A phenomenally busy couple of months has kept me away from blogging. However, I’m back with an update on another Right to Manage case that emphasises the need for prospective RTM participants to take proper legal advice before embarking upon a claim.
Assethold Ltd is a freehold company who crops up in cases from time to time (indeed it has been involved in other reported RTM litigation) and in the case of 7 Sunny Gardens Road RTM Ltd it was disputing the purported exercise of an RTM claim by the tenants in a block it owned.
Before exercising the right to manage the RTM company must give notice to the qualifying tenants in the block who aren’t and haven’t agreed to be part of the RTM company to give them the opportunity to participate. RTM is a no fault right and so the majority of the litigation that has come before the courts and tribunals in recent years concerns the procedural requirements and this is another such case.
All of the leaseholders had agreed to participate in this RTM but unbeknown to the advisers acting by the time that by the RTM company was incorporated one of them had died. No notices inviting participation were therefore served and the landlord who objected on the basis that the procedure had not been complied with. Initially, the landlord was unsuccessful but won on appeal because the lease of the deceased participants flat had vested in his personal representatives upon his death and so notice of invitation to participate should have been served upon them.
One sideline to this decision is that there was a 7 month delay in incorporating the RTM company from when the papers were signed by all participants so had those instructions been carried out promptly this situation could possibly have been avoided.