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Friends Life Co Ltd v Huntingdonshire DC [2012] RA 263

DATE: 25 Jun 2012

A completion notice served on a developer had not been served in accordance with legislation which required it to be served on the owner defined as the person entitled to possession, because (i) although the developer had been the freehold owner at an earlier date, at the date of service of the completion notice freehold title had been transferred to the appellants, (ii) there was nothing in the development agreement to indicate that the developer was still entitled to possession and it was accepted that the developer was a mere licensee who could not be regarded as the agent, representative or manager of the appellants, (iii) the Valuation Tribunal did not have a discretion to withhold the remedy sought by the appellants and even if it did, nothing in the facts of the case would have led the Valuation Tribunal to deny the ratepayer the remedy available to it in law, and (iv) although the appellants had paid the rates for some time with knowledge of the facts regarding the service of the notice, they had also maintained throughout that the notice had not been served on the correct person, and it may be that they were not well advised on their entitlement to bring judicial review, and it was only recently that it had been established that there was a remedy by way of proposal and appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.