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Replace the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) and Forfeiture

15 Comments 29th January 2015

I posted elsewhere on this web about my personal experience of property managers sending false accounts, refusing to produce accounts compliant with s21 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 (prosecuting body local councils have only a discretion to intervene) and disregarding County Court Orders regarding repairs and accounts with total impunity.   If you look at the website for CARL and for SELCHA – two grass roots organisations of victims of rogue property managers/freeholders you will see that there is a massive problem in the South East and probably throughout UK with freeholders and their agents sending false accounts (police wont prosecute) and misappropriating service charge funds and pocketting the difference between actual expenditure and stated expenditure (sometimes 1000% – one thousand percent – markup).    In 1985 Parliament passed legislation to help the flat-owners, presumably acknowledging problems accessing county court for breach of covenant it gave local authorities powers.   Parliament also acknowledged the problem when creating the LVT, Leasehold Valuation Tribunal which has the power to remove a rogue property manager and to check the service charges.  Sadly the LVT has earned itself a reputation for being corrupt, and I can happily give details of evidence of this should you like.    CARL and SELCHA may also display details on their websites.  They suggest the LVT be replaced by a housing ombudsman.     I dont know how much the LVT costs the taxpayer, how much its adjudicators cost, but they should return the money because the are not discharging their duties and constistently disregarding Article 8. As they are a 'poor man's court' they know few can mount a Judicial Review or appeal to the Lands Tribunal.  The LVT is taking taxpayers money and not discharging its duties as set out in the Human Rights Act (I can give full details if asked).    

The problem seems to arise from the principle of Forfeiture which arises from The Law of Property Act 1925 (I think it may be section 146).  Forfeiture is almost uniquely English it is not known in Europe or in most other countries.   Forfeiture is where a freeholder/landlord can take someone's flat (home) from them without paying them a penny in compensation.   Most people who purchase their flats obtain a mortgage and pay it off over 25 years, making sacrificest o own their own home.   If the have paid £120,000 for their flat and they do not pay their £5 ground rent (or their freeholder denies receiving it) the freeholder can then simply change the locks and take this person's home for themselves, and not have to pay a penny.  He can then sell it for £120,000 and not pay the homeowner a penny.  This gives an incentive to villans to become freeholders/property managers and target people in their homes with false accounts, threatening forfeiture if they are not paid within 7days.  Sometimes the freeholders come across someone like me who queries their accounts but usually people pay up or get out quickly before they cannot leave. 

If s146 Law of Property Act 1925 was repealed, then it would bring us in line with most other countries, and it would not make it so easy and lucrative for freeholders to send false accounts.   

If the LVT was replaced with a  bona fide institution that would save the taxpayer loads of money and help homeowners as at the moment rogue freeholders boast about how bias the LVT is and how it is pointless going there as it will only cost the homeowner money and they wont get a fair hearing, so they may as well pay the false accounts as its cheaper.

Please help – pleae look at CARL's website and that of SELCHA.

 

Why does this matter?

Because it affects some people's homes, which they have purchased on a mortgage and paid for over years as it is so imporant for them to have a safe home.  Parliament acknowledged the importance of peoples homes when it passed the Protection From Eviction Act 1977 (harassment), Landlord and Tenant Acts (various), LRUDA 1993, CLARA 2002 etc and the most recent Housing Act I think may actually acknowledge emotional and mental health as relevant not just physical health (eg damp).    An Englishman's home is his castle, and people need to go home to recharge their batteries eg for another day at work!   Article 8 (check Lee v Leeds City Council – House of Lords 2002) applies too.   Successive elected Parliaments and members of the independent Judiciary all seem to verify the importance of one's home and quiet peacful enjoyment of it.

The council and police say to use the county court.  The Judges act with integrity at Hastings County Court (not universally througout UK I fear though) but their hands are tied by etiquitte when crooked solicitors, funded by Professional Indemnity Insurance, defend rogue landlords – which may explain why Parliament tried to involve the local council and then set up LVT.   The county court is not equipped to deal with what is basic criminality it is only civil.

The LVT is taking the Mickey.  It is consistently not discharging its duties including under Human Rights Act which states that a Tribunal must comply with Article 6 (ie UK law).  I can give full examples (eg s1, s21 LTA; LPA (MP) Act 1989; most-established common law principles law etc).  The LVT takes the mickey with impunity because those who approach it cannot appeal to Lands Tribunal nor have a Judicial Review for financial reasons.

Even those who have money or legal aid cannot necessarily access a competent solicitor.  Even the good solicitors are businessmen not here to provide a social service. 

Article 8 gives a Right.  There is a corresponding duty on the State to uphold it.  There is no forum to uphold Article 8 for Leaeholders.  This is not through lack of trying by successive elected parliaments but because the public sector is unaccountable and the LVT is part of it and takes advantage of this unaccountability to make-work for itself and perpetuate its pensions.

help us –

 

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15 Responses to Replace the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) and Forfeiture

  1. Belli Jayne says:

    I have some additional info for you which will greatly assist all those taking on bent Freeholders. There is the Fraud Act of 2006, as well as the 2 main areas of Estoppel. I’m quite ofait with Common Law – it’s there so use it. I found CARL utterly useless as they coudn’t answer any Q’s. Why pay to join a site where ther’s no help. Also has Joinder been established? No contract = no case to answer. Letters of compalint need to be sent to the: FSA, OFT, DPA, Co’s Hse, it means a lot of writing, but you’re bringing in other bodies which can’t just turn a blind eye. Also RICS, ARMA, media… I’d like to discuss further withyou as to determining further common ground.

    • Reins says:

      hey – great idea 🙂

    • John says:

      This is very interesting. Where can I find detailed info? The problem is freeholders are usually connected with corrupt lawyers and managing agents working in tandem. It’s hard for an amateur like myself to get any results.

    • John says:

      Could I have more information as to who to write to FSA etc? The problem is not simoly high charges but low quality of work which we need to keep re doing. Essentially paying for the same thing over & over again. I tried to involve a surveyor but they were appointed by the freeholder and are under his control.

  2. Paul says:

    Trafalgar Court Mundesley , the LVT have been involved 11 years see the Youtube video!!

    http://youtu.be/vNfUBcQBpZA

    Yes I agree with what said above as our Freeholder involvement with 8 other LVT
    disputes at other buildings,has many fraud investigations!Yet the LVT put him back
    in control over 2 years ago!

  3. Paul says:

    In Gosport there is much talk about the Rowner
    Regeneration, but you again will see the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal were involved for 7 years and now it’s all going to be knocked down!

    http://youtu.be/elq1S1X16sI

  4. D Green says:

    After ten years of hell in a flat I wish I had not seen or purchased I now know for certain and have proof that the LVT is Corrupt and caters to the Land/Property owners.
    How can the LVT given permission for a Freeholder to have £500 for Service Charges granted for doing nothing?
    How can the LVT ignore false/fraudulent invoices issued to a Leaseholder and find in the Management Companies favour despite evidence of breaches of lease and invalid insurance? They are not fit for purpose and need to be investigated

  5. Paul says:

    From what I have been reading on the Carlex website plus

    You will see the total anger by leaseholders!

  6. Gabriel de Mercur says:

    I would like that, we will jointly create an organisation, whereby,we will prove that the LVT is openly, working together,with most property, managers.It is a formidible big business. Since over 1 million leaseholders are in the uk.each prooperty managers, manage , several ,or large amount of estates. The agent can charge, any amont of , service charges,they want, and the LVT officer or officers, share the b
    blackmailed money,they know it well, this is a sure income, no one can catch them,I can provide you with a case what hasppened to me, please contact me, what you never would beleive. the agent name is Jim Thorton , who workes together with a woman called, Jilian pckering a former bordello owner in the west end of London , the agency name is Hurford salvi carr in hurfiordshire, a very dangerous criminal, once you loose at the lvt, they can go to the county court , and take away your property. If we work together, the more people , the better it is, we can apply to the european court of justice , whereby the uk is a member, and a signatory, as a group, the cost will be little, and we will win , th uk governent would be forced to liqudate this, criminal, organisation , what is a shamfull, creation was in the first place, and will be forced to pay, compensation to all the victims

    • D Green says:

      The LVT did not just make an incorrect decision on something that was not part of my application in 2005 they then made an equally complicit decision in 2011. Both decisions favouring my Rogue freeholders and their agents. I was able to appeal on the second decision and was sucessful at the Upper Tribunal where the Judge quoted the Law and upheld my rights regarding insurance.
      The comment made in March 2013 is correct – the aim is to use the LVT Decision to go to County Court (where they evidentially have friends) and then to have costs and charges placed against you – next step – take your property. The Leasehold system in the UK is an open invitation for dodgy people to rip off people.
      Although there must be honest decent Landlords and Agents out there.

    • Honey says:

      I am willing to join in with you to ECHR. How can We all unite?

  7. Daniel says:

    Just been through an LVT. I already suspected our managing agents were crooks working for a crooked landlord. Prosecutions galore on site and they still sit pretty, charging an absolute fortune, turning our site into a tip, threatening all and sundry. We eventually got to the LVT, never seen anything like it. Theyre corrupt, end of. Fed up with crooks who have taken over our society.

  8. Vince says:

    I have been reading all the above comments. I agree on everything. I am LVT and court veteran as I went through 12 cases to defend my home and my right to live in a decent home. I have had non-stop ongoing flooding in 50% on my home for nine years whilst battling in tribunal and courts. The result? I am going homeless for the first time in my life in the next two weeks. I have plenty of ideas and need some support from any of you who has been wronged.No man has any natural authority over his fellow human beings by abusing justice and law, and such force produces no right to any but only a brutal society where the abusers can continue their unfettered exploitation over the victims of injustice.

  9. Imga says:

    LVT is a kangaroo court ideas told to shut up,and stop,quoting the law by the chairman. The invoices presented by joint vile freeholders daughter were totally bogus. I said’ if it walks like duck and barks like a dog it cannot be true as with those bogus invoices. The witness’s statementsmwere full of contradictions perjury fraud Extortion by way of service charges. The bloated full of self ego,centic chairman said, perjury perjury oh what is it? It is not in our remit our remit is to stop,people going to the small claims court. Liars cheats extortionist LVT welcomes you all.

  10. ian morgan says:

    Hi. We went through the process of an Lvt hearing a number of years ago in regards to “reasonableness of service charge” after a I requested it via the County Court. What I did not know at the time was that the LVT can take pick and choose your arguments from your defence submitted to the County Court. You cannot therefore have a fair hearing, We were harassed by the Agent throughout this process and had to leave our home. We were not allowed to bring these accusations of harassment to the attention of the Tribunal. The law also states that the leaseholder pay their proportion of a service charge and that would be the on the premise that everyone is given the exact level of service from the landlord. How is that just or fair? Your lease is with the landlord that is the agreement. We thought that would be the case, and that our issues would be looked at on an individual basis. Wrong! We have to pay for a tv service we never had, etc

    When the agent brought in the invoices, there were swathes of omissions , where he had just written a figure down on a piece of paper. Unbelievably they found these to be reasonable. We also found a receipt that showed that the manager had paid an investigator to pry into my wifes, background and also her families. This was charged to the service charge. The Lvt found this a reasonable charge. We have continually written to the RPT (wales) requesting an explanation. They have refused, we have also requested the information under the Data Protection Act, and have again refused. There were many other examples of money taken that was not part of the lease. Both I and my wife were treated like lower forms of human life, while the agent, never once complied to a single order.

    I would not wish this experience on anyone, and I would advise not to waste any of your life on such a prejudiced institution. The agent can also take money from the lease to pay for representation, which you then help pay for. Most people cannot afford representation. That is not just and clearly unfair.

    The chair in our case was paid £503 a day ( I saw a job vacancy) That also includes, hotel bills, and travel expenses. Also 2 chartered surveyors were in attendance.

    Why is it the case that people who have no qualification in law can then preside over legal decisions. That must clearly be a breach in Human Rights. If you are a leaseholder, in this country, you are not treated equally. You are treated with prejudice and discrimination, and the current law allows this. It is designed to protect the Landlords. They make you believe you have certain rights, but you do not have any.

    The LVT is just another way of “the old boys network” getting even more money from the tax payer without any checks or balances. They are also exempt from The Freedom and Information Act

    If you do decide to attend a LVT hearing, I suggest that you wear some medieval peasantry garb. You need to know your place.

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