Leasehold Reform Act 1967

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1. What were the material facts in the case?

The Leasehold Reform Act 1967 provides tenants the right to purchase the landlord’s freehold interest of a property. There is no requirement for the tenant to occupy or have occupied the property. The property was subject to a lease. The appellant was the tenant under the lease. The appellant wanted to acquire the freehold of the property. The property was originally built as a single private residence and had subsequently been adapted for both residential and commercial use. The property had become heavily dilapidated and was not physically fit for immediate residential occupation. In order to be construed as a house under Section 2 of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 a property must satisfy two requirements i.e. it must be both “designed and adapted for living in” and be reasonably so called.  

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2. Explain, in your own words, the legal issue(s) in the case.

What is the definition of a house under Section 2 of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967, specifically what is meant by the phrase “designed and adapted for living in? Was the property in question designed or adapted for living in, within the meaning of Section 2, when the notice of enfranchisement was served? Do the words “designed and adapted for living in within Section 2 of the Act suggest that the property be capable of immediate residential occupation? Or should the test be an historic one i.e. should the fact that the property was designed for living in when first built and had not subsequently been altered from this be sufficient to construe that it is indeed “designed and adapted for living in” and therefore satisfy this requirement for the purposes of Section of the 1967 Act.  

3. Which technique(s) of statutory interpretation do you consider that Lord Neuberger employed in the case? Give reasons for your answer.

Literal Rule at as a matter of ordinary language Contextual/purposive at reinforced by considering other provisions of the sub-section, and supported by the original terms and considerations of practicality and policy’ Literal Rule at as a matter of ordinary English’ and ‘the natural meaning of the word’ Contextual at [19] ‘reinforced by the later words in the same section’ Literal Rule at the words in question are given their natural meaning’  

4. Which presumptions and/or rules of language did Lord Neuberger employ in the case? Give reasons for your answer.

Noscitur a Sociis – ‘reinforced by the later words in the same section’ at

5. To what aids to statutory interpretation did Lord Neuberger refer? Your answer should indicate whether such aids were intrinsic or extrinsic.

Intrinsic: Section 1 (1) Section 2 (1) Extrinsic: Tandon v Trustees of Spurgeons Homes [1982] AC 755 Suffolk County Council v Mason [1979] AC 705 Attorney General v Lamplough (1878)

6. Explain, in your own words, the ratio decidendi of Alpha Holdings v Beta Properties

The words “designed or adapted for living in” within of the Leashold Reform Act 1967 are to be given their ordinary or natural meaning. A property is a house within the meaning of the sub-section if it had been designed for living in when originally built and the structure had remained largely the same i.e. the test of designed for living in is an historic one. Whilst the property had become heavily dilapidated and was indeed uninhabitable this did not alter the fact that it had been designed for living in when first built. It is not reasonable to assume that a property must be capable of immediate residential occupation in order for it to be construed as a house under of the 1967 Act. Therefore at the time the notice of enfranchisement was served the property was “designed or adapted for living in within the meaning.

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Leasehold reform act 1967. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved December 6, 2022 , from
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