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Landlord and tenant – residential

On account – ‘reasonable amount’

LTA 1985 deals with residential service charges paid by long lessees. If a payment is being made on account of future service charge costs, then s19(2) says that only a ‘reasonable sum’ is payable (with any adjustment taking place once the costs have been incurred).
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‘No dogs’ – valid?

Suppose a lease contains a covenant that T will not keep any ‘dog, bird, cat or other animals’ without consent. Is that a valid restriction? The answer is ‘yes’. 
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L’s consent – non-contractual advantage?

LTA 1988 sets out the rules when T requests L’s consent to assign (etc). Under s1(3), L must ‘within a reasonable’ time give that consent unless ‘it is reasonable not to give consent’. 
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Safety – gas

On a residential let, all gas fittings must be maintained in a safe condition; each appliance and flue must have a safety check within 12 months of being installed (and every 12 months thereafter); that check must be by an HSE-approved person, with the records being kept for two years.

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Service charges – estoppel?

Suppose service charges have been raised for many years in a way that does not properly accord with the wording of the lease; if T subsequently questions those service charges, can L argue that there is an ‘estoppel by convention’ (ie a shared assumption that now prevents T from reneging on that assumption)?

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‘No DSS’ – discrimination?

Many Ls have an informal ‘no DSS’ policy when selecting Ts. However, there are press reports of a case that was settled when L was accused of discriminatory behaviour (note: this was merely an out-of-court settlement, but it does illustrate the point at issue).

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MEES – subletting

A T who sublets will then become an L for MEES purposes. It follows that if T occupies a sub-standard property then T will not be able to grant a sub-lease of the premises (unless T registers an exemption).

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HMOs – children included

The test for deciding whether a property is a house in multiple occupation depends on the number of ‘persons’ living there.

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L’s consent – assignment

 T had a long lease (999 years) of flats in a residential block. L’s consent was required to any assignment (not to be unreasonably withheld), but L refused to grant consent

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