October 26, 2020

Plantation Wharf pensioner wins 28-day reprieve on forfeiture of £800k flat

… but the legal feeding frenzy continues with a £4,000 bill

Dennis Jackson, 73, outside Wandsworth County Court this afternoon

Dennis Jackson, 73, escaped forfeiture today of his £800,000 flat at the Plantation Wharf in Battersea.

In a five-minute hearing Deputy District Judge Cole brushed aside arguments from Alexander Bastin, the barrister representing the freeholders and Plantation Wharf Management Limited, who demanded forfeiture of Jackson’s lease.

But Helen Turnbull, an open access barrister found for Jackson by the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership yesterday, successful argued that as Bastin and his team were appealing against the LVT decision that restricted their legal costs the issue was not concluded and therefore Jackson’s case should be adjourned. She also argued that it should be adjourned anyway to give Jackson time to contest the action.

To Jackson’s surprise, a representative of Prudential, his mortgage company, also was present asking for an adjournment in order to protect its £175,000 mortgage on the property. Jackson had thought Prudential would not be present.

Meanwhile, the legal costs gravy train kept on flowing with the freeholder’s extended legal team presenting a £4,000 estimated bill for the hearing.

Bastin argued that these should be paid. They would cover his fees, those of the solicitor Janice Northover, who was present but silent, her assistant who helps carry her bag, and even Phillip John, chief executive of managing agents Tideway, who at the LVT hearings successfully demanded £250 an hour in order to explain his “complex” accounts that the tribunal said were “very difficult for a lay leaseholder to understand without some kind of proper explanation”.

In spite of Bastin’s repeated objections, the judge ruled that costs were to be delayed and reserved.

The adjournment gives Jackson time consider his options in the case. “That was as good a result as I could have got today,” he said.

Comments

  1. £4,000 pounds legal fees going through the LVT is not very affordable for a lot of residents. Our last LVT venture cost us £10,000 between four of us. There is an unfair advantage when you’re dealing with a manager/freeholder who doesn’t mind going to the LVT regularly, and who may seem to have an endless cash flow to go with.

    • Make sure your local MP knows what you had to pay and how the leaseholders are placed at a disadvantage before the LVT. They were supposed to cost a max of £500 to leaseholders seeking justice.

      Make sure that your local MP is willing to call for an end to the leasehold system which is an unfair contract for consumers. We as consumers all want to change to commonhold.

  2. I think Dennis’s solicitor may need some new arguments to help support his defence in court.

    1. I would suggest that he draws attention to the ECHR Article 8 which requires every Government body and every court to comply and to show respect for his home. See link: http://echr.coe.int/NR/rdonlyres/77A6BD48-CD95-4CFF-BAB4-ECB974C5BD15/0/DG2ENHRHAND012003.pdf.

    2. The court should be requested to compare the financial stake in the leasehold flat of each side, ie compare Dennis’s equity with that of the freeholder’s equity. The management company has no legal rights to seek forfeiture of the lease.

    3. Dennis should seek support from other leaseholders in the block to replace the directors of PWML .

    4. Dennis’s Local MP can assist by making known this problem in Parliament.