There can be only one!

The MHCLG have announced a consultation ‘Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market’, which primarily about reviewing and reforming Ombudsman schemes in the housing sector, with the proposal floated for a single Ombudsman/redress scheme across the whole housing sector – social and private landlord, letting agents, tenants and buyers of new build properties. Even, it […]

Fire Safety – Who Pays?

Since the extent of the issues with the cladding to blocks of flats became clear after Grenfell, and it became clear that private blocks as well as social were affected, we have been waiting for the beginning of the legal fall out over who was to pay for rectifying the problems. For leaseholders in those […]

An air of unreality

Whilst winding my way home this evening, I chanced across a piece from Inside Housing in which is was reported that the Secretary of State, (Sajid Javid) had suggested that private freeholders should pick up the costs associated with fire-safety works and not recharge them to leaseholders. More remarkably, he is reported as saying that […]

Premature forfeiture

A couple of quick notes on forfeiture of leases. Cheerupmate2 Ltd v Calce (2017) UKUT 377 (TCC) Forfeiture for ground rent arrears was not valid because: a) The wrong notice under s.166 Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 had been served. The notice was statutorily prescribed and the use of an older, pre-2011 version was not acceptable. […]

Incurred and incurred again

Under section 20B(1) Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, a service charge must be demanded of the tenant within 18 months of the relevant cost having been incurred by the landlord. But what happens when there is a head landlord demanding a charge from an intermediate landlord who, in turn, passes the cost on to their […]

Cant Pay

It is rare, if we are entirely honest, for a First Tier Tribunal decision on service charges to be exciting. It is even rarer for there to be mystery and police raids, and “Immunity from Treason” notices, and debts of “Trillions of pounds”, and something called an ‘equity lawyer’. Yet here they all are, and […]

Service charge disputes and recovery of costs

Bretby Hall Management Company Ltd v Pratt [2017] UKUT 70 (LC) This was an appeal to the UT on various issue arising from an FTT decision. We will not dwell on the issue of specific charges not being consulted on under s.20, but not – as the UT found, overturning the FTT – subject to […]

The Tribunal’s enforcer

In Octagon Overseas Ltd and Canary Riverside Management Ltd v Coates [2017] EWHC 877 (Ch), the First-tier Tribunal appointed Mr Coates as the manager of Canary Riverside (a development comprising, amongst other things, four blocks of residential apartments of which Octagon were the freehold owners) under s.24, Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. As part of […]

Somebody else’s money

Sheffield City Council v Oliver [2017] EWCA Civ 225 We saw this case in the Upper Tribunal, here, and I’ll borrow the brief facts. Ms Oliver was the long leaseholder in a block of flats on the Lansdowne Estate, which was owned by the Council. The Council carried out city wide major works, which included […]

Short term lets, long term consequences

A couple of county court cases on Airbnb/short let use by leaseholders. One was reported in the newspapers, the other has not been reported anywhere before. Both show the potentially serious consequences of leaseholders letting out on short lets, where lease clauses arguably prevent it. We have seen the clause ‘use only as a private […]