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Landlord and tenant – residential

Alms-houses – licensees

The CA has confirmed that residents of alms-houses occupy as licensees and not as Ts.

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Service charge – surveyor’s opinion?

A clause which provides that service charge apportionments are to be determined by L’s surveyor is void (s27A(6) LTA 1985). This is so even if there is an intermediate L between the residential T and the ultimate freeholder (ie the residential Ts are entitled to challenge the apportionment of relevant costs in a headlease, notwithstanding the fact that they are not parties to that headlease).

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Consent to assign – administration charge?

Many residential leases require T to obtain L’s consent to assign. The important point to note is that L cannot charge an ‘unreasonable’ fee (eg an admin charge for work involved in processing the application).

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L’s costs – service charge

If L has incurred costs (including legal costs) in proceedings before the FTT, to what extent is it possible for L to recoup those costs through the general service charge (so that all Ts within the service charge regime pay a share of those costs)?

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Leasehold reform – mixed-use premises

One of the perennial problems under LRA 1967 is whether mixed-use premises can be considered a ‘house’ for enfranchisement purposes. In practical terms, this will usually be in the context of a flat above a shop. Can the long lessee of the flat claim enfranchisement rights under the Act?

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Airbnb – unlawful letting

There has been an important Upper Tribunal decision on whether long-lease Ts can do short-term holiday lets (eg Airbnb). The conclusion is that, in most instances, such lettings will be in breach of the covenants in the lease.

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Non-derogation – right to sunlight?

A long residential lease will contain covenants for quiet enjoyment and also for non-derogation from grant (although case law shows that these amount to much the same thing). To what extent can T use such covenants to thwart a potential development by L?

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Consent to assign – L’s costs?

Some long leases require T to get L’s consent to assign. But, can L charge a high admin fee?

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Repair – notice to L

Any residential L has an obligation ‘to keep in repair the structure and exterior of any part of the building in which L has an estate or interest’ (s11 LTA 1985).

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Service charge – consultation

Two points on service charge consultation:

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