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BOSS HOLDINGS LTD v GROSVENOR WEST END PROPERTIES

The phrase "designed or adapted for living in" in the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 s 2(1) required the court to consider the property as initially built and the purpose for which it was originally designed, and to consider whether any work had subsequently been done so that the original design had been changed. A property which had not been occupied for a number of years and had become internally dilapidated had nevertheless been originally designed for living in, and was thus, in the circumstances, a house within the meaning of the subsection.

12 February 2008

The appellant (B) appealed against a decision ([2006] EWCA Civ 594, [2006] 1 WLR 2848) that it was not entitled to a declaration that it was entitled to acquire the freehold of a property under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 s 1(1). B was the lessee of a terraced property built in the eighteenth century as a single private residence and comprising six floors. Up until 1942 the property was used as a single residence but thereafter the three upper floors were retained for residential use while the lower floors were occupied for business use. By the time the notice under s 1(1) of the Act was served, both the commercial and residential uses had ceased and the property was vacant. The rooms on the three upper floors had been stripped back to their basic structure: plaster had been hacked off the walls and some ceilings and floorboards had been removed. The Court of Appeal agreed with the judge at first instance that the property was not a house within the meaning of s 2(1) of the Act be...

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