Mrs Kane takes the witness stand in Wirral Council v Kane and Woodley (Fernbank Farm)
Wirral Council v Kane and Woodley (case 3BI05210)
Birkenhead County Court
13th February 2014
Court Room 1
Carol Kane takes the witness stand
District Judge Woodburn asked if there were other witnesses? To the defendants Mrs Kane and Mrs Woodley he said that the situation was that a notice was served and the notice had provisions as to who could give evidence.
Mrs Kane approached the witness stand and said, “I swear by Almighty God to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”. District Judge Woodburn asked her to keep her voice up as it was being recorded. He said she had a soft voice so it may be best to move closer to the microphone. He asked her for her name. Her reply was “Caroline Lynn Kane”. She was asked for her address by District Judge Woodburn, she replied “8 Cranbourne Avenue, Moreton”. District Judge Woodburn asked if she was at the same address as in the lease dated 2008 to which she answered “yes”.
District Judge Woodburn asked her if she’d entered into a lease with the other defendant Mrs Woodley with Wirral Borough Council in relation to just over ten acres of land in Sandbrook Lane dated 29th July 2008? Mrs Kane answered “yes”. District Judge Woodburn asked how long the lease was for? Mrs Kane answered “three years”.
District Judge Woodburn said that that covered the period 1st June 2008 to the 31st May 2011, but what happened after May 2011? Mrs Kane said that she had phoned David Dickenson and told him that they hadn’t heard from Wirral Borough Council for three years and that the lease was up for renewal. She had told him that she’d been told that she’d be “hearing from [Wirral Council] soon” and that from 1998 to 2008 they’d had the same lease so she thought Wirral Council had “forgotten about us again”.
District Judge Woodburn said that that was about May 2011 and asked her when she next heard from Wirral Council? She answered that the next time they heard from Wirral Council was in November 2012. District Judge Woodburn asked her what happened in November 2012? Mrs Kane answered that they received a notice ending the lease but saying that Wirral Council were willing to renew the lease.
District Judge Woodburn asked her what had happened when they had received a notice like this before? Mrs Kane replied that every time (prior to this) the lease was up for renewal that they had got a new one. District Judge Woodburn asked what happened on previous occasions. Mrs Kane replied that the rent had been increased and the legal fees. District Judge Woodburn asked what happened when she received the notice? Mrs Kane said she got in touch with Wirral Council as they wanted to renew. She added that they’d had a lease for forty years and that she signed and sent back the new lease along with proof of their public liability insurance cover. District Judge Woodburn asked who had asked for it? Mrs Kane replied that Wirral Council had said that they needed proof of public liability insurance so she had sent them proof.
District Judge Woodburn asked after the lease came to an end did Wirral Council ask for proof of public liability insurance? Mrs Kane answered yes in a letter she was sent. District Judge Woodburn asked her if Wirral Council asked after May 2011, Mrs Kane answered yes in 2012. District Judge Woodburn asked if she had got the letters with her? Mrs Kane said that the letter said to renew the lease that they were to send proof of the public liability insurance with the signed lease.
District Judge Woodburn asked was this in the period after May 2011 and did she have the documents with her? Mrs Kane said she had got proof of posting of the lease back to Wirral Council and that it said in the papers that were sent by recorded delivery.
District Judge Woodburn asked if she was referring to the letter Wirral Council had written to her with a draft lease? She answered yes. Sarah O’Brien, barrister for Wirral Council said that there was no evidence of that. District Judge Woodburn told Sarah O’Brien to wait. Mrs Kane said that Wirral Council did send a letter with the notice to quit which said that Wirral Council were not averse to renewing the lease and to get in touch with David Dickenson. The terms of the new lease were sent with the letter.
District Judge Woodburn directed people to the notices in the bundle he had. Mrs Kane agreed with District Judge Woodburn. District Judge Woodburn directed people to paragraph 3 that stated “I am not opposed to granting you a new tenancy. You will find my proposals for the new tenancy, which we can discuss, in the Schedule to this notice.” and paragraph 4 which stated “If we cannot agree on all the terms of a new tenancy, either you or I may ask the court to order the grant of a new tenancy and settle the terms on which we agree.” He asked if Mrs Kane could see paragraphs three and four? She answered yes.
District Judge Woodburn pointed out that paragraph four stated that if there wasn’t agreement then either the landlord or tenant could ask the court. Mrs Kane said she had told David Dickenson that they would pay Wirral Council for the lease. District Judge Woodburn asked how she had told David Dickenson this, by telephone? She answered yes.
District Judge Woodburn asked her if she had told him by letter? She replied that there was a handwritten letter regarding Wirral Council’s costs. He asked where it was in the bundle to which Sarah O’Brien, barrister for Wirral Council replied page 35.
District Judge Woodburn asked Mrs Kane if she was referring to the letter dated Wednesday April 17th 2013? She said yes. District Judge Woodburn referred to the letter that stated they had had a bad year and were disagreeing with the terms of the lease, therefore she would be grateful if they could look at the expenses that they had had to pay out regarding the upkeep of the land. He said it didn’t look like the lease had been sent back on the terms offered.
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