Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Raymond Cox QC and Chloe Carpenter act in successful defence of Commercial Court claim which had challenged increase in margin payable on buy-to-let mortgage contracts

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Judgment was handed down yesterday by Teare J in Alexander (as representative of the Property 118 Action Group) v West Bromwich Mortgage Company Limited [2015] EWHC 135 (Comm).   The Defendant had increased the margin payable by buy-to-let mortgagors over Bank of England Base Rate, relying on its terms and conditions, in response to market conditions and the need to run its business prudently, efficiently and competitively.  The Claimant brought a representative claim on behalf of himself and 410 mortgage account holders/ 359 individual borrowers holding buy-to-let mortgage contracts, contending that the Defendant’s increase in the margin on their mortgages was contrary to the terms of the mortgage contract.  Teare J accepted the Defence, advanced by Raymond Cox QC and Chloe Carpenter, that the Defendant had been contractually entitled to increase the margin, as the term in the Mortgage Conditions permitting the increase was consistent with the Offer of Loan.  He also accepted the Defendant’s case that it would be entitled under the mortgage contract to terminate the mortgages on 1 month’s notice as the term in the Mortgage Conditions permitting this was also consistent with the Offer of Loan.  A copy of the judgment can be found here.