Phillips v Francis decision


The full decision in the epic Phillips v Francis case is reproduced below. In what appears to be a draw, LKP is studying the consequences of this on the costs for the long suffering park home owners. PhillipsvFrancis   Key sections: paras 23-27: Discussion 23. In a nutshell, therefore, the Chancellor decided that qualifying works […]

Judge Siobhan McGrath apologises over Mire debacle


Judge Siobhan McGrath has apologised to the leaseholder whose complaints led to Benjamin Mire losing his judicial appointment. The apology to Colin Dennard, 73, of Ferndown in Dorset, is an acknowledgement that the Residential Property Tribunal Service (RPTS), of which McGrath was the Senior President, bungled the issue. (She is now president of the new Property […]

Judge Tim Powell explains First-Tier Tribunal … but leaseholders are not happy that justice is being done


Tim Powell, a former London solicitor and now a judge in the First-Tier Tribunal, addressed the annual meeting of the Federation of Private Residents’ Associations on November 12. His talk aimed at informing leaseholders of the changes that came into effect on July 1, replacing the old LVT. He was accused of being “disingenuous” by […]

Parliamentary Questions over Benjamin Mire case

Benjamin Mire

Sir Peter Bottomley has asked the Justice Secretary for a report into the Benjamin Mire case and for a statement, but has been rebuffed. In a Parliamentary Question for written answer, Sir Peter raised the issued of chartered surveyor Benjamin Mire, who resigned his judicial appointment to the Property Tribunal Panel following the complaints of […]

Feuding Chelsea leasehold owners find a court-appointed managing agent makes all decisions


… and that includes suing their ex-managing agent, losing the case and passing on the £10,000 legal bill! Lemmings unaccountably like to hurl themselves off the cliff-face into the abyss … and so, it seems, do Chelsea leasehold owners who cannot agree among themselves. Years of wrangling mean that a rundown four-flat converted Victorian house […]

Informed leasehold owners increase Leasehold Valuation Tribunal actions by 165 per cent

By Michael Lee Managing Director HML Shaw The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) is an accessible, informal, entirely independent and impartial tribunal service that deals with a wide variety of disputes including matters such as the liability to pay and reasonableness of service charges, insurance, the appointment of a property managing agent, lease variations and consultation […]

Been ripped off over leasehold insurance? Take your complaint to the secret ombudsman, says Peverel


UPDATE April 18 16.08: Peverel statement at end of article A retirement leasehold resident disputing Kingsborough insurance commissions with Peverel has been told that she must take her dispute to an ombudsman, whose rulings are not published. Joan Wade, who has lived at Grasmere Court in Worthing since 2003, was appalled to receive a letter […]

Supreme Court ruling on Daejan v Benson gives freeholders the whip-hand and is ‘a judgment that tenants might consider disappointing’

Philip Rainey, QC, represented ordinary leaseholders in a reputation-enhancing case

The lawyers representing the leaseholders in the Daejan v Benson Supreme Court case earlier this week have given their analysis of the case. Philip Rainey, QC, and colleagues at Tanfield Chambers, represented leaseholders at Queens Mansions, Muswell Hill, in north London, who had not been properly consulted on £280,000 of major works. The freeholder, Daejan, […]

Dennis Jackson and Plantation Wharf: Did it have to end like this?

Plantation Wharf, opposite Chelsea Harbour, has seen a series of poisonous forfeiture disputes. The latest involving Dennis Jackson came close to ending in utter disaster

COMMENT by Sebastian O’Kelly Two days ago when the barrister Alexander Bastin successfully asked the judge at Wandsworth County Court to throw me out of his court – citing the Human Rights Act – the whole sorry saga of Dennis Jackson and Plantation Wharf reached a new low-point … although not one without an element […]

RICS rejects complaint against managing agent Benjamin Mire


The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has decided not to pursue a complaint about a member, Benjamin Mire, who was criticised for failing to follow its “residential management code” at a recent Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. An additional complaint concerning Benjamin Mire, of Trust Property Management Limited, was that Mire, a chartered surveyor, also sits on […]

Pensioners lose leasehold right to manage application for the third time

Justin Bates, landlord barrister

Leasehold pensioners in Plymouth have failed for the third time to break free from London managing agent Joseph Gurvits, LKP was informed yesterday. Elim Court’s third right to manage application in the past 18 months was thrown out at the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal owing to a mistake in the application. The decision is a bitterly […]

Furious LVT victor complains that managing agent also sits on the tribunal panel


A pensioner who won £3,500 at a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal has made a formal complaint that Benjamin Mire, who runs a large property management company and was criticised in the case, also sits on the same local LVT as a panel member. “This is a clear conflict of interest and affronts every notion of justice […]

Answer to a parliamentary question about Leasehold Valuation Tribunals … 189 irrelevant documents

Yesterday in the Commons, Sir Peter Bottomley asked the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he last met people connected with improving the operation of the law relating to leaseholder disputes and access to the Leaseholder Valuation Tribunal. The reply civil servants supplied to Housing Minister Mark Prisk was an internet link […]

Pay first, argue later: Plantation Wharf shows how LVT’s £500 limit on legal costs can be bypassed

If you are in dispute with your freeholder over service charges (see Plantation Wharf case), pay the sum and fight the action retrospectively. Make sure that you are the applicant of the action, rather than the respondent. The case of Dennis Jackson at Plantation Wharf raises the prospect of  freeholders seeking to circumvent the Leasehold […]

Exclusive report: A look at the new rules for the LVT

LKP looks at some of the key points in the proposed new rules for the replacement to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) which disappears next year. The LVT is to be reformed as part of a new “Property Chamber” (PC). A change in the administrative rules may not sound very exciting but the proposals under […]