The Court of Appeal considered if a notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (section 21 notice), seeking possession of a property let under an assured shorthold tenancy was valid if, at the time it was served, a security deposit paid in respect of the tenancy was not protected in accordance with the statutory scheme provided under the Housing Act 2004.
The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has decided that a landlord, in a claim for collective enfranchisement by its tenants, was not entitled to require a leaseback of a unit that did not exist at the relevant date. By the same token, the landlord was not entitled to a leaseback of a unit, which was, or was included in, an area that was a common part at the relevant date. (Merie Bin Mahfouz Company (UK) Ltd v Barrie House (Freehold) Ltd  UKUT 390 (LC).)
In Southwell v Blackburn, the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against a successful proprietary estoppel claim, where a cohabitee was awarded £28,500 representing a slice of equity in the property where the couple had lived.
The Court of Appeal has criticised a party which sought permission to adduce a supplementary skeleton argument in circumstances in which its original skeleton was “prolix” and longer than the Practice Directions permitted.
The High Court has held that it is possible to acquire a prescriptive easement to hang a gate over a driveway (by occupying the airspace), although on the facts the dominant landowner had not shown 20 years of continuous use of appropriate quality. (Bradley and another v Heslin and another  EWHC 3267 (Ch).)
The High Court has considered the conduct of a mortgagee in possession as involuntary bailee of another’s goods, and held that, following Da Rocha-Afodu and another v Mortgage Express Ltd and another  EWCA Civ 454, the duty of an involuntary bailee is to do what is right and reasonable. What is right and reasonable will depend upon the particular facts of a case.
The High Court has held that a third party, who was given the means of representing themselves as the beneficial owner of the property by the occupying beneficial owner, could create a charge that would take priority to the beneficial owner’s occupation.
The Supreme Court has held that the insurer of a solicitor, whose negligence led to mirror wills being ineffective, should pay the costs of both parties to the action to have the wills rectified.
The Court of Appeal has held that an assignment clause in a lease that required, as a condition of the landlord’s consent, a guarantee from the outgoing tenant’s guarantor, should be interpreted as a simple qualified covenant against assignment.
The Commercial Court has allowed an application to set aside an order under CPR 23.11(2) (power to re-list an application made where the defendant fails to attend a hearing) but ordered the defendants to pay a sum into court under CPR 3.1(5) in light of their non-compliance with court orders.