If one leaseholder takes a housing association to court...

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    If one leaseholder takes a housing association to court...

    And win. Will it benefit all the leaseholders affected by that service charge or just the one named on the court papers?

    My understanding is that it would just be the one. However, I would think it would provide a useful precedent for any subsequent claims.


      I'm surprised they wouldn't be made to refund everyone affected if they have been already shown to be in the wrong. Lots of people won't know how to challenge or just accept the service charges.

      What a shame.


        All the other leaseholders will be given a chance to join in before the case is heard.


          As 'leaseholder64' has said, other leaseholders should be given the opportunity to join in if the case is about service charges that they also contribute towards, or something else that involves them.

          If they don't join in as a named applicant or respondent, there is no obligation for the freeholder to pass on the benefits of any decision (this applies regardless of whether the freeholder is a housing association, private freeholder, or whatever).
          In some cases the freeholder might chose to give other freeholders the benefit of any reduction in service charges that is won, in other cases they might chose not to.

          Although the tribunal system, and some courts, are supposed to be low cost, the reality is that taking a freeholder to tribunal will usually cost several hundred pounds, even if no paid legal advice is obtained, (application fee, hearing fee, printing/photocopying costs for 6x copies of a hearing bundle that may well include several hundred pages, stationary, files, postage costs, etc.).
          The applicant might get the application fee and hearing fee refunded, but there is no guarantee of this and other costs are unlikely to be refunded.
          If everyone is given the reductions it is likely to mean that the leaseholders who did nothing end up better off financially as well as having put in none of the work involved in taking the freeholder to tribunal.

          Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, there may be small, but important, differences that won't have been heard by the tribunal/court that might mean that the other leaseholders wouldn't have been awarded the same reductions even though many of the factors under consideration would be the same. In many tribunal decisions, where the cases of two or more leaseholders are heard at the same time, the decision specify different amounts that will be payable by different leaseholders.

          Are you the leaseholder named in the court papers?
          Or are you a leaseholder who is hoping to get the benefit of someone else's fight?


            I've heard that someone else is already proceeding down that route but not been given the opportunity to join up with them and no way of contacting them.


              Are they contributing to the same service charges? If they simply have a similar lease, but a different service charge fund, they wouldn't be able to join in the action, although they might be able to cite it as a precedent.

              Case reports are produced for decided cases, so you could look for the final decision.


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