Judge Siobhan McGrath apologises over Mire debacle

Siobhan McGrath, for 13 years senior president of the Residential Property Tribunal Service and now president of the new Property Tribunal

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 […]

How semi-formal LVTs have become “legal torture” for leaseholders

Launching a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal action can be “quite daunting”, according to barrister Siobhan McGrath, who heads the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal service. She made this admission in an interview in last month’s Channel 4 Dispatches documentary Property Nightmare: The Truth About Leasehold. It is hardly a ringing commendation for the Tribunal system she oversees which […]

How to handle your leasehold ‘right to manage’ – by a leading managing agent

Rob Plumb, CEO of HML Holdings, explains the dangers of that lie in the right to manage process Normally a written contract works well to keep an agreement in place because both parties to the contract want the same outcome.  “Right to Manage” isn’t a normal contract. It sounds, initially, so straight forward. RTM enables […]

Grant Shapps and Siobhan McGrath face TV cameras today

An exchange of letters between Grant Shapps and Kenneth Clark are the clearest insight to date of the Housing Minister's thoughts on leasehold reform

Today both Housing Minister Grant Shapps and Siobhan McGrath, the senior barrister who presides over the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal system, face the cameras as part of the Channel Four Dispatches documentary into leasehold. The programme will be shown on August  20. A second Dispatches programme on retirement leasehold is also nearing completition, although it has […]

Solicitors squabble in High Court, while leaseholders face a £30,000 right to manage legal bill

Moral among residents at Kingsmere in Brighton has collapsedd after the LVT defeat, with one resident losing £3,000 of savings to mount the action. They now face a £30,000 loss and will continue to be managed by their freehold-owning landlord

Residents at the Kingsmere estate in Brighton, who have been left facing legal bills of £30,000 following a disastrous right to manage action, are being dragged into a squabble between rival firms of leasehold solicitors. Last Thursday (July 26) Yashmin Mistry, the leasehold solicitor with JPC Law who acted for them, was the subject of […]

Wartime squadron leader, aged 94, chalks up £11,500 victory over Peverel

Eric Mathews, still dealing with irritants aged 94

During the Second World War, when Eric Matthews, 94, was an RAF squadron leader, he was used to chalking up downed enemy aircraft. Now he is celebrating another victory over a lesser adversary: Peverel, which has had to pay back £11,475.34p. The money is being re-paid after a series of inter-company deals by the property […]

Charter Quay: LVT’s devastating criticism of Tchenguiz/Peverel management

The LVT ruling in November 2011 is perhaps the most
damning one ever made at an LVT.

Most critical LVT ruling ever made? This piece is a report of the staggering Leasehold Valuation Tribunal victory at Charter Quay in November 2011. It is the most devastating criticism of the Tchenguiz/ Peverel modus operandi to be aired and judged in open court. The full LVT ruling can be read here: CHARTER QUAY LVT […]

Stop this ‘legal torture’ of pensioners, says MP

Sir Peter Bottomley denounces LVT stratagems in post on LKP Sir Peter Bottomley attacks “relentless money-grabbing opponent” A senior Tory MP has posted on LKP today to express his utter disgust at the delaying tactics used by the freeholder  – whose lawyers included Laceys, who proclaim themselves the “honorary solicitors” of ARMA – at the […]

Charter Quay tops £500,000 after latest win over ‘rent for common areas’

The amount of money recovered by the Charter Quay residents has this week passed more than half a million pounds in cash. The bulk of this came from actions against companies owned by the Tchenguiz Family Trust. In the latest (and last) case more than £90,000 has been recovered from the landlord with the help […]