Leasehold Life has been very pleased to be provided with regular abridged versions of case law updates from Barrister Jonathan Upton of Tanfield Chambers. Jonathan specialises in property disputes and is also the Editor of the Service Charges section on

Jonathan regularly appears in the High Court, county courts, LVT and proceedings before HM Adjudicator and is a member of the Chancery Bar Association, the Property Bar Association and the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association.

Leasehold Life now welcomes new legal case law contributor David Whitney, Solicitor and Civil Mediation Council accredited Mediator of Painsmith Solicitors, who are a niche specialist practice advising nationwide on all aspects of residential landlord and tenant law.

David is himself a specialist in the field of residential long leasehold with around 20 years experience. He regularly advises on all matters relating to long leasehold law including enfranchisements, lease extensions, service charge disputes, claims for right to manage and advising generally on leases. David is also a qualified mediator and sits as a fee paid Judge of the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

David’s email address is [email protected] and he can be contacted on tel no: 01420 565310


David will be presenting periodic updates for Leasehold Life on what has been going on within the courts over the previous months starting with new regulations being awaited under Section 131 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016. These will give courts and tribunals a discretionary power to limit the ability of landlords to recover fees from leaseholders as an administration charge. It is thought likely that these provisions will be similar to the existing powers under Section 20C of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 which entitles a tribunal to limit the recovery of costs associated with any tribunal action as an item of service charge expenditure.

On 6th April 2017 the Regulation 4(h) of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (Commencement No.5, transitional Provisions and Savings) Regulations 2017, section 131 came into force. This now means that any leaseholder will be entitled to apply to the relevant court or tribunal for an order extinguishing or reducing any liability to pay an administration fee. Essentially this power mirrors the existing power under Section 20C of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to limit costs recoverable as a service charge. The court or tribunal has the power to make any order it considers to be just and equitable although please note it does not apply to any proceedings begun before the date of commencement. As a result we are yet to see any decisions as to how this will be applied in practice.

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