strips of land at some time after early 2004. It was common ground that in early 2004 Mr D was in occupation of the strip owned by Hounslow.

Hounslow brought a claim for possession of … Read the full post

This seems to be taking a while

Back in May 2010, we covered the case of Philips v Francis (QBD, Truro District Registry) on whether or not holiday chalets let on long leases were “dwellings” within the meaning of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and, hence, the service charges payable by owners of the chalets were subject to terms of the 1985 Act. The High Court held that they were (see here).

The case is still on-going, and the most recent judgment was handed down in December 2012 – Philips v Francis (No.2) [2012] EWHC 3650 (Ch). And, like the first one, it promises to be quite important (although you do feel for the parties … Read the full post

Post-Christmas lull

Those few days between Christmas and New Year were always quite a lot of fun in our household. You’d finally have the time to catch up on the excellent Christmas TV (i.e. you could watch the hours and hours of stuff you’d recorded on your video player). There was still quite a lot of treat-food to get through. Not to mention getting to grips with all the presents. And, so, in that spirit of unrestrained joy, I bring you a leasehold update, in the style of Christmas TV.

The satisfying sequel

Johnson and others v County Bidefort Ltd [2012] UKUT 457 (LC) involved a dispute between holiday chalet owners and … Read the full post

Of elves, statistics and the turn of the year

In the slow, dark days between Christmas and New Year, it is customary to reflect on the past year, plucking out whatever crumbs of comfort, or acorns of change may be found. So, in the spirit of grudging introspection, I’ve taken a look at the last year of the blog.

Painful though it is to admit it, it went rather well.

In figures – everything is up on last year

  • About 332,500 page views in the year (not counting the team’s) (Something like 1,300,000 over the life of the blog)
  • Averaging about 920 views a day
  • 186 posts (One every 2 days on average)
  • 1400 people getting posts via email
Read the full post

Request for information

[Updated 20/12/12. See below]

There is a rather odd case note on Lawtel on a High Court appeal of a dismissed defence to possession following an apparently failed succession…

Evans v Brent London Borough Council QB (Ramsey J) 18/12/2012 [note of extempore judgment on Lawtel]

From the note it appears that Ms Evans was the joint secure tenant of Brent with her father. She then moved out to take up an AST with her children in 2010, on a 12 month term, apparently to give space to her father, who was ill. In 2011 she moved back in. Soon after, her father died.

In 2012, Brent brought possession proceedings, on … Read the full post

I think someone has got a little confused

According to this article, the Residential Landlords Association are up in arms about the European Court of Human Rights being about to rule on article 8 defences in a case affecting private land owners. Richard Jones, the RLA policy director (and a solicitor who some might think should really know better) is quoted as saying:

“If Europe decides that respect for the home provisions within the Human Rights Convention apply to private landlords this will lead to a mass exodus of landlords, causing untold misery for those in desperate need of a place to live.”

There are a few problems with that statement, but perhaps the most immediate one … Read the full post

Tis the season…



As you all know, the assorted (very assorted) lawyers that make up the NL team do this for the love of it (though heaven knows it is a demanding relationship at times). We’re glad that we can produce something that people find useful but mostly we just enjoy writing about housing law.

At about this time of year, though, it occurs to us to ask that should you find value in what we do, you might think about handing over some money in response. Not to us – we don’t want your money (unless professionally instructed, then the more the better) – but to some people who could make … Read the full post