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 is supposedly designed for use by lay applicants. The following statement on the web site of LEASE, the Leasehold Advisory Service, can often be entirely misleading:
“Proceedings at the LVT are semi-formal. Neither side is required to be represented by a barrister, solicitor or valuer, evidence is not given on oath and the usual court rules do not apply.”
The LVT itself then adds the even more misleading statement when describing its cases: “The proceedings are orderly, but informal”
Knowledge of the huge hurdles in bringing cases at the LVT will not come as news to regular readers of this site who recall examples such as the “legal torture” of pensioners at Oakland Court, in Worthing, or the disgraceful £30,000 legal bill for a simple right to manage application at Kingsmere, in Brighton. (Search Oakland Court and Kingsmere on this site.) [Read more...]