Our barristers have expertise in leasehold matters of all degrees of complexity, from comparatively simple service charge disputes to advice on portfolio acquisition, recovery of the cost of major works including building safety remediation, rights of first refusal, right to manage and applications to appoint managers. We regularly appear at all levels of tribunal, from the First-tier Tribunal up to the Supreme Court.
The law governing long residential leases (and the management of leasehold property) grows ever more complex. The lease is just the starting point. Recently, that complexity has only increased, with the introduction of the Building Safety Act 2022, the Ground Rents Act 2021 and with the prospect of further significant reform on the horizon.
Landmark’s barristers are at the heart of those changes, with detailed in-depth knowledge of the changes as they happen – our members have advised and acted for investors, leaseholders, managing agents, RTM companies and RMCs, the Government, and trade bodies, at all stages of the reform process, including in conjunction with our public law colleagues in bringing challenges and changes to government policy and legislation in this area.
As a team we have genuine specialists in every aspect of leasehold management at all levels of call including:
- Service charge recovery, including complex apportionment disputes and issues arising out of mixed-use, as well as enforcement of decisions (e.g. by way of forfeiture).
- Building safety rights and obligations, including duties under fire safety legislation and with respect to combustible cladding remediation, and applications for Remediation Orders and Remediation Contribution Orders.
- Protection of ground rent income streams and advice on portfolio acquisition and development issues.
- Major works projects, including advance determinations and applications for dispensation (s20).
- Claims by leaseholders for the right to manage, the formation of Residents’ Associations, RMC disputes and rights of first refusal (s.5 notices).
- Obligations of managing agents, including duties on termination, professional negligence claims, and addressing conflicts of interest.
- Applications to the First-tier Tribunal for the appointment of a manager (Landlord and Tenant Act 1987) and for variation of leases.
- Challenges to insurance premiums and commissions including secret commission claims.
- Applications for consent, including consent for works and to assign, and dealing with unreasonable refusal of requests and other breach of covenant issues.
- Advice on recovery of legal costs in the context of any of the above.
Our barristers are regularly involved in the most important and high profile of leasehold cases, including twice recently in the Supreme Court in Aviva v Williams  UKSC 6 and FirstPort v Settlers Court RTM  UKSC 1. Other notable cases include:
- No. 1 West India Quay (Residential) Ltd v East Tower Apartments Ltd  EWCA Civ 1119
- York House (Chelsea) Limited v Thompson  EWHC 2203
- Leaseholders of Foundling Court and O’Donnell Court v Camden LBC  UKUT 336
- Avon Ground Rents v Cowley  EWCA Civ 1827
- Moorjani v Durban Estates  EWHC 2307
- Willow Court v Alexander  EWCA Civ 2325
- Plantation Wharf Management Ltd v Fairman  UKUT 236
- Elim Court RTM Co Ltd v Avon Freeholds Ltd  EWCA Civ 89
- Ninety Broomfield Road RTM Co Ltd v Triplerose Ltd  EWCA Civ 282
- Burr v OM Property Management Ltd  EWCA Civ 479
- Continental Properties v White  L&TR 4.