Couple to test legality of land maintenance company’s business model in in Lands Tribunal
A couple are to bring a test case against a company which charges homeowners for maintenance of property it acquires in The Lands Tribunal for Scotland next month.
Mike and Jean Marriott will use their title deeds to test the legality of the business model used by Greenbelt Group, a Glasgow-based lands maintenance company.
The company, which owns and manages land on new developments across the UK, operates by taking ownership of open spaces and other features such as playparks, drainage and floor defense systems and then charging homeowners for maintaining them.
“Greenbelt Group claims it is operating within the law,” said Mr Marriott, “but many legal experts and homeowners alike believe they’re not. The only way to break this stalemate is to secure a ruling in law.”
The case will be heard in the Tribunal on 18th, 19th and 20th August, and will test the enforceability of the type of land maintenance burdens found in tens of thousands of Scottish homeowners’ title deeds.
These burdens appear to require them to pay as single land-owning land maintenance company, a sum of that company’s choosing for as long as they remain in their homes with no ability to change provider.
The case, is being led by Balfour Manson which has commissioned Sir Crispin Agnew QC to lead the case in court.
The need for a test case has been supported by:
· The Office of Fair Trading
· The former Consumer Focus Scotland which was planning on mounting a test case before it was disbanded
· Christine Grahame MSP, chair of the Justice Committee.
The case has been funded in part by donations from homeowners from across the UK.