First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)
On July 21st 2013, the LVT became a First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). It runs through the same network of five regional offices and each region has a Regional Judge who is responsible for the tribunal members and decides which members should be appointed to hear and decide a particular case. They are assisted by one or more Deputy Regional Judges or Deputy Regional Valuers.
Members are appointed by the Lord Chancellors and may be surveyors, other professional people or lay people. There will be a Chairman, who may sit alone, but it is more usual for there to be one or two members in addition. The Chairman will be a judge or surveyor, and is responsible for the conduct of the case and writes the reasons for the tribunal’s decision.
Appeals will continue to be heard in the Lands Chamber (as part of the Upper Tribunal) except for those relating to land registration cases which must be made to the Tax and Chancery Chamber of the Upper Tribunal. The FTT will still be independent of government and will hear both sides of cases from landlords, tenants, freeholders and leaseholders such as:
- Enfranchisement disputes (buying the freehold);
- Individual lease extension (houses and flats) disputes;
- Right to Manage claims;
- Management orders;
- Lease variations;
- Breaches of covenant determinations;
- Variable service charge disputes;
- Determination of rent increases for ‘fair’ or ‘market’ rates;
- Recognising a tenants’ association
- Improvement notices and prohibition orders under the Housing Act 2004;
- Disputes about licences for houses in multiple occupation.
Having used the First Tier Tribunal last year, more on how it actually works can be read here.