Right to Manage News

Landlord ordered to pay RTM company its costs.

Thursday 30th April 2015

Angel Court, Block B.

A bad day at the office for Proxima GR as the Tribunal determines that it has acted unreasonably in the conduct of its defence to valid Right to Manage claim, awarding the RTM company its costs.

When eight of the nine leaseholders of Angel Court Block B approached the RTMF to exercise their Right to Manage one could not anticipate subsequent events.

Angel Court is a residential development comprising two blocks of flats, known as Block A and Block B separated by a gated passageway. Even though in our opinion Block B qualified for Right to Manage as a structurally detached self-contained building, the landlord, to our amazement served a Counter-Notice disputing Right to Manage by alleging a breach of section of the Act which relates to part of a building.

The landlord was invited to withdraw the flawed Counter-Notice at an early stage, however following no response the RTMF were left with no option other than to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal on behalf of the RTM company. Whilst initially happy for a determination on paper it soon became clear that due to the landlord’s continued defence of the application it was in the best interests of the RTM company for the matter to progress to an oral hearing and for the Tribunal to visit the premises.

On the morning of the hearing the Tribunal inspected the premises accompanied by parties’ representatives. The hearing itself was a brief affair, given that there was only one substantive issue, namely whether Block B is a self-contained block within the meaning of the Act.

In its decision of 13 April 2015 the Tribunal found that as Block B is a separate building and therefore the landlord’s objection did not apply. It also found that the landlord was quite wrong to persist with its opposition to the tenants of Block B acquiring the Right to Manage, having been given the opportunity to withdraw its objection early on.

Following the hearing, Beverley Maryan commented "this is the best day of my life".