Kerry Underwood

FIRST-TIER TRIBUNAL LACKED JURISDICTION TO DETERMINE POST-ISSUE LEGAL COSTS WHERE A CASE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE COUNTY COURT (UPPER TRIBUNAL (LANDS CHAMBER))

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Kerry is undertaking a 10 city Autumn Tour with his new course – Getting the Retainer Right.

For further details click here

In Avon Ground Rents Ltd v Child [2018] UKUT 204 (LC), 20 June 2018

The Upper Tribunal considered an appeal by a landlord against a costs determination made by the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), on the basis that the First-Tier Tribunal did not have jurisdiction to make such a determination.

The landlord had issued a claim in the County Court to recover unpaid service and administration charges from a tenant and the matter had been transferred to the First-Tier Tribunal by the County Court under section 176A of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 (CLRA 2002).

The First-Tier Tribunal considered the reasonableness of the outstanding charges and then proceeded to determine the landlord’s post-issue legal costs, on the basis that these were also administration charges.

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) agreed that the First-Tier Tribunal had been acting outside its jurisdiction in determining the post-issue costs.

Although it was possible for a judge to act both as a First-Tier Tribunal Judge and a County Court Judge under the Residential Property Disputes Deployment Pilot, the statutory jurisdiction of each forum was unchanged.

The post-issue legal costs did not constitute administration charges, although it has since become possible for a lessee to make an application under paragraph 5A of Schedule 11 to the CLRA 2002 for determination of litigation costs that are yet to be incurred.

Under the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber) Rules (SI 2013/1169), the First-Tier Tribunal’s jurisdiction on costs is tightly prescribed.

The costs should therefore have been determined by the County Court under section 51 of the Senior Courts Act 1981.

Although it originated from a small claim, this case gave the Upper Tribunal the opportunity to provide welcome guidance on how the parallel jurisdictions of the First-tier Tribunal and the County Court should operate under the Pilot (see Guidance for future applications).

Although all matters in relation to a property dispute may now be determined by a single judge acting in two capacities, it will be very important for that judge to make it clear which role they are performing at which point in the proceedings and to notify the parties accordingly.

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Written by kerryunderwood

July 20, 2018 at 9:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Hi Kerry – I would like to register for the course in Liverpool on 5 October please advise
    many thanks
    Sarah Lapsley
    sarah.lapsley@cookandtalbot.co.uk

    Sarah Lapsley

    July 20, 2018 at 9:53 am


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