What is the First-tier Tribunal?

An application to a First-tier Tribunal (FTT) is available to leaseholders to provide an independent body who are able to review varying leasehold disputes and problems in accordance with  The Leasehold Reform Act 1967.

The FTT requires a form to be completed which will be reviewed by chosen Tribunal members who may be surveyors, solicitors, local government members or other “lay people”.

For each FTT there are usually two or three members appointed. The chairman will be the member who writes up the findings and results.

Following receipt of the application to the FTT each party will be written to explaining the full procedure.

Following review of the form a hearing may take place to ensure that all of the information provided on the application has been fully understood.

Many hearings are resolved following the hearing, however, sometimes where there are several items in dispute a pre-trial review may be required.

The pre-trial review will decide whether certain sections of the dispute can be settled separately, and to consider whether any additional information will be required to conclude outstanding items at the hearing.

FTT’s are usually held local to the property involved, for example, town or church halls. They are reasonably informal with each party able to speak at the hearing or have someone, i.e a solicitor speak for them.

Any evidence will be requested to be seen prior to the hearing and occasionally the property may be visited if it helps resolving the dispute.

A decision is made soon after the hearing and is binding upon the parties.

The areas that a FTT may get involved in include:-

  • •To decide the price to be paid when a leaseholder wants to buy, extend or renew the lease of their home and the value cannot be agreed with the leaseholder;
  • adjudicate in disputes about the right of first refusal procedure (which gives leaseholders the right of first refusal to buy the freehold when the landlord wishes to sell it)
  • settle disputes on service charge and variation of leases.

Its vitally important that you read the information available from the Residential Property Tribunal Service http://www.rpts.gov.uk/ contact LEASE http://www.lease-advice.org  (t) 020 7374 5380 for more information.