But leaseholders poised to launch crowd-funded appeal
Freeholder Israel Moskovitz has won the right to charge leaseholders £30 admin fees plus VAT to send out his ground rent demands.
The owner of Avon Ground Rents Ltd, a property tribunal regular, defeated a group of 11 leaseholders of an RTM site in Stepney in east London.
Mr Moskovitz decided to deploy counsel to argue the case, in which the leaseholders were self-represented, led by Philipp Stampfer. He argued that the fee should not be paid, and questioned whether it would be levied by the RTM anyway.
It is an open question whether Mr Moskovitz gets his legal costs, with Judge Simon Brilliant ruling “It would not be just or equitable to prevent the Respondent from recovering its costs under the lease (insofar as it can) because the Applicants did not succeed on either issue before us.”
Mr Stampfer and his neighbours believe the issue is of wide significance to leaseholders. They are considering a crowd-funded appeal and seeking a pro bono barrister.
“Any limitation on these fees would be a huge political win and in line with a more consumer friendly leasehold legislation,” he said.
He has raised the matter with his MP Florence Eshalomi, and with Sir Peter Bottomley, Father of the House and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for leasehold and commonhold reform, of which LKP is secretariat.
“We are in 28 flats in two blocks which means that every six months Avon receives £840 plus VAT just for printing and posting 28 letters. This is outrageous and unreasonable.”
The ruling is here: