Leasehold enfranchisement: determining when time begins to run for a vesting order application

Goldeagle Properties Ltd v Thornbury Court Ltd [2008] EWCA Civ 864.

Where the landlord and the nominee purchaser cannot agree the terms of the sale of the freehold and leasehold interests in connection with a leasehold enfranchisement claim, either can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT). Once an application has been made, the LVT is seised of all matters in dispute, even if some of those matters have not been specifically referred to in the application.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that where the LVT has been asked to determine one or more matters in dispute, the time limit for making an application for a vesting order to vest the freehold in the nominee purchaser, does not start to run until all the matters in dispute have either been determined by the LVT or agreed between the parties. This is not immediately apparent from the wording of section 24 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. An order by the LVT on some of the matters in dispute will not trigger the start of that period, if there are still points that are in dispute.

The court has recommended that when a party makes a reference to the LVT, all points not agreed are put before the LVT for determination at the outset and the LVT should be asked to determine them to save delay and unnecessary expense.

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