Landmark’s barristers have genuine expertise in the field of leasehold reform where the cost of making mistakes can be high, and specialist advice is essential. Whether you are a solicitor, valuer or property owner, we can help at every stage, including advice, drafting and representation in the courts and tribunals. We also frequently advise on related professional negligence claims.
Whilst the relationship of landlord and commercial tenant is governed almost solely by the terms of the lease, in respect of residential tenants the lease is just the starting point.
In addition to rights first granted to the owners of leasehold houses by the Leasehold Reform Act 1967, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 grants tenants of flats the right of first refusal in respect of the disposal of property interests, the right to vary their leases and the right to appoint a manager or acquire the freehold of their building in cases of bad management; the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 grants flat owners the right to new leases or to acquire the freehold of their block via collective enfranchisement; and, for tenants not wanting to go the whole hog, the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 offers a no fault right to manage. Landmark’s barristers are fully conversant with all of these Acts and, in addition to experience gained through private practice, many of them have joined Chambers following periods of employment with the Law Commission working on the wholesale reform of leasehold law and the reinvigoration of commonhold.
Whilst much of our work concerns property in Prime Central London where values are highest, we cover the length of breadth of England and Wales when specialist advice and representation is required. We regularly act for both landlords and tenants, including for and against London Estates, ground rent investors, local authorities, housing associations, retirement communities, Government Departments and the Crown.
Members of the group are frequently involved in litigation concerning such properties at the highest levels, including:
- Avon Ground Rents Ltd v Canary Gateway (Block A) RTM Co Ltd  EWCA Civ 616
- FirstPort Property Services Ltd v Settlers Court RTM Co Ltd  UKSC 1
- Aldford House Freehold Ltd v Grosvenor (Mayfair) Estate  EWCA Civ 1848
- Elim Court RTM Co Ltd v Avon Freeholds Ltd  EWCA Civ 89
- Ninety Broomfield Road RTM Co Ltd v Triplerose Ltd  EWCA Civ 282
- Jewelcraft Limited v Pressland  EWCA Civ 1111
- Cravecrest Limited v Duke of Westminster  EWCA Civ 731
- Howard de Walden Estates v Lexgorge  UKSC 41
- Howard de Walden v Aggio  UKHL 4
- Pitts v Earl Cadogan  UKHL 71.
Most cases begin in the First-Tier Tribunal of the Property Chamber (“FTT”) or County Court, and we offer a range of barristers of all levels of seniority to advise and appear at this level. However, we are equally happy to provide assistance before matters become contentious and indeed to prevent matters becoming contentious. In this regard, we are happy to approve, draft or advise on the validity of notices and to advise on valuation issues or terms of leases and transfers. As regards rights of first refusal, we regularly advise as to the need to serve section 5 notices, on avoidance schemes, and on enforcement against purchasers. We also advise on the interplay between the various Acts, for example as to the relevance of section 5 notices on the premium payable on enfranchisement or the appropriate Act to proceed under in the case of missing landlords.
We work regularly with and accept direct instructions from valuers and some of our barristers accept instructions direct from clients in suitable cases.
Many of us are members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP). Members of Chambers as a whole and individually have been recognised at the Enfranchisement and Right to Manage Awards and we regularly speak at seminars and conferences on this area of law.