The Practical Lawyer

Landlord and tenant – residential

Roof space – development

It is becoming increasingly common for Ls to construct new flats on the roofs of existing blocks of flats. But, it should be appreciated that the disposal of the airspace will be a disposal of an ‘appurtenance’, and that in turn means that the Ts may potentially be able to block the development by exercising their right under LTA 1987.

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Assured shorthold – s21 notice

One of the ways Ls can seek possession of an assured shorthold tenancy is by serving a notice under s21 HA 1988. If the tenancy was granted for a fixed term and that term has not expired, then an s21(1) notice is served. On the other hand, if it is a periodic tenancy because the fixed term has expired then an s21(4) notice must be served.

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Service charges – reminder

The Summary of Rights Regs came into force last year (October 2007). These require that a summary of rights and obligations must accompany any demand by L for the payment of service charge in respect of a residential property.

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Service charges – dispensation

It is well known that L must consult with residential leaseholders about (i) the nature of the proposed works; and (ii) the identity of, and likely costs to be charged by, the contractor that L intends to use.

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Suspended possession – tolerated trespasser?

A public sector residential T will have a secure tenancy (under HA 1985). However, if T is in breach and the court makes a suspended possession order then that will automatically bring the secure tenancy to an end (even if T fully complies with the suspended possession order and pays off all arrears).

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Collective enfranchisement – hope value

When valuing L’s interest on an enfranchisement, the assumption is that the market value of the unencumbered freehold is likely to exceed the combined value of T’s and L’s separate interests.

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Tenancy deposit – sanctions

The tenancy deposit provisions are contained within ss212-215 HA 2004. The key requirement, of course, is that L must place any deposit into an authorised deposit holding scheme and then serve written notice on T within 14 days confirming this has been done.

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Sevice charge – shareholder contribution?

If the Ts are shareholders, then a residential management company can avoid LTA 1985 (which gives Ts the right to challenge the reasonableness of service charges).

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SDLT – collective enfranchisement

Ts with long leases (over 21 years) have a collective right to buy the freehold under Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. FA 2003 introduced a relief from SDLT when there is collective enfranchisement.

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Deposit protection – non-compliance

Since 2007, all deposits for rent of more than £25,000pa for assured shorthold tenancies must be protected by the money being placed in a tenancy deposit protection scheme.

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