Jim Fitzpatrick MP now adds to his suggestion that the Property Tribunal “stinks” by suggesting the system is rigged against leaseholders.
In a @HouseofCommons debate earlier this week on First-tier Tribunals, I outlined why the system is rigged against leaseholders. Yesterday's judgement in Manchester confirmed the fears of many. pic.twitter.com/sBKyNC9RHm
— Jim Fitzpatrick (@Fitz_xMP) July 27, 2018
Tribunal President McGrath will no doubt argue the problem due to the law, not her Tribunal. There are some who start to wonder if her Tribunal is part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
The reason for Jim Fitzpatrick’s ire is the latest Tribunal cladding decision for Cypress Place and Vallea Court in Manchester. The decision has gone entirely against the leaseholders.
There must also be a question to be asked why on earth did the government provide £465,000 to its ineffectual advisory body LEASE to help on cladding when cladding leaseholders tell us that the only help LEASE has to offered is to read the lease and provide the contact details of the National Pro Bono Centre.
It might have been far better if the government had funded the National Pro Bono Centre to help the leaseholders in these cladding cases.
Cladding leaseholders will also see it as very wrong that Minister Kit Malthouse attended a leaseholder cladding forum in Parliament only last week where he assured leaseholders that things are moving forward and that government expected developers and freeholders to pay and not pass on costs
Clearly, the Tribunal in Manchester were not listening to the Minister and Judge Wood decided that the leaseholders should pay for everything.
The three judges in the hearing awarded the landlords the right to recover the costs of the waking watch. the replacement of the cladding and even declined to limit the landlord from passing on his costs for taking the case to the Tribunal.
The Manchester Tribunal and Property Tribunal President McGrath have so far declined to confirm whether Judge Woods is qualified as a solicitor or a barrister of if they are one the salaried or part-time judges.
There has to be an enormous question as to whether lower tier tribunal judges should be considering such important cases. Do first tribunal judges have the legal skills to consider these sorts of cases? There are specific rules in place to ensure that certain types of cases go the Upper Tribunal, especially if there is a chance there is a chnce that there will be appealed to the UT anyway.
- Rule 25.3.a sets out that complex evidence should go to the Upper Tribunal.
- Rule 25.3.b sets out that a complex or important principles should go to the Upper Tribunal.
- Rule 25.2.c cases involving a large financial sum should go to the Upper Tribunal. This case meets all three rules as have other cladding cases but all have stayed in the Lower Tribunal.
A copy of the Cypress Place and Vallea Court decision can be read HERE