Area(s) of Law :
Source : EWCA Civ 6
Landlord and Tenant
Block of 6 flats- R tenants- gave notice to landlord A of right to collective enfranchisement under Part I LRHUDA 1993- A served counter-notice under s.21- no provision for leaseback- no agreement on terms- referral to LVT- R appealed against LVT’s decision on price payable for acquisition- pending appeal, A served leaseback notice claiming lease of one of the flats pursuant to s.36 and para. 5 Sch. 9- on appeal, Lands Tribunal considered lease-back notice invalid in that it was given too late- A appealed- question arose whether it was ever possible to serve a leaseback notice where the s.21 notice did not specify lease-back:-
Held: Appeal dismissed. A landlord could seek a lease-back of a flat which had no qualifying tenant at the “appropriate time”. However, the provisions of s. 21(3) are mandatory. The landlord had to say in the counter notice if he was seeking such a lease-back. Having said that he was intending to take a lease-back, the landlord was then entitled to such a lease-back as long as there was no qualifying tenant (in the flat of which he was seeking the lease) at the date of acquisition. The reference to the absence of a qualifying tenant at the “appropriate time” did not extend the opportunity of the landlord to seek the lease-back. Rather, the absence of such a tenant was a condition subsequent to the service of the notice, which condition had to be satisfied at the date of acquisition.