Inspections in FTT proceedings: amendments to the Pilot Practice Direction

On Tuesday 23rd June 2020, the Senior President of Tribunals issued a new Practice Direction concerning property inspections.

All property inspections in proceedings before the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and Upper Tribunal have been suspended since March 2020 under the Pilot Practice Direction: Contingency arrangements in the First Tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal.


What’s changed?

With effect from 1st July 2020, Tribunals will have the discretion to carry out an inspection of the exterior of buildings or parcels of land.

This discretion will be exercised by a Judge or Valuer chairman.  In exercising their discretion, they’ll take all relevant considerations into account, including

  1. Representations of the parties; and
  2. The need for appropriate social distancing

Under the amended Practice Direction, the Judge or Valuer chairman may also place conditions on how the inspection shall be conducted.  This could include a direction that parties will not be entitled to accompany the Judge/Valuer chairman or Tribunal members.

So far as inspections of the interior of buildings and premises are concerned, the suspension will remain in effect.  To mitigate the impact of the suspension, the Tribunal may consider the following

  1. Parties may be permitted to produce photographs and/or videos of the condition or other relevant aspects of the property or land;
  2. External “drive by” inspection by a Tribunal may be permitted in appropriate cases.



24 June 2020

Cassandra Zanelli

Widely recognised for her expertise in the industry, and listed among the 100 most influential people in residential leasehold management, Cass heads the team at PM Legal Services. Passionate about education and sharing knowledge, she's a regular speaker at conferences, events and seminars, having worked with leading organisations in the property management industry.

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