Matthew Lewis - Solicitor, Coles Miller

Claiming Your Right To Manage Residential Leasehold Property15th Feb 2016

by Matthew Lewis on 15th Feb 2016

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A recent appeal to the Upper Tribunal underlines an important principle when dealing with residential leasehold property: tiny details really matter – right down to plurals and punctuation.

The appeal related to a block of flats in London. Leaseholders served notice on the landlord of their intention to acquire the right to manage the building.Residential leasehold property solicitor Matthew Lewis of Coles Miller, Bournemouth

So far so good. The right to manage residential leasehold property is enshrined in the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.

Under the 2002 Act, leaseholders can acquire the right to manage:
•    whether the landlord is at fault or not
•    without having to pay the landlord compensation.

The notice the leaseholders served referred to a company they had formed to acquire the management function. This is required under the law.

But here’s what prompted the appeal to the Upper Tribunal…

The formation documents of that company are required to define the ‘premises’. The leaseholders used the following words ‘Flat 1-13’.

Obviously they meant flats 1 to 13. Not one particular flat with the number 1-13.

But that little typographical hiccup muddied the waters – and the landlord served a negative counter-notice.

Fortunately for the leaseholders, the Upper Tribunal ruled in their favour.

But all this may have been avoided if the leaseholders had formed a company with entirely unambiguous details.

Residential leasehold law is complex. Coles Miller’s Bournemouth-based residential leasehold solicitors handle cases from all over the country.

Need help with the right to manage your block? Contact Coles Miller Associate Solicitor Matthew Lewis, 01202 355697.

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