The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania clarified the principles of pricing municipal waste management services.
We represented the client, the organizer of the waste management system, in a dispute with consumers who tried to prove that the municipal waste management fee should be calculated only on the basis of the amount of waste actually delivered, i.e. they challenged the lawfulness of the binary contribution, which consists of fixed and variable components.
The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, which examined the dispute, stated that the principle of solidarity enshrined in the Law on Waste Management means that a person who is a local toll payer, together with other local toll payers, must collectively bear all the costs of municipal waste management and disposal, regardless of how the local toll is calculated (according to the amount of waste or the area of real estate available). This, in turn, means that even in cases where the local toll payer does not actually deliver the municipal waste to the manager during the relevant periods, he still has to pay at least the minimum local toll.A systematic interpretation of the relevant legal regulation presupposes that the fixed part of the local fee, as one of the measures to maintain the system of municipal waste management and disposal services, is related exclusively to the fact that the person is the owner (or authorized person) of the immovable property in the municipality and neither its calculation nor its purpose is linked to the actual generation of the waste, with the result that, even in the context of a fixed component, even end-of-life facilities are still subject to the fixed component of the local charge during the period in dispute.
We defended the client’s interests in a dispute over unjust enrichment.
The law firm’s attorneys have successfully represented the client in a dispute over a lease modification and unjust enrichment. The client, the lessor of commercial premises, was sued for unjust enrichment by renting premises owned by another person.
The dispute arose after the client of the firm had acquired commercial premises with a valid lease, under which the premises were leased not only to the client but also to another person, the plaintiff. The plaintiff in the case proved that he had given his consent to rent his share of the premises only to the original owner of the premises.
After examining the dispute, the court found that when the lease agreement is published in the SE Centre of Registers database, it is valid for both the tenant and the new lessor who acquired the premises, therefore, no additional agreements between the original lessor and the plaintiff, nor the client of the firm, nor the tenant of the premises may create rights and obligations not disclosed in the database of the State Enterprise Centre of Registers. Thus, the court found that the tenant had reasonably used the plaintiff’s premises throughout the lease. In addition, the court found that by granting the original lessor the right to lease his share of the premises, the plaintiff lost his expectation of receiving rental income for the entire lease term, thus, his claims for unjust enrichment / savings are unfounded, as unjust enrichment / savings can only be established by proving the loss suffered by the victim, i.e. unjust enrichment is possible only at the expense of the loss of another person.
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