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How unreasonable?

Tom Carpenter-Leitch discusses guidance from the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) on the threshold and procedure for awards of costs for 'acting unreasonably'

12 July 2016

The First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (FTT) is a 'no costs' jurisdiction where costs can only be awarded if a party has 'acted unreasonably'. What threshold of conduct applies and what procedure should be followed before costs can be awarded? The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has recently given welcome and important guidance in the joined case
of Willow Court Management Company (1985) Ltd v Alexander LRX/90/2015.

The FTT deals with a wide range of residential and leasehold property disputes, land registration matters, and agricultural land and drainage issues. Generally, costs can only be awarded against a party under the limited circumstances of rule 13(b) of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber) Rules 2013, where the party has 'acted unreasonably in bringing, defending, or conducting proceedings' before the FTT.

At one end of the scale, the highly restrictive view, following that in the 'wasted cos...

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