Happy New Year - our first newsletter of 2021! Throughout this year we will continue to bring you news and developments relating to the charities sector.
Today, on 1 December 2020 the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in Pimlett v Curo Places Limited  EWCA Civ 1621 where prior judgments in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) (UT) were overturned.
The case involved the landlord, Curo Places Limited (Curo), successfully arguing that the UT had wrongly interpreted the meaning of clauses in a tenancy agreement concerning the introduction of a garden maintenance service.
Mr Pimlett is a tenant of sheltered housing set in landscape gardens. When Mr Pimlett rented the property Curo’s predecessor did not levy a service charge for maintaining those grounds; nor did the tenancy agreement contain any obligation to do so. The tenancy agreement contained a list of services (grounds maintenance was not listed) and a clause which contained a process by which, following consultation, Curo could stop, amend or introduce “extra services if it believes this would be useful”.
Curo had consulted its tenants about introducing a garden maintenance service and consequent charge and then served a notice of variation thereby putting itself under an obligation to provide that service and the tenants under an obligation to pay for it. Mr Pimlett unsuccessfully argued that Curo could not use introduce the service because it was not an extra service (and could not, therefore, be “useful”).
In summary, the court decided the natural and ordinary meaning of the words “extra services” referred to services in addition to those services listed in the tenancy agreement and did not operate to exclude services being provided gratuitously.
Local authorities should be wary of reserving contracts for local suppliers, as recommended by Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 11/20. Other contracting authorities may want to maximise their use of this
Most housing practitioners have perhaps been waiting for this news since the latest lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister on 4 January 2021.
Climate change and biodiversity is an area where significantly faster changes are needed on a global and local basis.
Chris Lloyd Smith, Adrian Leonard and Lisa Whitehouse discuss the planning opportunities available to owners of businesses and how to prepare for unforeseen events.
In their 3rd podcast of the series, Chris Lloyd-Smith and Maria Ramon discuss a number of problems with and difficulties that can arise in mediation and the mechanisms they use to overcome them.
Our previous round-up began by sharing the news that two vaccines had shown very promising test results. Here we are, not even a month later, and the first vaccines have already been administered!
The Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated that there is great resilience and innovation in the housing sector across Greater Manchester, it has also brought shortfalls and other priorities sharply into foc
For part 5 in this series of short podcasts, Chris Lloyd-Smith interviews associate Kadie Bennett on how she has been coping during these unprecedented times.
The first report of Donna Ockenden and her team into the review of maternity services at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has been published today.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.