Right to Manage: 51 Earls Court Square (Upper Tribunal)
19th January 2016
2016 starts off with a couple of wins in the property tribunals on leasehold management cases. Published today is the Upper Tribunal decision in Avon Ground Rents v 51 Earls Court Square RTM – yet another appeal about the validity of a Right to Manage claim.
In this instance, the issue was whether the RTM company was properly constituted in the first place. The Articles stated that the objects of the company were to acquire the right to manage “Flat 1-13, 51 Earls Court Square” – rather than the whole of the building 51 Earls Court Square, including common parts, the roof etc. The landlord argued this meant the company had no power to acquire an entire “building” which was susceptible to the statutory right to manage within the meaning of the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
The Deputy President (Martin Rodger QC) agreed with the FTT at first instance, albeit on slightly different grounds. He rejected the argument that the articles of the company did not need to specify the relevant premises with any degree of particularity. However, he found that the words used in the company articles were clear enough. The intention was always to acquire the right to manage the whole building – not just the right to manage the flats within it.
The Times Bricks & Mortar will be running a brief article on the Right to Manage on Friday. But this case shows again that Tribunals tend to reject almost all the technical objections raised by landlords to the RTM.