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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

‘It did seem to be expensive’

Gateway (Leeds) Management Ltd v (1) Naghash (2) Shamsizadeh [2015] UKUT 333 (LC) If a head leaseholder, or managing company passes on as a service charge, rent charged by a freeholder for property in order to provide services, does this amount to a variable service charge for the purposes of s.18 Landlord and Tenant Act […]

Indecent homes and major works charges

The DCLG has released the “Social landlords reduction of service charges: mandatory and discretionary directions 2014“, in force as of today, 12 August 2014. The upshot of the mandatory directions is that a social landlord which undertakes “repair, maintenance or improvement” wholly or partly funded by (a) the Decent Homes Backlog Funding provided through the […]

Historic Neglect

  Daejan Properties Ltd v Griffin & Anor [2014] UKUT 206 (LC) is not, perhaps, the most riveting of Upper Tribunal appeals on service charges, but it does have some useful statements and reminders along the way. This concerned a 3 storey Victorian property in Barnet, with shops on the ground floor and 18 flats […]