CASE SUMMARIES 28 August 1995

The following notes of judgments were prepared by reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Housing

Kelsey Housing Association Ltd v King & anr; CA (Butler-Sloss, Aldous LJJ) 7 July 1995

A judge was entitled, in the exercise of his discretion under s 8(1)(b) of the Housing Act 1988, to dispense with the service of a notice to quit, despite the risk of prejudice to the tenant, if it was just and equitable in the circumstances to do so. Where, therefore, the notice failed to comply with the section, its service could be dispensed with and the landlord's claim for possession allowed to proceed. Moreover, it would be wrong for the court to commence with a preconceived idea of what was just and equitable, as the editors of Sweet & Maxwell's Housing Encyclopaedia, vol 1 (1987) at p 897 appeared to suggest. The law was better stated in Megarry on the Rent Act (11th edn, 1989) vol 3, at p 140.

Spath Holme Ltd v Greater Manchester and Lancashire Rent Assessment Committee; CA (Glidewell, Morritt LJJ, Sir John May) 19 July 1995

In assessing, in accordance with section 70 of the Rent Act 1977, the fair rent to be paid for flats let on regulated tenancies, a rent assessment committee was wrong (i) in failing to appreciate that the fair rent was the market rent for the property discounted to remove the effect of scarcity; (ii) in considering that they could only use the comparables afforded by the rents payable under the assured tenancies for similar flats in the same block if they concluded there was no scarcity; and (iii) in deciding that such rents could not be used as comparables as they would have to be discounted on account of the effect of the security of tenure enjoyed by the tenant.

It was well established that the fair rent which was to be determined was the market rent for the property, disregarding the personal circumstances referred to in s 70(1) and the specified disregards in s 70(3), and discounted for any scarcity pursuant to s 70(2). Had the committee had this in mind, they would have appreciated that scarcity could not be sufficient reason to reject as comparables the virtually identical flats in the same block suggested by the landlords.

John Furber QC (Treasury Solicitor) for the committee; James Bonney (Drewitt Willan, Manchester) for the landlords.

Practice

Hogg v Aggarwal; QBD (Sedley J) 9 June 1995

While the court's orders were expected to be complied with, a party should only be expelled from the legal process as a last resort. Accordingly, while a deliberate flouting of the court's order could never be excused, and while breaches through neglect would cease to be excusable if they were repeated, it was for the court in other cases to inspect the reasons or excuses tendered for the default and if, in the circumstances, it could be excused, give the defaulter another chance. In this case, the failure of the plaintiff to set down his action within the period specified in an "unless" order having resulted in its being struck out, the judge was entitled, on finding the purpose and effect of his original order to have been overtaken by the mutual error of the parties, to reinstate the action.

Paul Richardson (W Murray Humphrey & So, Sunderland) for the defendants; Stephanie Jarron (Wilkinson Maughan, Newcastle upon Tyne) for the plaintiff.

VAT

Customs & Excise Commrs v Bessimeh; QBD (Sedley J) 31 July 1995

In notifying a director of a personal liability under s 14 of the Finance Act 1986 (now s 61 of the VAT Act 1994) to pay a portion of a VAT penalty assessed on a company, the commissioners only had to specify the total amount of the penalty, which might be in respect of a number of prescribed accounting periods. They were not obliged to break down the total and apportion it between specified accounting periods. Moreover, the director's degree of culpability was relevant when fixing the portion of the company's liability recoverable from him. He was prima facie liable, jointly with any other directors, for the whole of the company's default, but he might show that he was less culpable than they.

Rupert Baldry (Barry Phillips & Co) for the taxpayer; Nigel Pleming QC, Hugh Davies (Customs & Excise) for the Crown.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence