Joint ownership and landlords: who serves notice? – Tanfield Chambers

Posted September 4th, 2015 in enfranchisement, landlord & tenant, leases, news, service charges by sally

‘Joint tenancy has been the only means of ownership of property at law since the Law of Property Act 1925 relegated tenancy in common to equitable ownership only. Despite the 90 years which have elapsed, joint ownership as it impacts on day to day management of residential leasehold property is not always understood. It is not uncommon, on an enfranchisement of a terraced house converted into two flats, for the freehold to be acquired by the two lessees jointly. What then? Must both decide on service charge expenditure together? What happens if one of the two refuses to join in, can the other sue? What if one of the two breaches their lease as leaseholder? These are issues which have often arisen in cases I have dealt with. The answers lie in an analysis of the trust law implications of joint ownership.’

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Tanfield Chambers, 18th August 2015

Source: www.tanfieldchambers.co.uk

‘It did seem to be expensive’ – Nearly Legal

Posted August 14th, 2015 in landlord & tenant, leases, news, rent, service charges by tracey

‘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 1985, and so only payable if the rent costs were reasonably incurred and if the services or works to which they relate were of a reasonable standard?’

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Nearly Legal, 8th August 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

‘It did seem to be expensive’ – Nearly Legal

Posted August 11th, 2015 in appeals, costs, landlord & tenant, leases, news, rent, service charges, tribunals by sally

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 1985, and so only payable if the rent costs were reasonably incurred and if the services or works to which they relate were of a reasonable standard?

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Nearly Legal, 9th August 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

Service charges, the burden of proof and reasonableness of decisions – Park Square Barristers

‘Last week wrote an introductory article on a service charge case, The Gateway (Leeds) Management Ltd v Naghash and Shamsizadeh (citation above), a decision of Martin Rodger QC, Deputy President in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), in which I acted for the Defendants/Respondents. The facts are set out in that piece, and I do not propose to rehearse them here.’

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Park Square Barristers, 15th July 2015

Source: www.parksquarebarristers.co.uk

Service Charges in Mixed Use Developments – Tanfield Chambers

Posted July 28th, 2015 in consultations, landlord & tenant, news, service charges by sally

‘By their very nature, mixed-use developments involve multiple parties with competing interests. This often leads to disputes regarding the management of the estate and the cost of maintaining it.’
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Tanfield Chambers, 7th July 2015

Source: www.tanfieldchambers.co.uk

“These wretchedly conceived clauses”: the Supreme Court considers the degree to which ‘commercial common sense’ can be deployed in contractual interpretation (Arnold v Britton & Ors [2015] UKSC 36) – Henderson Chambers

Posted July 27th, 2015 in interpretation, leases, news, service charges by sally

‘Tenants of a holiday park will ultimately be obliged to pay over £1m a year per chalet, after the Supreme Court endorsed leases in which the service charge increases by 10% a year – regardless of the actual costs of providing those services.

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Henderson Chambers, 16th June 2015

Source: www.hendersonchambers.co.uk

The Supreme Court interprets fixed service charges – 36 Bedford Row Property Blog

Posted June 16th, 2015 in appeals, covenants, leases, news, service charges, Supreme Court by sally

‘The Supreme Court has handed down judgment in Arnold v. Britton & Ors. [2015] U. K. S. C. 36, concerning the construction of service charge clauses for holiday chalets in Oxwich Bay, South Wales (pictured). In so doing, it has taken the opportunity to reiterate and re-emphasise some fundamental principles of contractual interpretation.’

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36 Bedford Row Property Blog, 11th June 2015

Source: www.36property.co.uk

Contract entitled landlord to raise service charge irrespective of increase in costs, says UK Supreme Court – OUT-LAW.com

Posted June 12th, 2015 in contracts, landlord & tenant, leases, news, service charges, Supreme Court by sally

‘Lease provisions that would ultimately increase service charges payable by the tenants of a number of holiday homes near Swansea to more than £1 million a year should be allowed to stand, the UK’s highest court has ruled.’
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OUT-LAW.com, 11th June 2015

Source: www.out-law.com

“New for Old”: New terms in renewed leases under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 require good reasons – New Square Chambers

Posted March 17th, 2015 in covenants, landlord & tenant, leases, news, service charges by sally

‘In the absence of agreement, the terms of any new lease to be granted under the provisions of Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 are to be determined by the court in accordance with sections 32 to 35 of that 1954.’

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New Square Chambers, February 2015

Source: www.newsquarechambers.co.uk

Service Charge Disputes in the First Tier Tribunal – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted January 6th, 2015 in evidence, landlord & tenant, news, service charges, tribunals by sally

‘Over many years of representing landlords (usually by their appointed property management company) in leasehold service charge disputes before the Tribunals, various themes have developed. One of them is my frustration, in the majority of cases, at the quality of evidence with which I must present my client’s case. It actually isn’t that difficult to get your best evidence before the Tribunals and secure the best possible recovery. Especially with the benefit of hindsight!’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 17th December 2014

Source: www.hardwickec.co.uk

Indecent homes and major works charges – NearlyLegal

Posted August 13th, 2014 in landlord & tenant, news, repairs, service charges by sally

‘The DCLG has released the “Social landlords reduction of service charges: mandatory and discretionary directions 2014“, in force as of today, 12 August 2014.’

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NearlyLegal, 12th August 2014

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

Come friendly bombs… – NearlyLegal

Posted June 16th, 2014 in insurance, landlord & tenant, leases, news, service charges, terrorism, tribunals by sally

‘Terrorism insurance is an increasingly contentious issue in service charge cases; in short, many leaseholders think it is unnecessary and simply serves to increase the their service charges (and, potentially, acts as an additional source of commission for landlords, itself a very contentious issue). Well, in Qdime Ltd v Various Leaseholders at Bath Building (Swindon) and others [2014] UKUT 261 (LC), the Upper Tribunal has given an unqualified endorsement of terrorism insurance and, in the process, may well have greatly extended the number of properties which are now required to obtain such insurance.’

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NearlyLegal, 13th June 2014

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

Former landlords and s.20B LTA 1985 – NearlyLegal

Posted June 16th, 2014 in appeals, landlord & tenant, leases, news, service charges, water companies by sally

‘In Ground Rents (Regisport) Ltd v Dowlen [2014] UKUT 144 (LC), the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) had to – once again – grapple with s.20B, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. The facts are quite straightforward. Imagine, if you will, that there is a modern development of three blocks of flats. It was developed by Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd, who were also the original landlords under all the long leases. Once the leases had been created, the freehold was transferred to the appellant.’

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NearlyLegal, 13th June 2014

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

Don’t ask the surveyor – NearlyLegal

‘Windermere Marina Village v Wild [2014] UKUT 163 (LC) is an important decision about the vexed question of apportionment that arises in many residential service charge disputes.’

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NearlyLegal, 2nd June 2014

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

HB and Exempt accommodation: unreasonably high rent – NearlyLegal

Posted January 24th, 2014 in benefits, housing, landlord & tenant, news, rent, service charges by sally

‘I admit that SS v Birmingham CC [2013] UKUT 418 (AAC) has been on my to do list for a while and that, possibly, the main reason for finding the time to write it up is because I’m on a two hour strike (#fairpayinHE). But, it is a really quite important case about the application of the unreasonably high rent rule for “exempt accommodation” in Reg 13 and Sch 3 of the 2006 Housing Benefit regs. The principal question of law concerns the meaning of “suitable alternative accommodation” in those regs.’

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NearlyLegal, 23rd January 2014

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

Putting it off – NearlyLegal

Posted January 9th, 2014 in housing, landlord & tenant, news, service charges, tribunals by sally

‘Before I come to the facts of Scriven and others v Calthorpe Estates [2013] UKUT 469 (LC), I need, I think, to give a fair bit of background. Even by the comprehensive standards of NL, this is pretty obscure.’

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NearlyLegal, 8th January 2014

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

What role does mediation play in social housing? – Hardwicke Chambers

‘At a case management hearing in the LVT (as it then was) back in March 2013, the chair said that, whilst normally he would direct that the parties to that dispute should attempt mediation, he was aware that it was “usually pointless” doing so where public funds are at stake as public bodies generally cannot justify the arbitrary reductions that can be necessary for a mediation to succeed, and fear creating some form of precedent. Misguided as I thought the chair was, it did seem likely that he might have been speaking from many years of experience.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 3rd December 2013

Source: www.hardwicke.co.uk

Pre-Construction Consultation and the Futility of Dispensation – Hardwicke Chambers

“Generally, any landlord who wishes to enter into a qualifying long term agreement (‘QLTA’), viz. an agreement for a term of more than 12 months (subject to certain exceptions) as a result of which any tenant will pay a service charge of more than £100 (‘the appropriate amount’) for the relevant service charge period, must either consult in accordance with the Service Charges (Consultation Requirements) (England) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/1987) (‘the Regulations’) or obtain a dispensation from the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (‘PC’). Failure to consult will result in the relevant service charge being capped at the appropriate amount.”

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Hardwicke Chambers, 13th August 2013

Source: www.hardwicke.co.uk

“Back to the Future” – The Retrospective Variation of Leases of Flats under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 – Tanfield Chambers

Posted August 6th, 2013 in landlord & tenant, leases, news, service charges, tribunals by sally

“Sometimes the draftsman gets it wrong. Sometimes his only mistake is to fail to predict the future. Either way a landlord can face a serious shortfall if the combined percentages of service charges payable under the leases for the block do not add up to 100%. While at first blush, the landlord’s shortfall is the tenants’ windfall, defective leases can seem a much less attractive prospect if the result is that the landlord is reluctant to provide services.”

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Tanfield Chambers, 27th July 2013

Source: www.tanfieldchambers.co.uk

Water, water everywhere… – NearlyLegal

“There are those who say that service charges are a dry subject. To them I say, welcome to Wallace-Jarvis v (1) Optima (Cambridge) Ltd (2) Khazai [2013] UKUT 328 (LC).”

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NearlyLegal, 29th July 2013

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk