Service Charges and Estate Management: October 2016

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This month saw Tanfield host the Service Charge Summit 2016 in conjunction with News on the Block. This was our fourth year of hosting the Service Charge Summit and we are delighted that it has become an established annual fixture in the industry calendar. We hope all delegates enjoyed the day and look forward to seeing you again next year. To keep up-to-date on our latest events, click here.

This month’s update includes a summary on Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Limited [2016] UKUT 303 (LC), the first known decision on whether sub-letting through Airbnb is a breach of the covenant to use premises as a private residence.

Harriet Holmes provides this month's case updates:

Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Limited [2016] UKUT 303 (LC)

The Upper Tribunal upheld the FTT’s determination that the lessee had breached a covenant in her lease not to use her flat other than as a private residence by granting a series of short-term lettings of the property. The fact that the lessee had granted the lettings meant that her occupation of the flat was so transient and not sufficiently permanent that she would not consider the property her private residence.

Harriet Holmes discusses this in more detail here.

Fairhold Freeholds No. 2 Limited v Moody [2016] UKUT 311 (LC)

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has held that an indemnity given in a lease can be viewed as a promise by the tenant to protect the landlord from the landlord's liability to a third party. For the tenant to be liable, the tenant’s breach must be the reason for the landlord's liability to the third party. In this case, the indemnity was not drafted widely enough to render the tenant responsible for the administrative and legal costs incurred by the landlord once the ground rent had been tendered (even though it was tendered late).

Harriet Holmes discusses this in more detail here.

23 Dollis Avenue (1998) Limited v Vejdani [2016] UKUT 365 (LC)

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.

Harriet Holmes discusses this in more detail here.