Leasehold Enfranchisement Update - Regent v Wiggins

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Leasehold Enfranchisement Update

Collective Enfranchisement

Registration

Case name and reference

Regent Wealth Ltd v Wiggins [2014] EWCA Civ 1078

Summary

 Where the nominee purchaser in a collective enfranchisement had served an initial notice, but had failed to register the same, the notice could not be amended to include in the claim leases which were granted after the notice.

Facts

The nominee purchaser served an initial notice claiming the acquisition of the freehold of the specified premises and several leasehold interests. After the service of the notice several further leasehold interests were created which would have been susceptible to acquisition under s. 2 of the Act. The notice had not been registered. The nominee purchaser applied to the court for permission to amend the initial notice so as to include the newly created leasehold interests in the claim.

Issues

The issue was whether the court should give permission to the nominee purchaser to amend the notice.

First instance

At first instance the judge decided that as the leases were susceptible to acquisition under s. 2 it did not matter that they were not referred to in the initial notice.

Decision on appeal

The Court of Appeal reversed the first instance decision. The Act required the initial notice to identify the interests to be acquired on the relevant date. Had the notice been registered under s 97 of the Act then s. 19 would have prevented the creation of leasehold interests which were susceptible to acquisition under s. 2. As the notice had not been registered the leasehold interests created after the service of the notice were validly created and there was no power to retrospectively amend the notice to refer to interests which did not exist on the relevant date.