The High Court recently considered the oft-vexed question of the validity of notices served by a tenant to exercise a contractual break clause.
Law & Lease is a barrister’s blog about residential service charges, written by Amanda Gourlay of Tanfield Chambers in London.
23rd February case – Raja v Aviram  UKUT 102 (LC) – this case concerned a covenant against cutting a wall without landlord’s consent. However, holes were cut by a contractor to enable a new boiler to be installed. The Tribunal looked at the relevance of the tenant’s knowledge and the relevance of the landlord’s failure to provide a contact address and section 168(4), Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
11 February 2016 – Triplerose Ltd Re Forth Banks Tower  UKUT 77 (LC) – very interesting appeal case about the application of the principle of law known as the indemnity principle to the entitlement of a landlord to be paid costs incurred in consequence of a claim to exercise the right to manage under Part 2 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
The Gulf Agencies Ltd v Ahmed  EWCA Civ 44 (03 February 2016) – this case related to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 – the tenant brought proceedings for the grant of a new tenancy. The landlord resisted the application on the ground set out in section 30(1)(g), that he intended to occupy the premises for the purposes of a business to be carried on by him at the premises and whether the landlord had established his entitlement to rely on section 30(1)(g).
Suh & Anor v Mace (UK) Ltd  EWCA Civ 4 (15 January 2016) – fascinating case where questions concerning the applicability of the “without prejudice” privilege to certain discussions that took place between one of two claimant tenants and the landlord’s solicitor.
Fivestar Properties Ltd, Re (08 October 2015) – A dissolved company was restored to the register to enable the freehold of a property owned by the company to be sold for the benefit of a bank which held a legal charge over the property. The Crown’s disclaimer of its interest in the property under the Insolvency Act 1986 Sch.B1 para.84(1), following the vesting of the property in the Crown as bona vacantia, was not a disposition. The effect of restoration was that the freehold was retrospectively recreated and revested in the company.
Preedy v Dunne (02 October 2015 – A beneficiary’s defence of proprietary estoppel to a claim for an order for possession of a pub failed. The trustees of a will had neither promised that loans that the beneficiary had made to the pub business would be repaid from the sale of the pub nor that he could stay in the pub for as long as he wished.
Cain v Islington LBC – 25 September 2015 – Where a tenant challenged the reasonableness of service charges paid during the previous 12 years, the tribunal considered the meaning and effect of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 s.27A(5). The provision did not prevent a tribunal from inferring from a series of payments made without protest that the tenant had agreed that the amount claimed was the amount properly payable; the provision only precluded the tribunal from inferring agreement from a single payment.
Cohabitant had 25% beneficial interest in solely owned property where financial contribution insignificant (Court of Appeal). In Graham-York v York and others  EWCA Civ 72, the Court of Appeal upheld a finding that a cohabitant had a 25% beneficial interest in a property solely owned by her partner, where her financial contribution was insignificant, but she had made domestic contributions.