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Costs of over £97,000 had been incurred, and were continuing, in mounting a fire safety “waking watch”. This had been implemented following investigation of the external cladding of the building in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster. Such costs were payable by leaseholders under the terms of commonplace covenants and were reasonably incurred and reasonable in amount.
For the purposes of Section 20B(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (“the 1985 Act”) a relevant cost is incurred by an intermediate landlord when that intermediate landlord receives a demand from its own landlord in respect of services provided by it or a superior landlord. A residential tenant’s 18-month limitation period begins to run only when his or her immediate landlord receives a demand incurring the cost, not when the superior landlord providing the service originally incurs its own cost.
In a conflict between a clear scheme of covenants and complimentary service charge machinery, and ambiguous declarations as to the relationship between one of the parties to the lease and a third party, (both contained in the same lease) the scheme takes precedence and is binding on the parties – coherence trumps uncertainty where provisions are in conflict.
The First Tier Tribunal is entitled to rely on an applicant to send its application, but not the FTT’s subsequent decision, to the respondents to that application. Time will not start running for a party to apply for a permission to appeal until the FTT has itself provided a copy of its decision to that party.
The tenants gave a s.13 notice in 2004, but the tenants did not register it against the landlord’s title. The purchase price was agreed in 2006 and the outstanding terms of acquisition were to be determined by the LVT. Before the matter could be heard, the landlord transferred the freehold to his wife and she then transferred it back to him. When the matter came before the tribunal, the landlord disputed jurisdiction.
This was a claim to acquire the freehold of a house under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. In 1991, the original tenants were granted a 99-year lease at a modest premium and nominal ground rent of £45 per year. The lease provided for a review of the ground rent at 25-year intervals. The review provision provided that the new rent should be a sum “representing the open market letting value of the land” as if it were a vacant site that had not been built on and which had planning permission for residential development.
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