Palgrave Gardens Freehold Company Limited v Consensus Business Group (Ground Rents) Limited Central London County Court, 18 February 2019
The case concerned a large modern development of 288 flats spread over five buildings, with an underground car park under the blocks of flats and the communal roadways and gardens. There was expert evidence that each of the blocks was structurally detached from the other blocks and the car park. A group of tenants served a single notice under s13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. The freeholder challenged the validity of the notice on the ground that it was unclear what the specified premises were, and also challenged the entitlement of the tenants to claim the freehold on the ground that a single notice could not be served for more than one structurally detached building.
The Judge, Recorder Eaton Turner, held that the s13 Notice was valid and was to be construed as limited to the footprint of the six blocks. He gave permission to amend the notice to include the car park and airspace above it, and went on to declare that the whole combined structure amounted to a building which was structurally detached, and that a single notice could be served even if the building contained separate buildings within it.
Permission to appeal has been granted on all issues for an appeal direct to the Court of Appeal, as the case raises issues of principle which apply to many modern developments.
Tom Jefferies acted for the Landlord.