Reasonable costs of Improvements

The London Borough of Hounslow v Waaler [2017] EWCA Civ 45 We saw the Upper Tribunal take a new approach to determining whether the costs of improvement works, passed on through the service charge, were reasonably incurred. The UT held that particular consideration should have been given to the views of the leaseholders, whether they […]

Perception of doors*

Southwark Council v Various Lessees of the St Saviours Estate [2017] UKUT 10 (LC) (Full disclosure – my firm acted for the Lessees). The issue in this Upper Tribunal case was whether LB Southwark was entitled charge the leaseholders for works to replace communal doors and front entrance doors carried out during fire safety improvement […]

Leases, tribunals and contractual costs

87 St George’s Square Management Ltd v Whiteside [2016] UKUT 438 (LC) The vexed issues of costs in service charge disputes rumble on. Willow Court Management Company (1985) Ltd v Alexander [2016] UKUT 0290 (LC) (our note) set out guidance for how and when rule 13 costs awards will be engaged and awarded in the First Tier […]

AirbnBreach – developments…

Things are hotting up on the Airbnb front. We’ve noted breach of lease issues here and here. Then there has been the big issue of massive and widespread breaches of the Greater London ‘no short letting of whole for more than 90 days per calendar year without planning permission’ rules, which councils, understandably, have been […]

In the Tribunals…

Quick notes on a couple of Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) cases. Cardiff Community Housing Association Ltd v Kahar  [2016] UKUT 279 (LC) Ms K had a weekly tenancy of a flat (initially her daughter’s flat but assigned to her in 2014 by mutual exchange). The tenancy agreement provided for the payment of rent and also a […]

Short term lets and private residences

Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Ltd [2016] UKUT 303 (LC) We’ve seen a First Tier Tribunal case on breach of lease by use of the property for short term lets through Airbnb. Here the Upper Tribunal weighs in on the significance of lease covenants for short term letting use. The question was an  ostensibly simple one: […]

How the other half live

Eclipse Film Partners v HMRC [2016] UKSC 24 has almost nothing to do with housing law. It was an appeal from the First Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber), via the UT (TCC) and the CA. It wasn’t even about the substantive issues in the case, rather, it was about who should pay for the costs of […]

AirBnBreach

The Govt seems very keen on Airbnb-style short term letting. First, the planning change in London to permit short term letting for up to 90 days in any year, then Osborne’s £1000 tax break for Airbnb style landlords in the March 2016 budget. Of course, the up to 90 days a year (in London) rule […]

A Hawarden Kite

Forfeiture of (residential) long leases is a controversial subject: on the one hand, it’s clear that there has to be a practical and accessible route for landlords to enforce covenants, whether as to payment of monies or more general “management” covenants (e.g. stopping people just removing load bearing walls); but, on the other, the potential […]

Help the aged*

Retirement housing issues aren’t something we cover much on NL, but in late December 2015, there were two interesting** developments. By way of background, many retirement properties/retirement villages sell the flats/bungalows/dwellings on long leases. Those leases commonly provide for “event fees”, i.e. obligations to make (substantial) payments when certain events occur. By far the most […]