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Notice me

By J

Riniker v Mattey , Divisional Court, June 7, 2013 (Lawtel note only) is another odd little service charge case. The note isn’t entirely clear but, so far as I can see, it concerns the little-used Schedule to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. If you’re involved in an insurance-related service charge dispute with your freeholder, the Schedule is a very useful (and underused) bit of law. By para.3 of the Schedule, provision is made for a leaseholder to serve notice on the landlord (or agent), requiring the landlord to allow the leaseholder to inspect the insurance policy and supporting documents, take copies, etc. It is (strangely) a crime not to comply with this requirement within the prescribed time period (21 days; see para.6 for the offence).

Riniker seems to be a leaseholder of a flat which is owned by a company (called only “C” in the note). Mr Mattey was the company secretary of C. It appears that the notice under the Schedule was served on C; access was not given, and Riniker issued proceedings against Mr Mattey.

The District Judge held that there was no case to answer as Mr Mattey was not the landlord. The Divisional Court upheld that decision.

Now, there must be something more to this. How on earth is it contended that Mr Mattey is the landlord? Sadly, the note serves to tease, but not satisfy (hat tip, Sir Alan Ward). If any readers have any more information, I’d be very grateful to hear it.

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.


  1. J

    I have now seen the judgment and the note was quite right. A hopeless appeal.

  2. LHA

    I suspect he was confused between service on Mr M the person, as opposed to what he intended, service on one of its officers, Mr M Co Sec, which in itself would have struggled to pass muster).

    • J

      Possibly. There may well be something behind the scenes that didn’t make it into the judgment which explains what would otherwise be a very odd confusion.


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