Coronavirus, Commercial Landlords and Tenants

There is essentially zero certainty as to what is currently going on in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. One of the most turbulent and ambiguous areas of law at present is how will Commercial Landlords and Tenants be affected by the situation and the interim “relief” being introduced by the Government. The Government published the “Extra protection for businesses with ban on evictions for commercial Tenants who miss rent payments” on the 23rd of March 2020. In short, Commercial Tenants who are unable to pay rent because of Coronavirus…

Top Tips for Landlords: Complying with the new Energy efficiency legislation (EPC tests)

As if landlords didn’t have enough paperwork to worry about, as of the 1st April 2018, things got even more complicated. The minimum ratings for Energy Performance Certificates (which have been mandatory for some time) got a lot tougher, and now any rental property must achieve at least an ‘E’ rating for it to be rented out. Whereas before this only applied to new tenancies, now, it covers existing rental agreements too. That means that even if your tenants have been in your property for years, the house or flat…

Landowner carries the can on illegal waste

An illegal waste wood stockpile on land in Devon has seen the landowner prosecuted and left with the clean-up bill after being held responsible for knowingly permitting the tenants' activities. The tenants had leased the land for a wood recycling business, but none of the material that arrived on the site ever left, creating a 10,000-tonne stockpile covering the area of a football pitch. When the stockpile was destroyed in a massive fire which burned for five days, the Environment Agency prosecuted not just the tenants, but the landlord as…

Commercial landlords – What are your obligations?

If you choose to invest in commercial property rather than domestic stock and then rent it out, then, as with domestic rentals, you have to meet certain obligations to both maintain the condition of the building and to look after the interests of your tenants. If you are thinking of moving into commercial property rental is to make sure you have a good solicitor on your side – one who’s well versed in the finer points of lease negotiation, commercial property and that all-important Landlord and Tenant Act 1927. Negotiating…

Renting property – Will the slow-down of the housing market have a knock-on effect for landlords and their tenants?

For years, homeowners have come to expect that their property value will increase. But headlines predicting a housing slump are backed by figures that show a sustained slow-down of activity in the housing market and a dip in the rate of growth for house prices too. Could this also have a knock-on effect for rental prices? And what is a ‘fair rent’ for the average property? Is the housing market really slowing down? While the long feared property market crash actually hasn’t happened (and may just be the paranoid reporting…

Beware Side Letter

Although the case of Vivienne Westwood Limited v Conduit Street Development Limited is fact specific it is a crucial reminder of the care that must be taken when setting out concessionary terms in side letters between landlords and tenants. In 2009 Vivienne Westwood Limited entered into a 15 year lease of retail premises, however at the same time the parties entered into a side letter providing rent concessions. The lease provided that the annual rent payable was £110,000 with upwards only rent reviews in 2014 and 2019. Under the side…

Buy to let Landlords beware – letting prevented by lease user restriction

The Upper Tribunal has held that a flat owner was prevented from letting out their flat due to the terms of the lease restriction as to the use of the property. The landlord successfully appealed against a decision at first instance that the flat owner was not in breach of covenant. In the case of Roundlistic Limited v Jones and Seymour [2016] UKUT 325 (LC), a restrictive covenant confirmed the maisonette's use to occupation by the tenant and their family. This was held to mean meant that only the flat…

A fifth of London tenants paying over asking price

Countrywide, the UK’s largest property services group, announced that 1 in 5 tenants based in London pay over the asking price to secure their homes, by comparison with 1 in 8 tenants over the rest of the UK. London, compared to other cities in the country, has seen the largest growth in rents since 2007. Countrywide's monthly lettings index found Londoners were paying an average of £1,309 a month in the year to February, up from £1,295 the year before, £94 above the average monthly asking rent, in London. Over the…

Deregulation Act 2015 and what it means for landlords

Over the last few years it has been widely reported in the media that the country has a housing crisis. With more and more people moving into rented accommodation, protecting tenants’ interests against rogue landlords has been high on the government’s agenda. Lobbyists have been calling for better protection for tenants, and landlords and practitioners have been requesting clarification on landlord’s responsibilities concerning the protection of tenant deposits. We reported last month that the House of Lords were to discuss the Deregulation Bill. The Bill received Royal Assent on 26…

A landlord’s guide to dealing with Anti-social Behaviour

Having to deal with anti-social behaviour will undoubtedly be one of the most daunting problems that a landlord will have to deal with. The general rule is that a landlord cannot be held liable for a tenant’s action unless they have authorised the anti-social behaviour. The first thing that may cross a landlord’s mind is how do they evict the tenant. Before embarking upon legal proceedings the landlord should consider discussing the matter with their tenant, but should their behaviour not improve seeking a possession order may be the only…

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