Alberti (applicant/respondent) -v- Cadogan Holdings Ltd (respondent/appellant)
Tuesday 8 February 2022
The Appellant Cadogan Holdings Limited appeal the order of Deputy Chamber President Martin Roger QC dated 9 April 2021 by which he determined by way of preliminary issue that section 9(1A)(d) of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 does require the Tribunal to assume that it would have been unlawful as a matter of planning control to use the subject house as a single house on the valuation date.
This case concerns a disagreement between Ms Alberti, the Applicant in the lower court, and Cadogan the Respondent in the lower court, regarding the price to be paid for the freehold of the house.
The background is that in 1971 Gerald Scarfe took a long lease of the property in Chelsea which was a house divided into five separate flats. He then restored the property to a single house. By 2019, planning policy in Chelsea favoured the retention of flats and, though it was lawful for the property to be used as a single house, it is almost certain that had it remained divided into five flats, planning permission would not have been available at that time to convert it into a house.
On 13 May 2019 Mr Scarfe gave notice to his Landlord, the Applicant in this current application, of his intention to purchase the freehold. The acquisition of the freehold is now being pursued by Mrs Fleur Alberti who purchased the remains of the lease from Mr Scarfe in August 2019. Mrs Alberti argued that the Tribunal had to have in mind that, on the valuation date, it would have been unlawful to use the property as a single house. Cadogan disagreed, arguing that there was no such requirement. Martin Roger QC found in favour of Mrs Alberti and held that the best proxy for the value of the unimproved house would be a house next door which had been divided into flats on the date the lease was granted and remained in that condition on the valuation date.