Historic Neglect



Daejan Properties Ltd v Griffin & Anor [2014] UKUT 206 (LC) is not, perhaps, the most riveting of Upper Tribunal appeals on service charges, but it does have some useful statements and reminders along the way.

This concerned a 3 storey Victorian property in Barnet, with shops on the ground floor and 18 flats above it. “Access to the upper floor flats is by a walkway along which runs a parapet wall supported by concealed steel beams.  For very many years the steel beams corroded, unobserved and unrepaired, until in 2008 one of them failed and threatened to tip the parapet into Cricklewood Lane.  Emergency repairs were carried out … Read the full post

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 Read the full post

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

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

Lease variation in the LVT

2012 seems to be a bumper year for cases under s.37, Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. Having had (so far as I can tell) none in the previous 20-odd years, we’ve now had two. The first was covered by us here and the second has just been handed down by the Upper Tribunal.

For those who don’t spend their spare time reading little-used statues, the 1987 Act provides the LVT with power to vary residential leases. There are two distinct routes. The first (s.35) is predicated on the leases containing one or more specified defects. The second is a broader power which isn’t tied to any particular defect, but simply … Read the full post

Vexatious litigants in the LVT

In Attorney General v Singer & Singer, Divisional Court, January 24, 2012 [taken from a lawtel note - not on bailii], the Attorney General sought a civil proceedings order, under s.42, Senior Courts Act 1981, against Mr & Mrs Singer. The effect of such an order is that no civil proceedings or civil applications may be made by the person subject to the order without the leave of the High Court. The High Court may make such an order, on an application by the Attorney General, if satisfied that a person has habitually and persistently instituted vexatious civil proceedings or applications in either the High Court or any inferior court.… Read the full post

And you find that power where?

By s.168, Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, a landlord may not serve a notice under s.146, Law of Property Act 1925, or otherwise exercise a right of re-entry (i.e. forfeiture) in respect of a breach of a covenant (other than one to pay rent – which is unaffected by s.146, see s.146(11); or service/administration charges, which are dealt with under s.81, Housing Act 1996), unless the breach has been admitted by the tenant or determined by a court, LVT or arbitral tribunal.

There is a bit of a cottage industry in these applications to the LVT. Landlord says that tenant is in breach by, e.g. having a cat. … Read the full post

Service charges ad infinitum

The Upper Tribunal is hearing what might turn out to be quite an important s.20, LTA 1985 dispensation case today (LB Southwark v over 13,000 leaseholders in the borough (our note here) and, as ever, we’ll bring it to you as soon as we have news of the result. In the meantime, the UT(LC) has been hard at it with two more cases, starting with LB Newham v Hannan and others [2011] UKUT 406 (LC).

Newham had tried to consult leaseholder in respect of a qualifying long term agreement (see s.20, LTA 1985) under which various works to 71 tower blocks would be carried out. The works were … Read the full post