Residents at Manchester’s premier address No.1 Deansgate face an on-going battle to win their right to manage after the freeholder tries to take case to the Court of Appeal.
Residents in the 82-flat building – who include footballers Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville, Corrie star Helen Worth and Take That singer Jason Orange – won their right to manage at the LVT in April 2012.
In November an attempt was made by the freeholder, TRW Pensions – employing barrister Justin Bates – to appeal the decision on the grounds that No.1 Deansgate abutted the adjoining building.
It failed in a strong ruling from Judge Judge Nicholas Huskinson, reported on LKP here
Now TRW Pensions – or more likely CBRE Global Investors which manages the asset – is asking the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal.
“So far, we have spent more than £30,000 in legal fees on fighting this, and it could end up costing £100,000,” says Steve Birkbeck.
“Our fear is that because nationally more owners are going for RTM we could be seen as a test case on this issue and we could have to argue our case all the way to the Supreme Court and find the necessary legal costs for that which does not seem fair.
“We expected Judge Huskinson’s decision to be final.
“Instead we are fighting this freeholder and its barrister Justin Bates who are determined to go against the spirit of the 2002 Act that introduced right to manage.
“They seem utterly determined to prevent us from getting something to which Parliament said we were entitled to.”
No.1 Deansgate is run for the pension fund by CBRE Global Investors, which decided to appoint itself in the form of CBRE Asset Management as managing agent.
The site is now managed by City Living, which is considered an improvement.
“No.1 Deansgate has some of the most expensive places to live in central Manchester,” said Birkbeck. “But I live on the first floor in a flat that cost £250,000.
“Most of us are just ordinary people with jobs in the city. We should never have been hit for ridiculously high service charges.
“And what does our experience tell people about the process of obtaining right to manage?”