There were a few announcements today and a Supreme Court decision.
By far the biggest one, if you live in or are a landlord, or indeed a housing lawyer, in Wales is that the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will be implemented (come into force) on 15 July 2022. Yes, it has taken 6 years, but when this happens, Wales will have a completely separate, self contained system of housing law. It was always a massively ambitious programme, but it will be remarkable to see it come into being. (Of course, how far it is effective will also depend on the number of housing lawyers in Wales, which is currently not a lot…) Apparently guidance and notes will be published on Friday 14 January.
Also noteworthy was the publication by Siobhan McGrath, President of the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) of a Practice Statement: Appointment of Managers under Section 24 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. This sets out for applicants for a Tribunal appointed manager, and for prospective managers what the Tribunal’s expectations of an appointed manager are. This is a very helpful document, which amongst other things requires the prospective manager to provide details of any and all other section 24 appointments that they have had, ongoing or not. I presume the practice note is in response to the Davidoff affair, but it is a clear, detailed and helpful statement that should be of use to all concerned in a section 24 application.
Last and, relatively speaking, least of announcements, my Anthony Gold colleague Wallace White and I are doing a free webinar on legal and practical options and tactics for leaseholders and tenants to take group action over the conditions of their buildings. It is on 7 February 2022 at midday. If you would like to attend, the registration form is here. (500 places max, first come first served…). I would like to stress my implicit belief that this is a work event.
And finally, in FirstPort Property Services Ltd v Settlers Court RTM Company Ltd & Ors (2022) UKSC 1, the Supreme Court allowed an appeal by FirstPort, holding that where a Right to Manage is obtained under Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, this only extends to the ‘premises’ but not to any shared services on a wider estate or development. Gala Unity Ltd v Ariadne Road RTM Co Ltd (2012) EWCA Civ 1372 was wrongly decided.