An unsatisfactory situation – Tanfield Chambers

‘Since the Supreme Court turned the law of dispensation from the consultation requirements upside down in Daejan Investments Ltd v Benson [2013] UKSC 14; [2013] 2 EGLR 45, the Upper Tribunal has been troubled with very few cases involving the requirements to consult leaseholders on major works. However, the decision in Lessees of Foundling Court and O’Donnell Court v Camden London Borough Council and others [2016] UKUT 366 (LC); [2016] EGLR 59 has rewritten preconceptions as to who needs to be consulted and caused landlords some new headaches.’

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Tanfield Chambers, 12th June 2017

Source: www.tanfieldchambers.co.uk

Service charge disputes and recovery of costs – Nearly Legal

Posted May 30th, 2017 in costs, landlord & tenant, news, service charges, tribunals by sally

‘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 a Qualifying Long Term Agreement, because the more general point concerned the landlord having put some £11,000 of legal costs on the drawn out service charge disputes through on the service charge (not, we should note, as an administrative charge).’

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Nearly Legal, 28th May 2017

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Southwark LBC v Akhtar and Stel LLC – Arden Chambers

‘The Upper Tribunal has held that an estimated service charge that had not been demanded in accordance with a lease would not have been payable but for the lessee taking out a loan from the lessor to pay it and thereby waiving strict compliance with the terms of the lease; s.7, Interpretation Act 1978 does not apply to notices served under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 unless a lease provides that s.196 Law of Property Act 1925 is to apply to the service of notices’

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Arden Chambers, 20th April 2017

Source: www.ardenchambers.com

Northern Waters – Nearly Legal

Posted April 25th, 2017 in contracts, housing, local government, news, rent, service charges, water, water companies by sally

‘Rochdale BH is a social housing provider (of what was the council’s housing stock). The issue in this case – heard as a preliminary issue – was whether Rochdale BH was a water reseller under the terms of The Water Resale Order 2006 in that charges for water it made as a part of the rent.’

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Nearly Legal, 23rd April 2017

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

Service Charges: No Double Recovery – Local Government Law

Posted April 6th, 2017 in appeals, costs, housing, leases, local government, news, service charges by tracey

‘In Sheffield City Council v Oliver (2007) EWCA Civ 225 the local authority was unsuccessful in its appeal from an Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) decision concerning the funding of major refurbishment works to several blocks of flats of which it is the freeholder.’

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Local Government Law, 5th April 2017

Source: www.11kbw.com/blogs/local-government-law

Primeview Developments Ltd v Ahmed – Arden Chambers

‘The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has held that it is was not unreasonable conduct for the purposes of r.13(1)(b), Tribunal Procedure Rules, for a landlord to seek to rely on an agreement that service charges were payable, even if that agreement was subsequently determined to be void. Nor did the landlord’s failure to mediate amount to unreasonable conduct in circumstances where the prospects of a reaching an agreement were slight and the costs of mediation likely to be disproportionate. It also held that orders pursuant to s.20C, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, should not treat participating leaseholders differently from one another on the basis of their involvement in proceedings. The focus should be on the landlord’s degree of success regardless of each individual leaseholder’s involvement.’

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Arden Chambers, 3rd March 2017

Source: www.ardenchambers.com

Lessons in understanding: Unfairness and Estoppel by Convention in the Upper Tribunal – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted February 22nd, 2017 in estoppel, leases, news, service charges, tribunals by sally

‘Towards the end of last year, the Upper Tribunal (“UT”) handed down decisions in two cases involving estoppel by convention:

Admiralty Park Management Ltd v Ojo [2016] UKUT 0421 (LC) 8 September 2016 (“Ojo”); and

Bucklitsch and anor v Merchant Exchange Management Company Limited [2016] UKUT 0527 (LC) 13 December 2016 (“Bucklitsch”).’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 18th January 2017

Source: www.hardwicke.co.uk

Jetha v Basildon Court Residents Company Ltd – Arden Chambers

Posted February 22nd, 2017 in appeals, covenants, estoppel, landlord & tenant, leases, news, service charges, tribunals by sally

‘The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has given guidance on the approach to be followed by the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) when considering whether there is an estoppel by convention which prevents a leaseholder from denying the payability of a service charge which has not been demanded in accordance with the terms of the lease.’

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Arden Chambers, 16th February 2017

Source: www.ardenchambers.com

Waaler v Hounslow LBC – Arden Chambers

Posted February 21st, 2017 in appeals, leases, local government, news, service charges, tribunals by sally

‘The Court of Appeal has held that whether service charge costs are reasonably incurred, for the purposes of Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, s.19, is to be determined by reference to an objective standard of reasonableness rather than applying public law principles of rationality. A tribunal should not, however, impose its own decision where a landlord has adopted a course of action which led to a reasonable outcome, even if there was a cheaper outcome which was also reasonable.’

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Arden Chambers, 2nd February 2017

Source: www.ardenchambers.com

Service charges, contracts, social housing and subsidies – Nearly Legal

Posted February 13th, 2017 in costs, landlord & tenant, leases, local government, news, service charges, tribunals by sally

‘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.’

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Nearly Legal, 12th February 2017

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

Reasonable costs of Improvements – Nearly Legal

‘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 could be done more cheaply and the financial circumstances of the leaseholders.’

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Nearly Legal, 5th February 2017

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

Leases, tribunals and contractual costs – Nearly Legal

Posted January 10th, 2017 in costs, landlord & tenant, leases, news, service charges, tribunals by sally

‘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 Tribunal (for unreasonable conduct). But in this case, the landlord had been awarded 20% of their costs under a Rue 13 decision, but then sought to recover the full costs under a contractual entitlement to costs of an enforcement action under the lease, and sort the FTT’s determination of those as a variable administration charge.’

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Nearly Legal, 9th January 2017

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

23 Dollis Avenue (1998) Limited v Vejdani [2016] UKUT 365 – Tanfield Chambers

Posted November 9th, 2016 in appeals, consultations, news, regulations, service charges, tribunals by sally

‘A failure to comply with the Service Charge (Consultation Requirements) (England) Regulations 2003 (“the Regulations”) could be relevant to the reasonableness of the amount of service charge to be paid under section 19(2) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. However, it is simply one factor to be considered. In the instant case, the non-compliance comprised including within the estimate the estimated cost of works not within the proposed works; the amount demanded would be reduced by excluding that ‘extra’ work.’

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Tanfield Chambers, 10th October 2016

Source: www.tanfieldchambers.co.uk

In the Tribunals… – Nearly Legal

Posted October 10th, 2016 in costs, landlord & tenant, news, rent, service charges by sally

‘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 weekly payment for service charge, originally £14.60. In 2015 the service charge was raised to £16.22. The tenancy agreement specified payment of the service charge but the space for the services to be provided was left blank.’

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Nearly Legal, 10th October 2016

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

Unreasonable Conduct in the First-tier Tribunal – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted July 26th, 2016 in appeals, news, regulations, service charges, tribunals by sally

‘On 22 June 2016, the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) gave judgment in three conjoined appeals concerning the proper interpretation of Rule 13 of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber) Rules 2013; four members of Hardwicke appeared in the case. The appeals shared a number of facts: each arose out of a dispute over service charges payable under the lease of a flat; each concerned a dispute between a lessee and a tenant owned management company; and in each the award of costs was greater than the amount of service charge in issue in the proceedings.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 14th July 2016

Source: www.hardwicke.co.uk

A judge by any other name would smell… much the same – Hardwicke Chambers

‘Did you know that a judge of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) may be able to hear a county court case and vice versa? Under a scheme being piloted at present, such a thing is indeed possible.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 13th June 2016

Source: www.hardwicke.co.uk

Management Issues at Mixed-Use Developments – Tanfield Chambers

Posted July 12th, 2016 in consultations, covenants, enfranchisement, housing, leases, 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 and, ultimately, to leaseholders wanting to take control (either by exercising the right to collective enfranchisement or the right to manage).’

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Tanfield Chambers, 10th June 2016

Source: www.tanfieldchambers.co.uk

Restaurant staff ‘should keep their tips’ – BBC News

Posted May 3rd, 2016 in consultations, employment, news, remuneration, service charges by tracey

‘Waiting staff should receive their tips in full and it should be clearer to customers that gratuities are optional, the business secretary has said.’

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BBC News, 2nd May 2016

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Practical advice on forfeiture – Hardwicke Chambers

‘The tail-end of 2015 threw up one of those London bus-type quirks where in less than a fortnight I acted for a landlord, a lessee and a mortgagee in three cases concerning, at least in part, the issues of (a) service of forfeiture proceedings, and (b) the defendant’s non-attendance at the first hearing at which a possession order was made.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 19th April 2016

Source: www.hardwicke.co.uk

VAT and service charges: indivisible or not indivisible-is that the question? – Tanfield Chambers

Posted April 26th, 2016 in appeals, landlord & tenant, news, service charges, tribunals, VAT by sally

‘This article gives consideration of the decision of the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) in Janine Ingram v Church Commissioners for England [2015] UKUT.’

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Tanfield Chambers, 26th April 2016

Source: www.tanfieldchambers.co.uk