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New Property Chamber

View profile for Annette Wood
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From the 1 July 2013 the Adjudicator to the HM Land Registry will be abolished, along with the Agricultural Land Tribunals and Rent Assessment Panels and will form part of a new 7th first-tier tribunal chamber – the Property Chamber.

The work of the Property Chamber will be subject to The Tribunal Procedure (First-Tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber) Rules 2013.

The aim is to unify the work of individual tribunals and panels.

The 2013 Rules do have some similarities to the civil procedure rules that govern how litigation is managed.

For example Rule 3 provides that the overriding objective of the Rules is to enable the Tribunal to deal with cases fairly and justly, which includes dealing with cases in ways which are proportionate to the importance of the case, the complexity of the issues, the costs and resources of the parties and of the Tribunal. Unnecessary formality should be avoided to enable parties to participate fully in the proceedings.

Parties to case must help the Tribunal to further this overriding objective and generally co-operate with the Tribunal.

Fees may be payable to the Tribunal at the outset of a case and if a fee is due and payable the Tribunal will not proceed until the fee is paid.

The Tribunal will have powers to make orders for costs against parties in certain circumstances and in land registration cases a respondent may apply to the Tribunal for security of their costs against the applicant.

We will have to wait and see how all this works out in practice, and whether unity is achieved.