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Landlord loses control of his properties over repair failures

A landlord has lost control of his properties due to his failure to carry out repairs properly.

The case involved a large building comprising of a number of flats and one commercial unit. The tenants considered that the property was in serious disrepair, causing safety issues. When the landlord failed to bring the building up to the required standard, they applied for a management order under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

The First-Tier Tribunal found in their favour. It criticised the landlord and found that it had failed to comply with its responsibilities.

The tribunal imposed a management order on the premises. The order gave the new manager the power to collect rent from the commercial tenant and collect a portion of the service charge directly from the landlord.

The landlord appealed, arguing that the terms of the tribunal's order went substantially further than was permissible and amounted to an error of law.

However, the Upper Tribunal upheld the decision. It said the tribunal had been entitled to remove all management functions from the landlord and to ensure that adequate funds were available to the manager to carry out the necessary works.

It added that even if there had been an error of law by the tribunal, the order would not have been set aside because the landlord could not be relied upon to manage the property and had resorted to litigation to retaliate against the tenants by way of abuse of process.

That confirmed that the tribunal had been right to conclude that a widely-worded management order was required.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of commercial property law.