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.

Mortgage possession defences

I can distinctly remember my university lectures on mortgages. Not the content – I don’t think I ever really understood that – but the “gap” that existed (and still exists) between the popular understanding of what a mortgage is and what, in law, it amounts to. In particular, I remember being amazed that a mortgage was, in effect, a right to immediate possession of the property, regardless of whether there was any default on the part of the borrower (the right to possession arises “before the ink is dry” as it was put in various cases).

That unqualified* right to possession has come to the fore again in Thakker v Read the full post

Posted in FLW case note, Housing law - All, Mortgage possession | 12 Comments

In the garden of Eden

Lawtel had an interesting note on a permission to appeal case earlier this week – Mount Eden Land Ltd v Bolsover Investments Ltd (Ch.D, 20.6.14).

Mount Eden Land Ltd (also known as the Langham Estate) had the freehold of an office block. Bolsover Investments Ltd had the remainder of a 999 year lease (running from 1913, so, in practice, loads of time remaining). The lease did not prohibit residential use, but did contain a covenant against alterations without the consent of the landlord. By virtue of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 (s.19), that consent could not be unreasonably withheld.

Bolsover applied for consent to convert the building into 16 … Read the full post

Posted in FLW case note, Housing law - All, Leasehold and shared ownership | Leave a comment

Come friendly bombs…

Terrorism insurance is an increasingly contentious issue in service charge cases; in short, many leaseholders think it is unnecessary and simply serves to increase the their service charges (and, potentially, acts as an additional source of commission for landlords, itself a very contentious issue). Well, in Qdime Ltd v Various Leaseholders at Bath Building (Swindon) and others [2014] UKUT 261 (LC), the Upper Tribunal has given an unqualified endorsement of terrorism insurance and, in the process, may well have greatly extended the number of properties which are now required to obtain such insurance.

The case concerns a development of 13 flats in Swindon. The appellant is the freeholder and, under … Read the full post

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Former landlords and s.20B LTA 1985

In Ground Rents (Regisport) Ltd v Dowlen [2014] UKUT 144 (LC), the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) had to – once again – grapple with s.20B, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. The facts are quite straightforward. Imagine, if you will, that there is a modern development of three blocks of flats. It was developed by Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd, who were also the original landlords under all the long leases. Once the leases had been created, the freehold was transferred to the appellant.

During CPLs period of ownership, there had been an agreement with Thames Water to supply, well, water, to the blocks. That agreement wasn’t assigned to the appellants but … Read the full post

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An interim measure

Fisher v Howard De Walden Estate Ltd RAP/19/2013 is that rare thing – a citeable permission to appeal decision from the UT(LC) (remembering that in Re Bradmoss [2012] UKUT 3 (LC), the UT(LC) had disapproved of reliance on permission decisions, see our brief note, here).

It concerns the approach to be taken to permission to appeal applications in the UT(LC) in respect of FTT matters in England.

Before the introduction of the FTT, the various tribunals which were subsumed into the FTT had a range of appeal rights. The RAC (fair rents) appealed to the High Court, “on a point of law” (s.11, Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1992). The … Read the full post

Posted in FLW case note, Housing law - All, Leasehold and shared ownership | 3 Comments

The UKIP-ification of law

Or, why Nigel Farrage doesn’t need to worry about that house-load of Romanians moving next door to him once the Immigration Act 2014 comes into force.

The Immigration Act 2014 received Royal Assent on May 14, 2014 and, as is obviously the case for an immigration act, it contains significant new developments in housing law in Pt.3, Ch.1 (“Access to Services Etc / Residental Tenancies”). The developments are odious and badly thought out, as I’ll try and explain.

Disqualified potential occupiers

Section 21 introduces the concept of the person who is, by virtue of his immigration status, “disqualified” from “occupying premises under a residential tenancy.” A “residential tenancy” is any … Read the full post

Posted in Assured Shorthold tenancy, FLW article, Housing law - All | Tagged , | 21 Comments
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