Manager under 1987 Act

Introduction

Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (as amended) gives the First Tier Tribunal power to appoint a manager where there has been failed management of the block. The Tribunal may appoint a manager to carry out functions in connection with the management of the premises as it thinks fit, including include repair, maintenance and improvement. A tenant in a multi-tenanted block of flats can apply to the LVT for the appointment of a manager "in relation to" premises to which Part II applies.

 

Extent of land that can be covered by the order appointing the manager

Cawsand Fort Management Company Ltd v Stafford [2007] EWCA Civ 1187

Facts

In this case an application was made by a number of long leaseholders for the appointment of a manager. The application was not, in principle, opposed by the freehold owner. The dispute centred on the extent of the property over which a manager may be granted powers by the Tribunal. The freehold owner objected to the order being made in respect of land over which it has granted recreational rights to residents and other land over which the lessees enjoyed appurtenant incorporeal rights.

The decision

The freehold owner's arguments were rejected. It was held that the Tribunal does have power to make an order which extends to premises which are not comprised in the buildings containing the leasehold flats and their curtilages. Mummery LJ:

    "The practical purpose of Part II is to protect the interests of lessees of premises, which form part of a building, by enabling them to secure, through the flexible discretionary machinery of the appointment of a manager, the carrying out of the management functions which they are entitled to enjoy 'in relation to' the premises of which their flats are part. There is nothing in the language of Part II or in its aim to justify limiting a manager's functions to those which must be carried out on 'the premises to which the Act applies' in section 24(1) in the way suggested by the Company by reference to Parts I and III of the 1987 Act."

 

Set-off: manager under 1987 Act

Maunder Taylor v Blaquiere

[2002] EWCA Civ 1633

The tenants were not allowed to set off, against a managers claim for service charges, a claim for damages for breaches of the landlords repairing covenants. The manager is not appointed as a manager of the landlord. He is appointed by the LVT. There is therefore no mutuality between the claim and that of the defendant. Set-off is not therefore possible.

    "[T]he purpose of Part II of the 1987 Act is to provide a scheme for the appointment of a manager who will carry out the functions required by the court. That manager carries out those functions in his own right as a court-appointed official. He is not appointed as the manager of the landlord, or even of the landlord's obligations under the lease... [T]he manager acts in a capacity independent of the landlord... In my view, Mr. Maunder Taylor's right to the money claimed arose from his appointment [as manager], not from the lease. It follows that there was no mutuality between his claim and that of Mr. Blaquiere [the tenant]. That being so, set-off is not possible." (Aldous LJ, paras 41 and 42).
    "It is clear to my mind that parliament intended that a manager should, when appointed pursuant to section 24(1) of the 1987 Act, come in with a clean sheet and be able to collect service charges due from the tenants and use the money so obtained for repair of the premises. It would make a nonsense of the legislation if any or all of the tenants could set off, against that claim for service charges, claims that they might have against the landlord. Most tenants would have such claims. Some of those claims will have accrued before the appointment of their manager; other claims may be for continuing breaches, and thus continue to accrue after the manager's appointment." (Longmore LJ, para 50).

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