Service Charges & Estate Management Update – September 2016

13th September 2016

For nearly six years I have written a monthly update on Service Charges and Estate Management. As many of you may have noticed, I have not sent the updates for some months now (largely due to other professional commitments).

Chambers has unrivaled experience of enfranchisement and service charge issues and I am very fortunate that Richard Alford, Diane Doliveux, Katie Gray and Harriet Holmes have agreed to assist writing the summaries.

You can access back-issues, together with lots of other interesting news and articles, on chambers’ website. We hope that you find them informative.

This month’s edition includes cases relating to consultation requirements, costs in the FTT and the conflict between a landlord’s right to develop and the exercise of management functions by an RTM company.

Leaseholders of Foundling Court and O’Donnell Court v London Borough of Camden & Ors [2016] UKUT 0366 (LC)

On the proper construction of the consultation requirements laid down by s.20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, a superior landlord intending to carry out works or enter into a qualifying long term agreement must consult each of its direct tenants, and each of its own tenants’ sub-tenants of a dwelling if those sub-tenants are liable to contribute towards the costs of the works.

Katie Gray discusses this in more detail here.

Willow Court Management Co v Alexander; Sinclair v 231 Sussex Gardens Right to Manage Ltd; Stone v 54 Hogarth Rd, London SW5 Management Ltd [2016] UKUT 290 (LC)

The Upper Tribunal has given guidance on the procedure and three-stage analysis to apply when the First-tier Tribunal considers making a costs order under rule 13(1)(b) of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber) Rules 2013 on account of a party’s alleged unreasonable behaviour in bringing, defending or conducting proceedings.

Harriet Holmes discusses this in more detail here.

Sinclair Gardens Investments (Kensington) Limited v Avon Estates (London) Limited [2016] UKUT 317 (LC)

The proper construction of a lease which permitted the landlord to recover its costs and expenses incurred in ‘managing the estate and block of flats’ did not permit it to recover its solicitor’s costs and counsel’s fees incurred in proceedings under section 27A of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

Diane Doliveux discusses this in more detail here.

Cardiff Community Housing Association Limited v Kahar [2016] UKUT 0279 (LC)

The Upper Tribunal determined that a tenant was liable to pay service charges despite the tenancy being silent as to what services were to be provided by the Housing Association under the agreement.

Katie Gray discusses this in more detail here.

Winchester Park v Sehayak [2016] EWHC 1216 (QB)

A lessee’s request for the dismissal of his claim for a mandatory interim injunction was not equivalent to a request to discontinue his claim under CPR r. 38. The judge had been entitled to consider the factual background of the parties’ positions and make a costs order in the lessee’s favour on the basis that he had obtained the relief sought in the proceedings by consent.

Richard Alford discusses this in more detail here.

Kol v Bowring [2015] UKUT 530 (LC)

The Upper Tribunal determined that the First Tier Tribunal has jurisdiction to determine all matters relating to the discharge of a tribunal appointed receiver-manager’s functions. This includes but is not limited to the provision of final accounts and the repayment of any surplus service charges.

Diane Doliveux discusses this in more detail here.

Francia Properties Limited v Aristou & Ors (County Court)

The court, in considering whether the existence of an RTM company precluded the landlord from developing retained property (in this case the roof of the building) held that it did not so preclude development provided that appropriate undertakings were given by the landlord in relation to disturbance caused by the development.

Katie Gray discusses this in more detail here.

Hemmise v London Borough of Tower Hamlets [2016] UKUT 109 (LC)

The First Tier Tribunal was not bound to follow a decision of the LVT in relation to the construction of a particular term of a lease. In the instant case there were special circumstances which meant that issue estoppel should not prevent the same issues being determined afresh.

Richard Alford discusses this in more detail here.

Cannon v 38 Lambs Conduit LLP [2106] UKUT 0371 (LC)

The Upper Tribunal determined that the mere fact that the landlord’s demands for payment of an administration charge were not compliant with s.47 of the 1987 Act did not deprive the FTT of the jurisdiction to make a determination under s.27A of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. As to legal costs, the Upper Tribunal found that such costs could not be recovered through the service charge under the specific terms of the lease in question.

Katie Gray discusses this in more detail here.

Team: Diane Doliveux, Richard Alford, Katie Gray
Expertise: Service Charges


This content is provided free of charge for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/ or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by any member of Chambers or by Chambers as a whole.


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