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Be careful what you leave open to interpretation![/caption]
Where such failings do arise, to what extent will a court or tribunal will be willing (or able) to “rescue” a party from their consequences? The answer, as ever, largely turns on the individual facts of each case. In this post, I look
at three interesting cases where varying approaches were taken.
In Mark Skelton v DBS Homes (Kings Hill), the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) (UT) came to the landlord’s rescue despite a catalogue of ‘errors and curiosities’ in the drafting of the lease.
The service charge provisions were variously described by the UT as ‘unusual’, ill-drafted’ or and ‘curiously drafted’.
This case, unusually in service charge disputes, was not about whether the service charge had been reasonably incurred but rather whether it was payable at all.
Whether the on account demands for payment of service charge based on an estimate (not actual expenditure) served a couple of years after the close of the relevant accounting period- were in fact valid demands.
The UT held that the service charge was payable.
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Melissa Moore is a dual qualified in England and Wales and South African lawyer and has 14 years’ experience in property practice in England. She has worked in local government and been a partner at a regional law firm and most recently an associate director at Berwin Leighton Paisner which she joined in 2005. Melissa has wide experience in all areas of property law and specializes in commercial real estate development. She has experience in a number of sectors including hotel, leisure, offices, investment, industrial, motorway service stations and funding. She has worked on large scale strategic developments and government funding initiatives, town centre regeneration schemes and private mixed use developments both for public sector and private developers and investment funds. In 2013 she was ranked by Legal 500 as recommended for local government work.
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