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Themeline Limited v Vowden Investments Limited

DATE: 20 Apr 2011

This was a collective enfranchisement where there was a single participating tenant owning 2 of the 3 flats on leases with 2 years unexpired. As part of the enfranchisement the nominee purchaser was to acquire a long overriding lease of the third flat granted outside the Act by the Grosvenor Estate, and owned by Vowden. Following the enfranchisement the nominee purchaser and participating tenant would control the whole building, and be in a position to convert it into a house realising a profit of £2.8million.

Vowden claimed that the value as a house should be brought into account in the marriage value calculation, since the nominee purchaser would be able to grant itself a lease of the whole house. Themeline (represented by Thomas Jefferies) argued that marriage value was limited to the increase in value attributable to the ability of the participating tenants to have new leases granted of their existing flats. The Lands Tribunal held that it was bound to accept Mr Jefferies arguments.

Accordingly, marriage value cannot include the value of space not currently included in the leases of existing flats.