Court of Appeal overturns decision on residential service charge consultation requirements

Written on 31 Oct 2014

The Court of Appeal earlier today handed down its eagerly awaited decision in Phillips v Francis on what constitutes qualifying works for the purposes of section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.   

Under the current legislation, a landlord may charge its residential tenants up to £250 per year for qualifying works. If the landlord wishes to recover more than £250 from each tenant it must either obtain dispensation from its obligations from the tribunal or comply with a statutory consultation process.

The High Court had previously decided in this case that landlords of residential premises must aggregate all potentially qualifying works for the purposes of deciding whether the consultation process needs to be followed. The Court of Appeal allowed the landlord’s appeal against this part of the decision and held that works to a building or premises should not be considered globally over a given period but should be looked at in “sets” when considering whether the consultation requirements have been triggered or not. A full update on the judgment will follow shortly.