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Brian Telchadder v Wickland (Holdings) Limited
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1 User Commentary

Melanie Davidson (In-house lawyer) 24 September 2015

Case Digest

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Whether a breach of an anti-social behaviour covenant ("the covenant") is remediable within the meaning of para 4 of the 1983 Act.

Judgment was handed down in Talchadder v Wickland Holdings Ltd [2014] UKSC 57 on 5 November 2014. The appeal was brought by Mr Talchadder against the order to terminate his license to station his mobile home at the park owned by Wickland Holdings Ltd ("Wickland").  

Under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 a site owner can terminate an occupier's license in limited circumstances, which for this purpose was para 4. This provision lays out that an owner can terminate their agreement with the occupier if the appropriate judicial body is satisfied that the occupier has breached one of its terms, and after service of notice to remedy the breach, he has failed to comply with the notice within a reasonable time and it is considered reasonable to terminate said agreement. 

In the present case Mr Telchadder breached the covenant in 2006. Wickland therefore wrote to him explaining that he must not make unsolicited approaches to other residents, thereby serving him notice to remedy the breach. Were he to cause another breach they would apply to court for termination of the agreement and the removal of his mobile home. Approximately three years later Wickland applied to court for termination after another breach occurred. 

The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appellant's appeal. The breach was held to be remediable—notice being required in such cases. A practical enquiry had to nevertheless be undertaken to determine whether, and if so how, the mischief resulting from Mr Telchadder's breach could be redressed. As to what constitutes compliance with a notice to remedy a breach Lord Wilson, Lord Toulson and Lady Hale held that this is achievable by not committing any further anti-social behaviour for a reasonable time. In contrast Lords Carnwath and Reed took the view that compliance must continue indefinitely. As to what constitutes reasonable time Lady Hale said it is such time as is sufficient for the fears and anxiety caused by behaviour to calm down. Para 4 was satisfied as the alarm caused to Miss Puncher through Mr Telchadder's behaviour was capable of being redressed. According to Lord Wilson, Lady Hale and Lord Toulson the period of almost three years compliance amounted to reasonable time. A fresh notice should have been served after the breach in 2009 or alternatively Wickland should have raised an allegation that the breach was irremediable. Failure to do so meant that agreement could not be terminated.


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