Kay Green v Twinsectra Ltd

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date15 May 1996
Judgment citation (vLex)[1996] EWCA Civ J0515-5
CourtCourt of Appeal (Civil Division)
Docket NumberCCRTF 94/1327/E
Date15 May 1996

[1996] EWCA Civ J0515-5





Royal Courts of Justice

The Strand



Lord Justice Staughton

Lord Justice Aldous


Sir John May

CCRTF 94/1327/E

John Lowick Kay-Green & Ors
Twinsectra Limited

MR D NEUBERGER QC and MR E DENEHAN (instructed by I J Kennedy & Co, Middlesex) appeared on behalf of THE APPELLANTS

MR KIM LEWISON QC and MR S BRILLIANT (instructed by Messrs Wallace & Partners, DX377 London) appeared on behalf of THE RESPONDENT


Wednesday 15 May 1996


This is an appeal from the decision of HH Judge Hull QC which dismissed the applicants' request for declarations that Twinsectra Ltd, the respondent, was in default in not complying with a notice served pursuant to the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 and therefore the applicants were entitled to require Twinsectra to transfer the reversionary interest in certain property to them.


The appeal is concerned with the application and provisions of Part I of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987. That Act, as stated in the title, was passed inter alia "to confer on tenants of flats rights with respect to the acquisition by them of their landlord's reversion". In outline Part I of the Act gives to certain tenants the right of first refusal to acquire the landlord's reversion. Section l states that a landlord shall not make a "relevant disposal" affecting any premises to which Part I of the Act applies without serving a notice in accordance with section 5 of the Act. The premises are defined as those which consist of the whole or part of a building and contain two or more flats held by qualifying tenants and the number of the flats held by such tenants exceeds 50% of the total number of flats contained in the premises. Sections 2 to 4 define who are relevant landlords and qualifying tenants and what is a relevant disposal. Section 5 requires a landlord who proposes to make a relevant disposal to serve a notice in accordance with the section on the qualifying tenants, thereby giving the tenants first refusal. Sections 6 to 10 are concerned with what happens after the notice has been served.


Sections 11 to 17 come into effect when the original landlord has, in breach of his obligations, disposed of his reversion to a new landlord. Section ll requires the new landlord to comply with a notice served by the requisite majority of qualifying tenants requiring him to supply particulars of the terms on which the original disposal was made. Section 12 gives the requisite majority of qualifying tenants the right to serve a "purchase notice" on the new landlord requiring him to dispose of the estate or interest that was the subject of the original disposal on terms on which it was made to a person or persons nominated by them for that purpose. Section l3 gives to a rent assessment committee, called a leasehold valuation tribunal (LVT), the jurisdiction to hear and determine questions arising in relation to any matters specified in the purchase notice, the identity of the property or relating to other terms on which the disposal is to be made and any question arising for determination in consequence of the provision in a purchase notice such as is mentioned in section 12(3)(b). Sections l4 to l7 are concerned with eventualities that may arise after service of a purchase notice pursuant to section 12.


Section l9 deals with enforcement of obligations under Part I of the Act. It provides that the court may, on the application of any person interested, make an order requiring any person who has made default in complying with any duty imposed by any provision of Part I of the Act to make good the default within an appropriate time. That application cannot be made unless a notice has previously been served on the person in question requiring him to make good the default and more than l4 days have elapsed since the date of service of the notice.


The facts


The named applicant is Mr John Green who is the nominated representative of l7 tenants of Tudor Court and Tudor House, Castle Way, Hanworth, in the London Borough of Hounslow. I will refer to them as the applicants.


London & City Westcliffe Properties Ltd were the owners of Tudor Court, Tudor House and Parr Court of Castle Way, Hanworth, in the London Borough of Hounslow. Those properties consist of flats, bungalows and terrace houses which are let. London & City decided to dispose of the freeholds, but failed to serve a section 5 notice on the tenants of the properties. Instead the freeholds, which were registered at the London Registry under titles MX420465 and MX304042, were put up for auction as one lot with the particulars of sale drawing attention to the fact that no section 5 notice had been served. They were purchased on 25 February l992 by Twinsectra for £240,000 and it was registered as proprietor of the freehold interest in the properties on 13 April l992. On l May l992 Mr John Green, as the nominated representative of the applicants, served on Twinsectra a section ll notice requiring it to supply particulars of the terms upon which the disposal was made. Solicitors acting on behalf of Twinsectra replied to that notice giving the information required by the Act, but stating that it was given without prejudice to Twinsectra's contentions that the notice was not a valid notice under section ll of the Act and the premises were not premises to which Part I of the Act applied. On 20 July l992, a section 12 notice (the purchase notice) was served on Twinsectra by solicitors acting on behalf of Mr Green and on behalf of the l7 other long lease tenants in Tudor Court and Tudor House whose names and addresses were given in the notice. I shall have to come back to the terms of that notice, but in effect it required Twinsectra to dispose of the freehold of a number of units within Tudor House and Tudor Court to Mr Green, who was the nominated person as required by the section. An immaterial amendment was made nine days later. Twinsectra failed to comply with the notice and these proceeding were started on 12 November l992.


Tudor Court consists of four buildings which I will refer to as buildings l, 2, 3 and 4. Building l is the main building. It is an attractive l6th century domestic dwelling with the main part running north/south and attached to it two wings protruding in a westerly direction to form three sides of a courtyard, now a garden. It has been converted so that it now contains seven flats and three terrace houses which are included in title MX304042.


Building 2 is situated to the west of the main part of building l and faces across the courtyard. It is a later addition to the complex and consists of two semi-detached bungalows. It is included in titles MX304042 and 420465.


Building 3 appears to have been built as servants' cottages. It is adjacent, but not attached, to the northern wing of Tudor Court. As let, it contains two terrace houses and two bungalows. It is also included in both titles.


Building 4 is adjacent to the southern wing of Tudor Court. It is a modern purpose built block of five flats which is contained within title MX420465.


Around the buildings comprising Tudor Court is a garden and what was called the amenity land comprising ponds and trees. That garden abuts the garden of Tudor House which is situated to the west. It is a l9th century mansion which has been divided into seven flats with its own drive passing to the north of Tudor Court and terminating in Castle Way. It is within title MX420465.


Parr Court is a modern building consisting of about 44 flats which is built around three sides of a court with lawns and ponds. It is situated to the north-west of Tudor House and its grounds are separated from those of Tudor House by a wall. It is included within title MX420465.


With three exceptions, all the flats and houses in Tudor Court and all the flats in Tudor House are occupied under long leases at low rents on substantially the same terms. The leases gave access to the garden, but did not include the amenity land.


Parr Court was let differently and some of the tenancies were regulated tenancies.


The proceedings


Before the judge the applicants sought declarations that Twinsectra was in default in failing to comply with the provisions of the section 12 notice. It followed, they alleged, that they were entitled to acquire the freehold of the seven flats in Tudor House and the buildings which comprised Tudor Court. On this appeal, they only challenged the judge's decision in respect of Tudor House and buildings l and 4 of Tudor Court. They were also concerned to ensure that this court decided the essential issues between the parties. They therefore applied to amend their pleading and Notice of Appeal so as to seek declarations:

(i) that the purchase notice, dated 27 July l992, served on the respondent by the applicants is an effective notice under section 12 of the Landlord and Tenant Act l987;

(ii) that the respondent is in default in compliance with the purchase notice dated 27 July l992 served on it by the applicants pursuant to section 12 of the Landlord and Tenant Act l987; and

(iii) the applicants are therefore entitled to require the respondent to transfer the reversionary interest in that part of Building l Tudor Court, or in the alternative the reversionary interest in that part of Building l Tudor Court, save for those parts of Building l which do not comprise "flats" within the meaning of section 60 of the said Act of l987, the reversionary interest in Building 4 Tudor Court, and the reversionary interest in Tudor House with all...

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    • Chancery Division
    • 27 May 2010
    ...21 of his judgment. Again for the record, the decisions cited by Mr Munro were: Denetower Ltd v Toop [1991] 1 WLR 945 (CA), Kay Green v Twinsectra Ltd [1996] 1 WLR 1587 (CA), and Long Acre Securities Ltd v Karet [2004] EWHC 442 (Ch), [2005] Ch 61 (Mr Geoffrey Vos QC, sitting as a deputy Hi......
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    ...what was truly essential to the scheme of the Act and whether it would break down if such an approach was adopted." 57 Kay Green v. Twinsectra Ltd [1996] 1 WLR 1587 was also decided before the 1996 Housing Act amendments had taken effect. The properties in Kay Green were not a purpose bu......
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    ...which had not been complied with concerned information which it was essential for the party receiving the notice to have, namely Kay Green v. Twinsectra Limited [1996] 1 W.L.R. 1587 and Tudor v. M25 Group Limited [2004] 1 W.L.R. 2319. The latter case concerned the right of the majority of q......
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