Peabody Trust v Reeve: ChD 2 Jun 2008

The court was asked to sanction the unilateral alteration by the landlord of the terms of some ten thouand tenancies. The agreements contained a clause which the landlord said allowed for variations under the Housing Act 1985. The landlord was a registered social landlord who had taken over the tenancies from local authorities which would have had such powers. The tenant said that such a term would be void under the 1999 Regulations.
Held: The sanction was refused. The case of Kilby concerned restricting a statutory power, and it was not impossible to manage properties without such a power. The associated risks were ones which the legislature had passed to such landlords.
It is now clear that the 1999 Regulations do apply to contracts relating to land. To the extent that the clause was ambiguous it was to be read in favour of the tenants. In tis case there was not abiguity, but rather two clauses flatly contradicting each other, and ‘if there is no compelling reason to choose one sub-clause over the other, the contra proferentem principle does enable the court to break the deadlock and apply the provision less favourable to the party putting the terms forward. ‘

Moss QC
[2008] EWHC 1432 (Ch), Times 09-Jun-2008
Housing Act 1985 103, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999
England and Wales
CitedLondon Borough of Newham v Khatun, Zeb and Iqbal CA 24-Feb-2004
The council made offers of accommodation which were rejected as inappropriate by the proposed tenants.
Held: The council was given a responsibility to act reasonably. It was for them, not the court to make that assessment subject only to . .
CitedTam Wing Chuen v Bank of Credit and Commerce Hong Kong Ltd PC 1996
The Board considered a banking transaction and the application of a chargeback by the bank, under which a loan was made only after a deposit by a third party against which it was secured, and particularly in the context of the insolvency of the bank . .
CitedKilby, Regina (on the Application of) v Basildon District Council CA 22-May-2007
The court was asked whether a local authority can lawfully bind itself by contract to subject the exercise of its statutory power to vary its tenancy agreements by notice to the approval of tenants’ representatives.
Held: The local authority . .
CitedFreiburger Kommunalbauten GmbH Baugesellschaft and Co. KG v Ludger Hofstetter, Ulrike Hofstetter ECJ 1-Apr-2004
ECJ Directive 93/13/EEC – Unfair terms in consumer contracts – Contract for the building and supply of a parking space – Reversal of the order of performance of contractual obligations provided for under national . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant, Consumer

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.276669