In 2003 landlord of block of flats, a housing association, installs PVC double glazed windows to replace wooden frames damaged by wet rot. Landlord charges costs to leaseholders by way of a service charge. X refuses to pay. In 2005 landlord seeks full sum plus interest and possession.
Parties involved in five years litigation, including appeals, with landlord’s position upheld. Housing association’s total costs come to £37,000, but only recovers £17,000 from X in costs and 50% of the replacement costs awarded. Relationships deteriorate irretrievably, with X continuously late in making payments, challenging bills and complaining about condition of building.
CFJ assessor gives view in initial mediation that PVC windows are a repair within service charge provisions. The parties reach a compromise and X agrees to pay 90% of share of replacement costs over twenty four months. The total cost of referring to the CFJ is £4,000, which the parties share. Total savings to landlord of using CFJ are £35,000 (95%). No further complaints are received and relationships are restored. The matter is concluded within six weeks.