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Archive for the: Litigation category

Landlords: are your tenants asking for energy efficient improvements?

Posted by on June 29th 2018 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Landlords: are your tenants asking for energy efficient improvements?

Landlords; you cannot unreasonably refuse your tenant’s request to make energy efficient improvements to your property.

This blog addresses a tenant’s request to make energy efficient improvements where an Assured Shorthold Tenancy is in place.  

 

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/962) (“MEES Regulations”) allows assured shorthold tenants of some types of residential property, to request the landlord’s consent to the tenant making energy efficient improvements to the property. The Landlord is required not to unreasonably refuse consent to the improvements being made, even if the tenancy agreement prohibits such alterations.

 

Tenant Not Obliged to Pay Service Charge

Posted by on June 11th 2018 in Blog Posts, Litigation

It was held that a tenant was not obliged to pay a service charge for heating, once a separate boiler had been installed. 

In the recent case of Saunderson v Cambridge Park Court Residents Association Limited Re: Cambridge Park Court [2018], the tenant (“T”) had a long lease in a block of flats, which had a communal heating system.

T had held the Lease since 1994 and had paid towards heating costs from that time.

The communal heating system was problematic and stopped altogether in 2008, when T’s flat ceased to have heating.

apartment, architecture, balcony

The Lease...

Landlords; are you Convinced your Tenant’s Left your Property and are Thinking of Changing the Locks? Think Again

Posted by on June 6th 2018 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Landlords; are you Convinced your Tenant’s Left your Property and are Thinking of Changing the Locks? Think Again

The case of Smith v Khan [2018] is a stark reminder to Landlords of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

The Landlord (K) in this case, granted an Assured Shorthold Tenancy to the Tenant (T) for a fixed term of 12 months commencing in June 2014. In March 2015, T, without telling anyone, travelled to Scotland to seek work leaving his wife (S) in occupation of the property. As K was concerned about the rent arrears, he gave S a letter purporting to give T notice to quit, on 1 April 2015.

S obtained advice that the notice was invalid, that she...

Litigants in Person Must Comply with the Civil Procedure Rules

Posted by on June 5th 2018 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Litigants in Person Must Comply with the Civil Procedure Rules

Barton v Wright Hassall LLP [2018], Reynard v Fox [2018] and Green v Mears [2018]

Three recent cases highlight that litigants in person are unlikely to be given any special allowances in litigation if they fail to comply with a rule or court order.

Baron v Wright Hassall LLP

Mr Barton brought a negligence claim against his former legal representatives as a litigant in person. He attempted to serve his claim form via email on the last day of a four month deadline. The defendant’s solicitors had not indicated that they would accept service via email and therefore service was invalid. The court...

The Grey Area Explained; Banks and the Intermediate Duty

Posted by on September 7th 2017 in Blog Posts, Litigation

The Grey Area Explained; Banks and the Intermediate Duty

The case of Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd [1964] AC 465 (‘Hedley Byrne’) sets out the primary duty on financial institutions to take reasonable care not to misstate any facts on which the customer might be expected to rely. However recent case law suggests that banks have a greater duty than just a duty to take reasonable steps not to mislead.

In Crestsign Ltd v National Westminster Bank [2014] EWHC 3043 (Ch) (‘Crestsign’), the Judge, Timothy Kerr QC, accepted that when giving information about the financial product, the bank owed a duty to fully explain and...

Preventing the Sale of Marital Property on Divorce

Posted by on July 28th 2017 in Blog Posts, Family, Litigation, Property

S39(1) Senior Courts Act 1981 (“the Act”) allows the Court to make an order requiring a person to execute a conveyance, contract or document. If that person fails to execute such documents then a person nominated by the Court can sign on behalf of that person if they neglect or refuse to comply with the order or they cannot be found.

In the case of Welch v Welch [2017] Mr Welch obtained an order  which required his wife to sign the Conveyancing documentation in the sale of their property (a property in which Mrs Welch only held a 1% beneficial ownership). Despite the...

Does Possession Still Amount to 9/10 of the Law?

Posted by on May 24th 2017 in Litigation, Property

Does Possession Still Amount to 9/10 of the Law?

A series of high profile squatter claims involving expensive West London properties led to significant reform of the right for squatters to claim ownership of occupied land.  

To make a successful claim for adverse possession one must prove uninterrupted factual possession for a certain period of time. To be in factual possession a squatter must exert exclusive control over the land while treating the land as if they were the owner occupier.  There must also be intention to possess the land during the relevant period. Where the intention is equivocal, corroborative evidence will be required.

Being successful with an adverse possession...

Chung and Another v Towey Tenants Liability to Pay the Landlords Valuations Costs on Enfranchisement

Posted by on May 12th 2017 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Chung and Another v Towey Tenants Liability to Pay the Landlords Valuations Costs on Enfranchisement

On a Tenant’s decision to buy the freehold of their property, the Tenant is responsible for paying for a number of things; the purchase price as well as their own valuation, conveyancing and legal fees. The Tenant is also responsible for the reasonable costs of the Landlord for investigating the Tenant's right to acquire the freehold and the Landlord’s valuation costs incurred. The Landlord’s valuer has the role of the negotiator for the Landlord. These ‘negotiation’ costs are not recoverable from the Tenant and should be clearly separated from the Valuation costs which are recoverable.

Additionally any costs incurred in connection...

Residential Property Update

Posted by on February 20th 2017 in Blog Posts, Litigation

A reminder for Landlords entering into tenancy agreements in 2017:

The Energy Act 2011;

Since April 2016, tenants have been able to ask their landlord to make their property more energy efficient, if it has an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Grade below band E.

From April 2018, it will be unlawful for Landlords to let buildings with EPC Grades F and G.

Landlords will need to give early consideration to efficiency of a building and quickly take steps to make energy improvements.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 / Deregulation Act 2015:

This legislation only applies to Section 21 Notices...

What happens when there is no space on the bus?

Posted by on January 24th 2017 in Blog Posts, Litigation

What happens when there is no space on the bus?

FirstGroup Plc v Paulley [2017]

Almost five years since he was first prevented from boarding a bus, because the wheelchair space was occupied by a non wheelchair user, Mr Paulley has successfully, only to a limited extent, won his appeal at the UK Supreme Court. Mr Paulley’s original claim was based on his opinion that FirstGroup had failed to make reasonable adjustments to its policies and they were in fact contrary to the Equality Act 2010. The policy in place required the driver to request that a non-wheelchair user gives up the space for a wheelchair user but,...

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