Do reasonableness challenges only benefit the applicant?

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    Do reasonableness challenges only benefit the applicant?

    I want to make a s27 application to the tribunal challenging part of a service charge, other leaseholders say it isn't worth the trouble; if I am successful in getting a reduction will only I benefit or will all leaseholders (there are 21 of us)?

    section 9 of the form deals with an application for an order limiting payment of landlord's costs, should I put just myself and a second applicant or everyone?

    #2
    You would be the applicant. Other leaseholders must decide whether or not to join the application. A landlord is only obliged to credit the named persons in the application.

    Comment


      #3
      Yes I believe its only the applicant..to an extent.

      If for example the insurance for a block of flats is £1000 and each LH pays 25% then each LF will pay £250

      If one LH makes an application to the FTT, the FTT will no doubt make a decision and conclude, for example, a resonable amount for insurance is £500, so the LH in question should only have to pay £125 or have £125 refunded.

      It appears that this refund wont apply to other LH's although they would have good evidence that it should, you would of thought they would just have to write to the Fh and ask for the refund and if not, threaten a FTT application..which they would win (or at least you would assume so..but some FTTs do work in weird contradictory ways).
      Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

      I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

      It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

      Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

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        #4
        Sometimes the FTT will write to all leaseholders and ask them if they want to join an application in an attempt to avoid multiple applications but it depends on the Tribunal.

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          #5
          My understanding is that they should always invite the other leaseholders. My understanding, also, is that only one fee is payable, so it can be shared across multiple applicants.

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            #6
            They do not always invite other leaseholders and the fee depends on the value disputed so it increases with the number of applicants

            Comment


              #7
              The fees no longer depend on the value disputed ( https://www.lease-advice.org/news-it...mber-new-fees/ ) and even when they did, they went up less quickly than the amount disputed ( http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...ulation/3/made ). I think if you do the maths, even with the old system, the cost to each applicant would always be less for a combined application

              Comment


                #8
                Yes..splitting the cost across the applicants is a major reason for doing it plus if you are well organised it can make the task much easier, one doing the paperwork, another looking at the law, etc
                Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

                I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

                It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

                Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

                Comment


                  #9
                  My experience has been that the FH threatens LHs that costs will be claimed against them if they join the application and that he will apply any decision across the board. The FH then changes his mind when the decision goes against him. The lead applicant usually does the vast majority of the work but if you can spread the workload do so.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It can be dependent on the freeholder.
                    While they might not be obliged to give all leaseholders the benefit of tribunal decisions, in some cases they may do so.

                    When I took a previous freeholder to tribunal over reasonableness issues (mainly their policy of continually 'patching up' the roof when it was really beyond repair and needed replacing - which meant we still had to put up with leaks, and were still facing a future bill for replacement as well as the continually rising 'repair' bills) the freeholders reissued service charge statements crediting all leaseholders.
                    They then promptly sold the freehold to avoid having to get the needed work done.

                    I would expect most freeholders to try and limit the amount they have to pay out of their own pocket, but they may decide that the cheapest option is to avoid spending time and money on future claims based on the same issues, if it is likely that these claims would also win.

                    It's kind of a kick in the teeth for the individual leaseholders who go to the trouble of fighting to win a claim in the first place, especially if they don't recover all their costs, if other leaseholders get all the benefits at no cost and without any work.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
                      My experience has been that the FH threatens LHs that costs will be claimed against them if they join the application and that he will apply any decision across the board. The FH then changes his mind when the decision goes against him. The lead applicant usually does the vast majority of the work but if you can spread the workload do so.
                      Not many leases allow legal costs to be recovered in this way..whilst some (more modern ones) do, there are now laws that can be applied to stop costs being recovered through a) The service charge or b) an admin charge, although whether a FTT will allow these does depend on how successful the LH(s) are.
                      Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

                      I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

                      It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

                      Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Many years ago, I was part of a group of 4 leaseholders seeking reduction on insurance premium, the LVT chairman asked all other leaseholders in the block to join in the application.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          It does depend on the FH and the Tribunal.

                          In my case, the FH was deliberately trying to reduce the number of applicants by making false statements.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Section 9 of the form asks for the names of any other lessees who should be included in the s20c application. I put down all my fellow lessees' details there.

                            I suspect that if I hadn't, the missing ones might have found themselves paying the freeholder's costs. I'm not sure if you intend that to happen, but it won't make you popular.
                            To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                            Comment

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