Ben Maltz succeeds on service charges appeal to the Upper Tribunal where the LVT had unfairly rejected the landlord’s evidence instead relying on its own knowledge and experience.

31st March 2014

In Red Kite Community Housing Ltd v. Robertson [2014] UKUT 0134 (LC) Ben Maltz represented the landlord on its appeal against a determination of the LVT below which held that estate management charges were unreasonably high and went on to reduce them by an arbitrary amount.

Ben successfully argued that the LVT’s decision was flawed on two grounds: first, the LVT had failed to identify in its written decision whether the costs incurred by Red Kite were too expensive per se, or that they were too high given the standard of service and workmanship actually delivered; second, the LVT explained that it had relied on its own knowledge and experience as an expert tribunal in determining the reasonable level of the charges in dispute. However, the LVT had failed to declare to the parties whether its expert knowledge was general or specific in nature, nor had it given Red Kite any opportunity to respond or adduce further evidence to counter the LVT’s purported knowledge or experience.

This is the second of such appeals that Ben has successfully argued before the Upper Tribunal in recent months, following the decision of His Honour Judge Gerald in Southern Land Securities Ltd v. Hodge [2013] UKUT 0480 (LC).