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Property Week quotes Lauren Fraser on the Supreme Court case of A1 Properties v Tudor Studios RTM

A recent Supreme Court case will settle whether legislation set down by parliament should be followed to the letter or whether, in certain circumstances, it can be discarded.

The case of A1 Properties (Sunderland) vs Tudor Studios RTM Company, which was heard on 8 February, centres on the issue of right-to-manage (RTM) claims and the serving of statutory notices.

In this case, the investor tenants of Tudor Studios - a former factory in Leicester that was converted into student accommodation - sought to manage their building through Tudor Studios RTM Company. Tudor Studios then gave the notice required by Section 79 of the 2002 act to the freeholder and the management company, but not – importantly – to the intermediate landlord, A1 Properties.

The management company therefore served a counter-notice stating that the respondent was not entitled to acquire the right to manage Tudor Studios because it had not complied with the procedure set out in the 2002 Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act.

Lauren Fraser, Senior Associate in our real estate disputes team, comments in Property Week on the potential ramifications of the case:

The commentary that has come out of this line of cases is what the impact is of not complying with certain statutory steps,” says Fraser. “You have to look at the statutory claim as a whole and what parliament intended by putting that statutory requirement into place.

"Quite frequently, people take a very prescriptive approach, so you need to dot the i’s and cross the t’s [in terms of legal requirements]. In this case at present, the courts have said that [approach] isn’t right, and if it [not submitting a notice] is a trivial point then it does not invalidate a whole case.

"While the point to be decided is very narrow, it could have much broader implications for statutory notices.

Read the full article in Property Week here.

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