Sandhu v Sandhu [2016] EWCA Civ 1050, 6th October 2016  

Beneficial interests - contributions

In determining the correct appointment of beneficial interest in a family property, the correct test was to ascertain the parties’ presumed intention from the whole course of their dealing in relation to the property, including their financial contributions. It was not a mathematical exercise. Whilst the judge had misinterpreted the financial contribution in terms of capital in the completion statement, it made no difference to her assessment that the father, was entitled to a 70% beneficial share in the Property. He had contributed 44% (and not 70%) of the purchase price but financed the mortgage payments and so there was evidence, other than the completion statement, to support the 70% assessment.

Artist Court Collective Ltd v Khan [2016] EWHC 2453 (Ch), 7th October 2016 

Landlord and Tenant Act 1987   

Henderson J reversed the County Court’s decision that the effect of section 4(2)(g) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 is that it only applies where a relevant estate or interest is held on trust both before and after the transfer. The requirements are only that the estate or interest should be held “on trust for any person” when the disposal is made and that the disposal is made “in connection with the appointment of a new trustee or in connection with the discharge of any trustee”.  

Cardiff CC v Lee [2016] EWCA Civ 1034, 19th October 2016  

Warrant of possession – permission – CPR 83.2 

The Court may proceed to validate a warrant of possession where a landlord who seeks to enforce his right to possession because of an alleged breach of the terms of a suspended possession order has not complied with the requirement of CPR 83.2 to first issue a Part 23 application for a permission order. The landlord had erroneously filed an N325 (a Request for a warrant of Possession of land under CPR 83.26) when his tenant breached the terms of an SPO. In applying CPR 3.10 to remedy an error or procedure the Court’s discretion could be exercised where remedying the error would not cause injustice to the other party and does not achieve something that is prohibited under another rule. Arden LJ cautioned that had the landlord not shown it had made a genuine mistake or had it known that it was not entitled to proceed under CPR 83.26 the outcome would have been different with the Court not validating the warrant and perhaps even awarding costs against the landlord.     

Forkner v Zas Ventures Ltd [2016] EWCA Civ 1062, 1st November 2016

Breach of repair obligations – waiver- continuing breach   

The Claimant was entitled to a possession order as the Defendant was in breach of an obligation in a statutory declaration entitling her to occupy the property rent free during her life provided she maintained and insured it. The Claimant’s predecessor’s failure to require the Defendant to undertake any repairs for 26 years amounted to a representation that they would not insist on performance of those obligations. However, that did not bind the new owner. The obligations were of a continuing kind and once the Defendant was asked to undertake the repairs by the Claimant, that put an end to the waiver of her obligation to repair.   

Holley v Hillingdon LBC [2016] EWCA Civ 1052, 1st November 2016

Proportionality – possession order – succession   

The appellant sought to defend possession proceedings after failing to satisfy section 87 Housing Act 1985. It was held that the period of residence, however long, would not on its own be sufficient to found an Article 8 proportionality defence in the second succession context. The fact that the Defendant had resided at the Property all of his life and had mental health difficulties did not made it disproportionate to make a possession order, particularly in circumstances where there were households with greater need waiting for housing to be allocated.   

Re Maximus Securities Ltd (aka Hopkinson v Hickton) [2016] EWCA Civ 1057, 3rd November 2016 

Independent expert – previous valuation – unfairly prejudicial conduct

The court determined that the prior involvement of the expert in a previous valuation did not automatically disqualify him from being subsequently appointed as an “independent valuer” of the same property, applying the test of apparent bias. There were three years between the 2 valuations, the expert had not initially linked the subject matter of the valuation and a fair minded observer would accept that a prior valuation of the same property will not necessarily impact on the subsequent valuation to the extent of encouraging the valuer to produce conformity between the two valuations regardless of the evidence produced in relation to the second valuation. The valuer had been independent at the date of his appointment.