Arnold v Britton  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
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)  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
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  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
The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) appears to have had a sudden burst of efficiency, churning out judgments at over one a week. It wasn’t that long ago that I can remember one a month being considered an efficient turn over. The reason, it appears, is that more judges have been appointed (hurrah!). So, without further ado, we come first to Church Commissioners v Derdabi  UKUT 380 (LC).
The appellants were the freeholders of a property in London and the respondent was their long leaseholder. In June 2010, the appellants issued proceedings in the county court in respect of unpaid service charges from 2007-2010. The respondent defended the proceedings on … Read the full post
Levitt and Levitt v LB Camden  UKUT 366 (LC)
The Brunswick Centre is a well-known mixed residential and commercial development in London. There are almost 400 flats atop perhaps 30 or so commercial units. The flats are (for the most part) heated by a warm air re-circulation system, whereby the heat/hot water is produced by a central boiler and then pumped round the building. In about 2005, Camden (for it is they) decided that the boiler/pipework was reaching the end of its natural life and that it needed replacement.
The appellant leaseholders purchased their flat in about April 2005. They were not prepared to wait for Camden to do … Read the full post
Forgive me for what may turn out to be a silly question, but this is something I’ve been thinking about recently and wanted to see what everyone else thought.
Leasehold property and legal costs
A well-drafted lease will usually contain a provision requiring the tenant to pay the landlords legal costs in the event that the landlord has to take action regarding a breach of covenant (e.g. failure to pay service charges). There is, as you might imagine, considerable scope for individual variation from lease to lease (e.g. does the right to costs arise only if the landlord ? Can the costs be billed personally or via the … Read the full post
Following on from the news that LEASE (the Leasehold Advisory Service – a quango) had not been granted funding to continue to advise the public on commonhold issues (see our note, here), comes the news that it is to stop offering mediation services in service charge disputes (again, one presumes, for lack of funding). The announcement is here.
Not entirely surprising. Sad though it is to say this, I suspect that the writing is on the wall for LEASE in general. The approach of the Tory-led government to quangos is, in general terms, to abolish them where they perform a service that the private sector could perform. Advise … Read the full post