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Landlord & Tenant News - Supreme Court Cases

27th February 2014

Permission to Appeal to the Supreme Court was granted in Rawdon Crozier’s case of Britton v Arnold [2013] EWCA Civ 902, [2013] L. & T.R. 24 by Lord Neuberger, Lord Carnwarth and Lord Toulson on the 11th. February 2014. Rawdon became involved in the case, which has potentially far-reaching consequences for the construction of leases, when he secured permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. He subsequently appeared as junior counsel for the Appellant tenants in July last year. The case concerned the construction of service charge clauses, which it was argued contained mutually inconsistent provisions. That contended as being the operative part by the landlord provided for annual compounded increases, at the rate of 10 per cent, and had already taken the charges payable to over £3,000 per annum for the relatively limited services provided and by the end of the lease would increase the annual charge to over £1 million. The appellant tenants contended that the provisions of the same clause which made reference to the charge being “a proportionate part of the expenses and outgoings actually incurred by the lessor in the repair maintenance renewal and provision of services” should lead to the compounding provision’s being interpreted as a a cap.  Although the Court of Appeal held that it was wrong, under the guise of a process of interpretation, to introduce new and other terms to mend a bad bargain, the matter will no be revisited by the Supreme Court.

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Landlord & Tenant News - Supreme Court Cases