Author Archives: J

J is a barrister in London. He loves service charges and all things leasehold law related. He also likes beating rogue landlords and mortgage companies.

Gonna get myself arrested

Maunder Taylor v SHG-SH20 Ltd 3CL02066 is one of the more interesting (and potentially, important) county court cases I’ve come across recently (transcript not publicly available; I’ve got one and am trying to persuade the Landlord and Tenant Reports to publish it). For reasons that will become clear, it has wider significance for LVT/FTT cases and although only a county court judgment, it is by HHJ Walden-Smith who is herself a judge of the UT(LC); not binding authority, I accept, but persuasive and important.

The case concerns the powers of the FTT/LVT under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. As you may know (and, if you don’t know, this excellent Read the full post

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Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me*

Gustovarac v Croatia App. No, 60223/09 is a game-changer of a case. A possession case in which the European Court of Human Rights seems to be saying you don’t need a proportionality assessment.

Now, as you’ll all know, there is a line of European Cases, starting with McCann v UK, taking in Zehentner v Austria and meandering through a range of Croatian cases (Blecic, Orlic, Cosic, etc – see generally, here), which have stated that:

the loss of one’s home is a most extreme form of interference with the right to respect for the home.  Any person at risk of an interference of this magnitude should in principle

Read the full post

Posted in FLW case note, Housing law - All, Possession | 9 Comments

Moving places

I was reading the report from the Senior President of Tribunals (here) and came across some interesting little bits:

(a) The President of the Lands Chamber in his report notes that he now has a power to make a protective costs order in cases where there is a significant disparity in resources between parties – does anyone know where this power comes from? I confess that I’d not heard of it.

(b) The Lands Chamber is moving buildings in 2014 as well – it’ll have a permanent home in the Royal Courts of Justice.

(c) The President of the FTT(PC) notes that her Tribunal received 10,311 “residential property” … Read the full post

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So, do you come here often?

The DCLG has just published new guidance (available here) on promoting mutual exchange. This is, we are told, an under-used process which can bring happiness and joy to landlords and tenants. For the latter, it is a more realistic option for securing a move than waiting for a transfer and can also help tenants be closer to friends, family and social and healthcare facilities (interesting, being closer to work or educational opportunities isn’t mentioned, which is odd given that the government wants to introduce a “right to move” for such purposes; perhaps they forgot their own policy?). For landlords, it helps with efficient use of stock and … Read the full post

Posted in FLW article, Housing law - All | 3 Comments

The Lord Giveth, and the Lord Justice taketh away

Morshead Mansions Ltd v Di Marco [2014] EWCA Civ 96 marks the tragic demise of a clever and useful remedy fashioned by Mann J in the High Court case of the same name (our note here). In brief, ss.21, 22, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 entitle leaseholders to summaries of costs in respect of their service charges and, in turn, to inspect underlying documents (invoices, etc). The 1985 Act makes it a crime to fail to comply with the obligations in ss.21, 22 (subject to a defence of reasonable excuse). In reality, however, private prosecutions almost never happen and very, very few councils will take action (the local housing … Read the full post

Posted in FLW case note, Housing law - All, Leasehold and shared ownership | 2 Comments

Three to whet your appetite

The higher courts and tribunals have all been having a busy leasehold-related start to the year. None of these are hugely important, hence doing a short collective note on them. The really important cases will come later this year (Phillips v Francis; Di Marco v Morshead Mansions (No.2))

Sussex Villas v Wan [2014] UKUT 29 (LC) involved a truly awful lease. I don’t really want to talk about the underlying dispute because, frankly, it turns entirely on its own facts (and, as I might have mentioned, awful wording in the lease). The interesting bit is how the UT approached s.20C, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (power to prevent … Read the full post

Posted in FLW case note, Housing law - All, Leasehold and shared ownership | 4 Comments