Service charge claims – paying trial fees and concurrent jurisdiction

Hyslop v 38/41 CHG Residents Company Ltd QBD 05/11/2018 (not on Bailii. Lawtel note of extempore judgment) CHG were the freeholder of a property with various leasehold flats. The FTT had determined that Ms Hyslop and other leaseholders owed CHG certain service charges. H applied to the Upper Tribunal for permission to appeal out of […]

When service charges become indisputable

Marlborough Park Services Ltd v Micha Leitner (2018) UKUT 230 (LC) Tenants/Leaseholders can seek a determination of the payability and reasonableness of service charges under s.27A Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. It has been something of a question about how far back a challenge can extend in terms of service charge years. While this Upper […]

The costs of dangerous cladding – leaseholders position

First Tier Tribunal LON/00AH/LSC/2017/0435 – Firstport Property Services Ltd v various leaseholders of Citiscape We previously saw the Salford decision on the costs of a ‘waking watch’ in a tower with ‘Grenfell’ style cladding, but this was the first, keenly awaited, decision on the liability of leaseholders of an affected building (here in Croydon) to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Service charges, contracts, social housing and subsidies

Thomas Homes Ltd v Colin MacGregor [2016] UKUT 495 (LC) An interesting question. To what extent, if at all, can leaseholders’ service charges be set at a level to ‘subsidise’ a shortfall as against actual maintenance costs in service charges recoverable from social tenants in flats provided under a section 106 agreement. The difficulties in […]

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 […]