Antino v Stirling Properties Ltd (2016) Barking Magistrate’s Court
Issues: The 1996 Act – s.6(1) notices – s.12(1) security – s.10(13) costs – 7 No s.10(10) Awards – no appeal – s.17 enforcement as civil debt.
Decision: The Award was not appealed therefore building loses right to appeal or amend award s.17 complaint land in Barking Magistrates Court. The building owner contacted Mr Antino’s legal advisers 24 hours before the hearing date and advised that they would not be attending Court and accepted liability for the fees and offered no defence. They conceded they would also be liable to the costs on an indemnity basis incurred by Mr Antino in enforcing the complaint. The court awarded the full amount of Mr Antinos Fees of £3,478 and £8,458.
The Facts: This case has similar issues as held in the Farrs Development Judicial Review. The building owner having obtained the awards enabling them to proceed with the works then neglected to pay the fees which had been awarded by agreement between the two surveyors. The building owners did not appeal the awards and therefore the awards on expiry of the s.10(17) 14 day period were valid.
The building owners were asked for payment and advised that if payment was not forthcoming, a s.17 complaint would be filed. No response was received and on the 4th October 2016 a complaint was laid at Barking Magistrates Court with a hearing for the 11th November 2016.
The Decision: The building owner contacted Mr Antino’s legal team 24 hours before the hearing by email advising that they would not be attending Court and would not be offering any defence. They gave an undertaking that they would pay Mr Antino’s fees in full by 11th December 2016 and made a payment of £1500 on account. The building owners also accepted liability for the legal costs which included, disbursements, interest incurred by the claimant in seeking the enforcement. The magistrates heard evidence from Mr Antino and submissions from his Counsel and upheld the complaint. The costs sought by Mr Antino were £3,478 for dealing with the Party Wall Awards (7 no.) in addition to which the building owner now accepted liability for £8,458 in legal costs all to be paid within 21 days of the date of the hearing. The complaint was heard by the Bench, evidence was given under oath by Mr Antino and the undertakings offered by the building owners were put before the Bench and the Bench awarded the terms of the undertaking.