Join us on Tuesday 11 June at 13:00 for Learning the rules of the new first-tier tribunal (Property Chamber), a presentation and discussion. Book now
LEASE 2012/13 training programme
For training on residential leasehold law.
Section 20 Consultation
Service charges for residential leaseholders
Tackling bad management
Courses can be fully tailored to your requirements.
- LEASE Conference 2013
- Gathering information on service charges - ways to enforce your rights
- When are service charge costs incurred? Court of Appeal decision in OM Property Management v Burr
- 2012-13 Performance summary
- Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill - implications for managing agents
- Podcast - Lease Extension
- I am in dispute with my landlord but I do not want to go to Court or Tribunal. Is there an alternative?
- How can I find out what my service charge is being used for?
- My neighbours are very noisy and it is affecting the enjoyment of my property. What can I do?
- I own the freehold of a leasehold house. The leaseholder wants to buy the freehold. Do I have to sell it to them?
- My landlord has carried out Section 20 consultation but I am still unhappy about the service charges I'm being asked to pay. What can I do?
- What happens when my lease runs out?
- What happens if I breach the terms of my lease?
- My landlord has not demanded ground rent for several years. Can he still demand it?
What is a house “reasonably so called”?
By Fenella Maddan, Legal Adviser
The recent Supreme Court decision of (Day and another v Hosebay Ltd and Howard de Walden Estates Ltd v Lexgorge Ltd) focused on the definition of a house under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. The properties concerned were originally built as houses but subsequently used as offices and a self-catering hotel.
It was held that the original purpose and outward appearance of the buildings was not sufficient to make them houses for the purposes of the 1967 Act. Both properties were used entirely for commercial purposes and this use meant they could not be houses reasonably so called. It seems clear now that properties solely in commercial use will not be able to obtain their freeholds or extend their leases under the 1967 Act.
However, this leaves the question of mixed use properties open. It is clear from past cases that some proportion of mixed use is acceptable, but the exact proportion is not clear. It would seem that 11% residential use is not enough but 25% is. In the case of Tandon v Trustees of Spurgeons Homes  A.C. 755 the property consisted of a shop with a flat above. The shop made up either 50% or 75% of the building depending on whether a covered courtyard and two storey stable used by the shop were counted. This property was held to be in “substantial” residential use.