Property Litigation Case Alert for July 2012


Gallarotti v Sebastianelli (3 July 2012)

When determining the terms of a common intention constructive trust where 2 friends had bought a property together, the Court can look at the conduct of the parties throughout their relationship and is not bound by the financial contributions each made.

Ampurius Nu Homes Holdings LTD v Telford Homes (Creekside) Ltd (4 July 2012)

A developer was held to have acted in repudiatory breach of a contract for the construction and sale of a residential development in Greenwich by delaying the development after the credit crunch with no works being undertaken for some 18 months in breach of an obligation to proceed with due diligence and so as to prevent completion by the target date. The purchaser was thereby held to be entitled to terminate the contract and had not affirmed it by delaying serving notice of acceptance of the breach whilst negotiations proceeded.

Thames Valley Holdings Ltd v National Trust (5 July 2012)

An objector to an Application to discharge a restrictive covenant was not to be liable for the costs of the successful Applicant unless it had behaved unreasonably in objecting to the discharge of the covenant as the policy behind the Act was to allow a party to seek to protect its property rights without fear of a costs liability.

Platform Funding v Anderson Associates (10 July 2012)

A valuer was held not negligent in relation to a valuation of a flat in a high rise development in Thamesmead at the height of the property market as, although the guidance to valuers was to be careful about valuing such developments which were speedily constructed and aggressively marketed and targeted at the buy to let market , the valuer was not aware of incentives being offered in relation to the development or or other features (including the vendor’s fraud and manipulation of comparable evidence) which resulted in the flat being sold for more than it was worth.

Greenslade Estates v Strettons (12 July 2012)

Auctioneers were held liable for breach of their warranty of authority in selling a property without authority from the actual owner where they had been instructed by a fraudster instead. The court also determined that damages should be assessed at trial rather than when the sale was due to be completed, thereby entitling the Claimant to greater damages.

London Trocadero Ltd v Family Leisure Holdings Ltd (26 July 2012)

The landlord had unlawfully refused access to the let premises to allow a third party to remove goods hired to the tenant following the tenant going into Administration as the Lease permitted entry by parties authorised by the tenant. The landlord was held liable for all costs and the Court was critical of the matter ever reaching Court.

Alexander v Freshwater Properties Ltd & Another (27 July 2012)

A tenant who badly injured her hand when pulling shut the main door to the building successfully sued both the landlord and builder because the external handle which was used to pull the door shut had been removed during building works and no temporary handle fitted even though the self-closing mechanism of the door was known to be defective. Liability was apportioned on a 50:50 basis between the landlord and tenant and damages were reduced by 25% to reflect the tenant’s own negligence in not removing her hand in time.