Leasehold Enfranchisement Update
21st May 2015
Columbia House Properties (No.3) Ltd v Imperial Hall Freehold Ltd  UKUT 45 (LC)
There is no reason why s. 33 costs should not include costs incurred by a freeholder in employing a managing agent to investigate certain matters relating to whether eligibility criteria were satisfied.
S. 33 LRHUDA 1993 allows the freeholder in a collective enfranchisement claim to recover certain costs. The issue in this case was whether the freeholder could recover costs incurred by a managing agent who had carried out investigations on its behalf.
The First-tier Tribunal decided that there was duplication between the work carried out by the managing agent and the solicitors employed by the freeholder and that the costs of the former were not allowed.
Decision on Appeal
The Upper Tribunal held that such costs were allowable in principle and that on the facts of the case the freeholder had demonstrated that the solicitors and agents had carried out different tasks, so there was no duplication.