The first opinion was provided by barrister Rebecca Cattermole of Tanfield Chambers. Miss Cattermole acted in one of the few cases to go to the Upper Tribunal regarding RTA matters. Miss Cattermole has also provided input to the Housing Department as well as providing input on behalf of LKP and the APPG in the past, to assist officials to develop their initial work on RTAs. Her brief was simply to review the SI and she was given no other instructions.
The second opinion was provided by barrister Justin Bates, assisted by Clara Zang, both of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square. As readers will know Mr. Bates is not always seen as leaseholder friendly, but it was for this reason we suggested that he should be selected to act as a fresh pair of eyes. Mr. Bates was not shown or advised of the content of the first opinion produced by Miss Cattermole, and was given the very minimal brief of providing an opinion on Part 3 of the RTA SI.
Miss Cattermole was then asked to provide a short third opinion, summarising the areas of agreement or divergence between the two views.
We reproduce all three opinions below.
As you will see, the two main opinions point to a number of major difficulties and deficiencies in the wording in the SI.
Miss Cattermole is in broad agreement with Mr. Bates. However, she goes further than Mr. Bates by suggesting that part 3 of the SI will, in practice, become an active deterrent to forming an RTA, rather than an incentive.