Sebastian Clegg represented Blackpool Borough Council on an appeal from the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber). The Council provides various services to its 400 long leaseholders and sought to charge the leaseholders for the provision of those services by way of a management charge. When the Council reviewed the cost of those services, found it had not been charging the actual cost and increased the charges from about £50 to £195 per annum two of the leaseholders, who had acquired their leaseholds under right to buy legislation, contested the increased charges before the LVT. The LVT held that most of the management charges were not chargeable under the terms of the leases and decided in the leaseholders’ favour reducing the charges back to £50 per annum. The Council appealed and the Upper Tribunal agreed with the Council’s construction of the leases and allowed the charges for the particular year to stand at £155, after discounting some elements of the charges. The decision has significant ramifications for the Council, the services it provides to leaseholders and the charges it can make for them going forward as well as other Councils in a similar position.
Blackpool Borough Council v Cargill  UKUT 0377 (LC)