Tanfield Chambers have been busy putting together an agenda to address the issues which you face on a daily basis. This year as well as the main keynote sessions, you will be able to select in advance the topics which are most relevant to you, ensuring that your day at the event reflects your personal business needs. Topics included are:
● Leasehold reform – published in February 2017, The Government’s White Paper
Speaker: Philip Rainey QC
Published in February 2017, the Government’s White Paper, “Fixing our Broken Housing Market”, contained just three paragraphs on leasehold reform. Philip Rainey QC will open the Summit with a review of the legislation that may benefit from reform.
● Case Law Update
Speaker: Christopher Heather QC
Your annual and invaluable guide to the cases that have moved the service charge world in the past year.
● Statutory Safety
Speaker: Kerry Bretherton QC
The Service Charge Summit is your way to keep up with developing law. In those circumstances, it would remiss not to address the health and safety concerns that have dominated the headlines in recent months. This talk will therefore look at the regulations governing safety in residential blocks.
● Apportionment of service charges
Speakers: Adrian Carr & Stan Gallagher
Participants in this session will work through a case study on the reapportionment of service charges where the service charge machinery has become redundant.
● What happens when the landlord wants to add new flats to a development?
Speakers: Piers Harrison & Richard Alford
Can a term against development be implied into a lease? If not, can one be implied in favour of variation? What is the relevance of the lease being granted before or after statutory variation? What are the statutory powers to vary a lease? These are the questions that delegates attending this workshop will be considering.
● Tenants, shareholders and freeholders
Speakers: Nicholas Isaac & Carl Fain
This session will consider the distinction between rights of an individual in his/her capacity as tenant and those rights as a member or director of the freehold company, including the impact (if any) on a tenant’s rights if s/he applies to the FTT for a determination under s.27A of the 1985 Act.
● Service Charge Overpayments: Tenants’ Rights… (or How Landlords might Keep the Money)
Speakers: Timothy Polli & Amanda Gourlay
One frequently thinks of the FTT determination as the end of the litigation, apart from appeals. That is however not necessarily the case. This will be a session aimed at experienced practitioners, with a view to encouraging debate on questions to which there may not as yet be any clear answers. Topics will include the availability of restitutionary remedies; the effect of the s.42 statutory trust and the terms of the lease.
● Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Ltd mean for property owners and managers?
Speakers: Mark Loveday & Katie Gray
The interpretation of the lease is frequently key in litigation about sub-letting, as is evidence gathering and the preparation of the claim. This will be an interactive workshop which technically steps outside the service charge arena, but continues to present challenges to the litigator.
● Forfeiture – recent cases – where does it leave us now?
Speakers: Robert Bowker & Niraj Modha
This workshop will be based on a simple hypothetical situation in which you have been asked to advise a tenant on the remedies available when commercial premises have been forfeited by peaceable re-entry 7 months earlier. The workshop will apply principles relevant to commercial and residential property. It will cover all the relevant case law in the last few years. Those attending will, therefore, be brought up-to-date with the relevant law and have an opportunity to apply the relevant principles in a practical example.
● Waiver of service charge machinery
Speakers: Daniel Dovar & James Castle
In the wake of recent developments in Southwark LBC v Akhtar  UKUT 0150 (LC) and Bucklitsch v Merchant Exchange Management Company Limited  UKUT 0527 (LC), what have we learned about the circumstances in which landlords and tenants are able to lawfully deviate from the written word of their leases’ service charge machinery, without having to formally vary their initial agreement? The session will cover one-time waivers, and how landlords may be able to take cue from Akhtar in utilising e.g. compromise payment schemes to retroactively validate invalid service charge demands by agreement. It will also cover longer-term agreements to disregard service charge provisions, how such agreements may be entered into, and the circumstances in which the parties involved may subsequently withdraw from such agreements.
● Contractual recoverability and statutory reasonableness
Speakers: James Fieldsend & Will Beetson
Focus on the importance of the two stage process: is the cost contractually recoverable before moving to the statutory overlay of “reasonableness”. Consideration will be given to the approach adopted by the Court of Appeal in LB Hounslow v Waaler  EWCA Civ 45 – whether the scope of work was within the contemplation of the parties, and the quality of evidence (if any) required; working with the Tribunal and its expertise.
● Ousting – legitimately and illegitimately the First-tier tribunal’s jurisdiction to determine whether residential service charges are payable
Speakers: Sam-Madge Wyld & Gemma de Cordova
The purpose of this session is to look in more detail at the interpretation of sections 27A(5) and (6), and section 38 of the 1985 Act. Can the FTT be asked to determine whether a tenant has admitted a service charge? Can section 27A(6) be pushed further to cover any apportionment mechanism? What does “dwelling” mean in the service charge context?