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Caretakers and the Court of Appeal

By J

Continuing with the (ir)regular residential leasehold update, we have Cadogan v Panagopoulos [2010] EWCA Civ 1259, on appeal from the High Court (our note, here), which was itself an appeal from the county court. I’m not going to set out the factual or legal background, as I did that last time. Basically, the case concerns whether a basement flat that is used as a resident caretaker’s flat is “common parts” for the purposes of s.2 and 101, Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. If it was, then the respondents were entitled to acquire it and, if not, then they weren’t.

The Court of Appeal held that it was a common part. Parts are “common” if they are for shared, rather than individual benefit: Marfield Properties v Secretary of State for the Environment [1996] SCLR 749. It was not necessary for the leaseholders to have the right to use or access the parts for them to be common. The shared benefit was the provision of a resident caretaker and, whilst he clearly was not a common part, he could only operate as a resident caretaker if a flat was provided and that was enough to make the flat a common part.

Also – just briefly,  readers should note that, from November 29, 2010, there are new procedural rules  and a new (more expensive) fee regime for the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber). Both are available to download from the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) website.

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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