Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Judgment Day; in the Third Part of Her Series on the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal, Judith Goulden Advises on How to Get the Best out of a Hearing

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Judgment Day; in the Third Part of Her Series on the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal, Judith Goulden Advises on How to Get the Best out of a Hearing

Article excerpt

Byline: JUDITH GOULDEN

TODAY is the day: you have prepared the paperwork and sought all the help you need, now it is the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal hearing. Tenants come to us every day: good cases and hopeless ones; landlords, managing agents and tenants; with lawyers, or representing themselves. They all have grievances and all need a speedy resolution of disputes.

The LVT is accustomed to rapid decision-making at reasonable cost, and the hearings usually comprise a lawyer, a surveyor and a lay member.

All cases are judged on their merits and subject to the constraints of legislation, so there is no guarantee of success - but here are my tips to get the best out of the process.

The inspection

On a preliminary consideration of the papers, a procedural chairman will have decided if an inspection is necessary. This usually takes place on the morning of the hearing, which then starts in the afternoon.

Even if, initially, an inspection is not considered necessary, the tribunal that hears the case could decide that an inspection would be useful and will then make appropriate arrangements. Evidence will not be accepted during an inspection, but only at the hearing.

Be prepared

Make sure your papers are in order and numbered page by page, preferably with an index.

Nothing wastes more time than having to wade through pages of documents and correspondence in order to try to find the one referred to.

If the thought of appearing before a tribunal is nervewracking, consider sitting in on another, similar case. Clerks at the LVT will help to find a suitable case for you - even sitting in for half an hour will give you a feel for the proceedings. Never forget that time spent on reconnaissance is seldom wasted.

Representation

Do not be fazed: the tribunal is bound by the laws that made it, but it is fairly informal and does try to help both parties.

The strict rules of evidence are relaxed. Unrepresented parties are not disadvantaged if they do not have a lawyer. In fact, lawyers have unfairly accused the tribunal of assisting unrepresented parties to a greater extent than necessary.

I remember one applicant who took on a heavyweight landlord for unreasonable service charges. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.