The court was asked as to the liability of five underlessees to pay the rent for a caretaker employed by the landlord. The lease envisaged a caretaker living in the building. Previously the caretaker had been paid a larger wage but had then paid a rent.
Held: The landlord’s appeal was dismissed. Provisions relating to service charges are to be restrictively interpreted: ‘The landlord seeks to recover money from the tenant. On ordinary principles there must be clear terms in the contractual provisions said to entitle him to do so. The lease, moreover, was drafted or proffered by the landlord. It falls to be construed contra proferentem.’
Mummery LJ, Kennedy LJ, Laws LJ
 1 All ER 91,  EWCA Civ 1777,  1 EGLR 41,  L and TR 33,  16 EG 182
England and Wales
Cited – Agavil Investments CA 3-Oct-1975
The cost of providing a caretaker’s accommodation in a building was recoverable under the lease by the landlord as part of the service charge although the relevant schedule also referred to specific expenses which were also recoverable. The . .
Cited – Lloyds Bank plc v Bowker Orford ChD 1992
The court considered service charge provisions in a lease. Neuberger J said: ‘if the lease enumerates a number of aspects of the costs of the provision of the caretaker’s flat for which the tenant is liable, there is obviously a fairly formidable . .
Cited – Wembley National Stadium Ltd v Wembley (London) Ltd and Others ChD 4-Apr-2007
Land at Wembley stadium had been sold to the defendants and leased back. The defendant assigned the freehold within the group, declaring that the lease was held in trust for the original freeholder. The claimant now said that the defendant assignee . .
Cited – Norwich City Council v Marshall LT 23-Oct-2008
LT LANDLORD AND TENANT – service charges – liability – whether lessee liable for management costs – held lessee liable for costs incurred in providing specified services under lease but not otherwise – Landlord . .
Cited – OM Property Management Ltd v Burr CA 3-May-2013
The claimant managed a development where the respondent was one of the tenants. Through a mix up, the company had failed to collect sufficient sums to discharge communal fuel service charges. They now sought payment of the apportioned but . .
Cited – Ground Rents (Regisport) Ltd v Dowlen and Others UTLC 22-Apr-2014
UTLC LANDLORD AND TENANT – service charges – lengthy delay by utility provider in delivering invoices to new landlord – invoices delivered to previous landlord – when costs ‘incurred’ – section 20B Landlord and . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Landlord and Tenant
Updated: 27 June 2022; Ref: scu.218420