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Rosen v. Trustees of Camden Charities (2000) The Times, 13 December 2000
Finally, a gallant attempt by the leaseholder, Mr Rosen, to argue that the construction of his house on the site of a former workhouse sometime between 1850 and 1852, when the original leasehold term in fact was expressed from 1849 (i.e. before the house had actually been built), meant that the construction of the house was an "improvement" to be disregarded in assessing the price now payable for the reversion, was unsuccessful.
The Court of Appeal took a broad, purposive view of the relevant legislation: "The building of a new house on a bare site was not the improvement of a house and premises but the provision of a house", said the court. In the words of Evans-Lombe, J:
The purpose of s. 9 (1A) (d) of the 1967 Act as inserted by s. 118 (4) of the Housing Act 1974 was simply to guide a valuer so as to exclude from the open market value of the house and premises … any improvement carried out by the tenant or his predecessors by which the value of the house and premises had been increased [and] the original construction of the house could not constitute such an improvement.
The law as stated as it is understood to be as at 1 January 2001.
G. WatersonRosalind Lee