Home Information Cases Castle v Chisholm (2003)

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Castle v Chisholm (2003)

Summary

T served notice claiming a new lease pursuant to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. At that time, the tenants were only entitled to a new tenancy if they had been occupying the flat as their only or principal home for at least 3 years out of the last 10 years. The landlord’s counternotice challenged their ability to satisfy that residence requirement.

Facts

In the meantime, however, amendments to the Act had come into force, and it was no longer necessary to satisfy the residence requirement. The tenants therefore decided that rather than fight over the residence requirements, they would concede that the first notice was invalid, and serve a new notice.


The landlord challenged the validity of the second notice, relying on section 42(7), which prohibits the service of a tenant’s notice within 12 months after the withdrawal of an earlier notice.


It was held in The Wellcome Trust v Easterman (1998) West London CC (unrep) that this did not prohibit service of new notice (within 12 months) where the first notice was invalid. T accordingly argued that the second notice was good.

Held

The second notice was invalid, by virtue of section 42(7). A distinction must be drawn between cases where the first notice was invalid “on its face” and those where it was only seen to be invalid when reference is made to surrounding circumstances. In the present case, since the first notice contained all the information required under the Act, and looking at it alone it was not demonstrably invalid, accepting that it was invalid amounted to a withdrawal and a new notice was prohibited for 12 months.

Central London County Court
HHJ Cowell
Judgment date
29 August 2003
References

29/08/2003

Practice areas