Panagopoulos v Earl Cadogan (2010)
This case raised issues as to jurisdiction and discretion under s.48 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. The landlord asserted that the tenant’s application under s.48 had been made too soon and that, no later application having been made, the tenant’s claim was deemed to have been withdrawn. In the alternative, the landlord sought an order under s.48(4) that the tenant’s claim should be deemed to have been withdrawn. The tenant disagreed, and various several further arguments in response, including an argument that the application was, in any event, made at the appropriate time.
The court held that:
(1) An application under s.48(3) could in principle be made before the end of the “appropriate period” in s.48(5), with the result that the tenant’s application was (on any view of the facts) made in time.
(2) Even if that was wrong, the terms of acquisition were agreed at the time alleged by the tenant. The only outstanding issue then was the lease plan, but that was not an outstanding “term of acquisition”: it was a matter only of the drafting of the lease in order to reflect the terms of acquisition which had already been agreed.
(3) In any event, an interim cross-application by the landlord was a relevant application for the purposes of s.48(3).
(4) The tenant had not behaved badly, and there was no obvious prejudice to the landlord, so in the exercise of its discretion, the court ordered the completion of the transaction.
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