Foxtons' terms unfair

In a long awaited decision the High Court has held in Office of Fair Trading v Foxtons [2009] EWHC 1691 (Ch) that some of the terms and conditions contained in Foxtons’ contract with landlords were unfair. While strictly speaking this decision is unrelated to housing law, concerning as it does the fairness of consumer contracts, […]

Rent review (Megarry at last…)

Avid students of assured tenancies will know that the late Sir Robert Megarry wondered (in his work the Rent Acts) what would happen to a term providing for a mechanism for setting the rent that was written into a fixed term assured tenancy after that tenancy had become a statutory periodic tenancy. The High Court […]

Adverse possession of the river bed

In Port of London Authority v Ashmore [2009] EWHC 954 (Ch) the Defendant had, since 1983, tethered his sailing barge to Albion Wharf on the Thames close by Battersea Bridge. The Authority wished to register title to the bed of the river Thames but Mr Ashmore opposed this, claiming that, since his barge rested on […]

Adverse possession of a highway

Can you acquire title to land over which a highway runs? There seems to be no reason in principle why not but R (Smith) v Land Registry (Peterborough) [2009] EWHC 328 (Admin) — wrongly in my view — suggests otherwise. The Claimant had occupied land with his caravan and its associated structures for in excess […]

Emergency remedial action

In Luton Borough Council v Universal Group we have the first (and almost certainly last) decision of the Lands Tribunal under the Housing Act 2004 on appeal from a Residential Property Tribunal (or RPT). 15-17 Chapel Street, Luton is (or was) consisted of a night club on the ground floor and 11 storeys of 13 […]

Disclaimer, assignment and guarantee

In Shaw v Doleman[2009] EWCA Civ 279 the Court of Appeal confirmed the view taken by some writers as to the effect of the disclaimer of an assigned lease on the obligations of a guarantor. At the same time it highlights that wording common in Authorised Guarantee Agreements (AGA’s) may not mean quite what the […]

A dutiful cousin

The House of Lords have again considered the nature and extent of proprietary estoppel in Thorner v Majors [2009] UKHL 18. Regular readers will recall we discussed their decision in Yeoman’s Row Management Limited (Appellants) and another v Cobbe (Respondent) [2008] UKHL 55 in August last year. Picture this: a large farm in Somerset owned […]

Letting agents hit by TDS?

A recent blog post on the PainSmith blog illustrates a potentially nasty trap for letting agents (and useful alternative target for tenants) in the tenancy deposit protection system of the Housing Act 2004. According to PainSmith a let-only agent received a deposit from the tenant and passed it on to the landlord who failed to […]

Unreasonable refusal to assign

A case appearing on my radar, though one that may not excite many readers is Landlord Protect Limited v St Anselm Development Company Limited [2009] EWCA Civ 99. A case concerning whether a landlord has imposed an unreasonable condition for a consent to assign. The relevant covenant in the lease was as follows: …not to […]