Land Tribunal Costs Rules and Legal Costs Recovery

What is a Land Tribunal

A Land Tribunal refers to a specialised judicial body that handles a range of disputes and issues related to land and property. The Land Tribunal is officially known as the First-tier Upper Tribunal (Property Chamber) and operates within the framework of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

The First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) is responsible for resolving various types of disputes, including but not limited to:

  • Landlord and tenant disputes, such as rent disputes, lease renewals, service charge disputes, and breaches of lease terms.
  • Property-related disputes, including boundary disputes, rights of way, and restrictive covenants.
  • Adjudication on compensation for compulsory purchase of land or property.
  • Appeals against decisions made by HM Land Registry.

The Land Tribunal consists of specialist judges or adjudicators who possess expertise in property law and have the authority to make binding decisions on these matters. The aim of the Land Tribunal is to provide an accessible and efficient forum for resolving land-related disputes in a fair and impartial manner, outside the traditional court system.

 

Land Tribunal Costs Rules Overview

 

When the registrar refers a matter to the Tribunal, it is typically done under The Land Registration (Referral to the Adjudicator to HM Land Registry) Rules 2003, which is governed by sections 107-114 of the Land Registration Act 2002 and the Tribunal Procedure (First-Tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber) Rule 2013. Within these regulations, you can find the provisions known as the Lands Tribunal Costs Rules.

As with all legal proceedings, legal costs will be incurred in a Land Tribunal case. These costs may include solicitor fees, expert witness fees, court hearing fees and tribunal fees.

Under the general Lands Tribunal Costs Rules, each party is responsible for their own costs unless otherwise specified by the Tribunal. However, there are circumstances where one party may be entitled to recover costs from another party. This is often observed in landlord/tenant disputes, where the landlord can seek costs from the tenant. Some key provisions for applying for costs include:

  • Written Contract: If there is a written contract, typically found in a tenancy agreement, stating that the landlord can recover legal costs from the tenant, the Tribunal can evaluate the reasonableness and payment of these costs.
  • Acts of Parliament: Certain Acts of Parliament, such as the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, allow for inter partes costs recovery.
  • Wasted Costs: The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 grants the power to recover costs when one party’s actions unnecessarily increase the other party’s costs. These costs can be recovered inter partes.
  • Unreasonable Behaviour: If a party has acted unreasonably in bringing, defending, or conducting the case, the Tribunal can order costs under Rule 13 of the Tribunal Procedure (First-Tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber) Rules 2013.

 

Recovering Land Tribunal costs

 

If an Order for costs has been awarded in a Land Tribunal case, the receiving party will be required to proceed through the process of detailed assessment to negotiate and recover their legal costs.

To initiate the detailed assessment process, parties must serve a Bill of Costs alongside a Notice of Commencement upon the paying party. The paying party must then serve their points of dispute upon the receiving party within 21 days, if they wish to dispute the level of costs claimed within the bill of costs.

Parties should then negotiate their costs using points of dispute and replies in an attempt to reach an agreement as to costs. If an agreement cannot be reached, the receiving party must make an application to have the costs assessed at a detailed assessment hearing.

 

How can Greener Costs assist?

 

Our team of Costs Lawyers and Costs Draftsmen have many years of experience surrounding legal costs, including costs drafting and negotiation of documents required in the detailed assessment process for land tribunal costs.

We are able to assist clients from all backgrounds on a range of cases, whether you are the paying party of receiving party. We can help your case from the start of your dispute and can see it through all the way to representation at detailed assessment hearings and high court cases.

With our extensive knowledge of the civil justice system and our highly skilled team of Costs Draftsmen, we can provide law costing services to clients throughout England and Wales.

Greener Costs is the UK’s first net positive legal costs company, and our aim is to assist your law farm in costs services whilst also helping you become more carbon neutral. Our operations are fully paperless, and we commit to planting 25 trees per instruction. At the end of the year, we will send you a report detailing how much of your emissions have been offset by instructing our team.

If you wish to speak to a member of the team here at Greener Costs then please cont

 

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