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(1) 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”.
What is the definition of a “house” under Section 2 (1) 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(1), when the notice of enfranchisement was served? Do the words “designed and adapted for living in” within Section 2 (1) 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 2 (1) of the 1967 Act.
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