Howe Properties (NE) Ltd (respondent) v Accent Housing Ltd (appellant)

Wednesday 17 January 2024

By appellant’s notice filed on 21 December 2022, the appellant, Accent Housing Limited, appeal the decision of Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) dated 18 October 2022.

This was an appeal to the UT by the respondent, Howe Properties (NE) Limited, against the decision of the First tier Tribunal that service charges in respect of management fees were reasonable and payable in the sum of £300 in respect of four properties for the years ending 31 March 2017, 2018 and 2019. Howe Properties holds the four long leasehold flats on an estate at Yarm owned by the applicant, Accent Housing Limited. The UT allowed the appeal and remitted the matter to the FTT. It was held that because the proportionate or fair proportion of the Annual Service Charge is 1/138th, then each “stream” of the Annual Service Charge must also be 1/138th.

The issue in the appeal is the construction of three leases granted under the Right to Buy and, in particular, whether the applicant social landlord is entitled to levy a management fee in the manner which it has chosen to do so. The applicant succeeded in the FTT. Whilst the sums are small (£300 per lease per year), over 1,000 of the applicant’s properties are affected by the UT’s decision.

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Part 1

Part 2