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One for the surveyors…

By J

Re Flat 3, 49-51 Cheval Place, London, SW7 1EW LRA/123/2009

Certain qualifying tenants of flats are, pursuant to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, entitled to acquire an extended lease of their flat in exchange for a statutorily calculated premium. In addition, the leaseholder is required to pay the landlord’s costs of, inter alia, the valuation of the tenants flat

This Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) appeal involved abortive proceedings for an extended lease. The surveyors for the landlord had charged a fixed fee for each ‘stage’ of the work, which the landlord had then paid.

The LVT did not allow the fixed fee but allowed a sum equal to the value of the work actually done. The landlord appealed to the Upper Tribunal.

The appeal was dismissed. Whilst the landlord had agreed to pay a fixed fee and it was true to say that clients (whether landlords or tenants) preferred to negotiate fixed fees, the fixed fee in this case was higher than the actual value of the work to be done. The value of that work had been agreed at “X” and the LVT had awarded “X”.

In addition, the fixed fee clearly included an element of work that could not be recovered from the leaseholder in any event as it related to advice on tactics. Accordingly, the LVT could not be said to have erred.

Posted in: Uncategorized
J is a barrister. He considers housing law to be the single greatest kind of law known to humankind and finds it very odd that so few people share this view.


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