3 August 2012 by

Landlords, call your solicitor

A few recent cases before the Courts have emphasised the need for landlords to take care in their dealings with their tenants and indeed to monitor their agent’s dealings with their tenants.

These concern:

1) Break Notices

A tenant purported to serve a break notice on their landlord but mistakenly served this on a prior landlord. This was forwarded on to the current landlord whose managing agents then sent an email to the tenant accepting the defective notice and asking for a fresh one to be sent.

This email had the effect of validating the defective break notice served by the tenant whereas had the managing agents not sent the email the tenant would have remained tied to the lease for the remainder of the term.

The landlord was obviously very unhappy with this outcome.

2) “Subject to Licence”

The principle established and confirmed in recent cases is that if approached by a tenant for consent under a lease, for example alterations or an assignment, it can be fatal to a landlord (who is under time pressure in law to both consider and respond to a tenants request) to advise a tenant that consent is granted in principle/subject to conditions or even subject to a formal licence.

The mere fact of notifying the tenant of this can be deemed a formal grant of consent.

The consequences of this can be disastrous to a landlord who may not wish to grant consent or alternatively may wish to impose quite reasonable conditions. In fact, sometimes it is better to say nothing at all.

The above emphasise that a landlord should avoid immediately responding to a tenant’s request /service of a document but rather should take proper legal advice before deciding how best to proceed.

If you have any commercial property questions, please call us on 0207 288 4700 or email us on info@boltburdon.co.uk

4 July 2012 by Vincent Billings

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