Sir Peter Bottomley denounces LVT stratagems in post on LKP
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 Oakland Court LVT earlier this month.
Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for Worthing West, claimed that this amounted to “legal torture” and he condemned the entire LVT process, referring to “the series of actions and expensive stratagems faced by elderly frail constituents without the financial resources to play unending tribunal games with a relentless money grabbing opponent”.
The £137,000 action [see below] was won by the 40 pensioners, but two of the original applicants died and three went into care before the LVT was heard.
Three times the landlord’s legal team appealed against the LVT’s decision even to hear the case, which would have begun the process. This procedure is not possible in the civil courts, where a case is either heard or thrown out.
Sir Peter writes: “It is shocking that the pension fund or its beneficiaries should have claimed money wrongly from elderly leaseholders. I cannot believe that other freeholders could have backed this long running and unnecessarily expensive and protracted process.
“If the beneficiaries claim similar freeholders act in the same ways, that makes matters worse. If the beneficiaries did not know or did not approve of the use and reuse of legal actions to appeal clear just decisions, they should have known and they should have told their lawyers to end what I saw as legal torture.
“Ministers, senior judiciary and the legal standards bodies need to take effective action to make ineffective, impossible or unprofessional the series of actions and expensive stratagems faced by elderly frail constituents without the financial resources to play unending tribunal games with a relentless money grabbing opponent.
“I pay tribute to John Fenwick [who instigated the action] and the leaseholders’ legal representatives and pro bono barrister.
“He should be nominated for a community award.”