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Tenant's request
Landlord's response
Reasonable refusal

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Landlord's response

This page deals with the following issues:
  • The reason that can be relied upon - adducing evidence that was not available at the time the reason was given to support that reason - elaborating the reasons.
  • Reasonable time.
  • Consent by accident! - Consent "in principle" - subject to conditions.
  • Consent required by deed

Reason given

The landlord will be only entitled to rely on reasons given by him in his written decision:
    “It is not now [ie since the 1988 Act] open to a landlord to put forward reasons justifying the withholding of consent if those reasons were not put forward in accordance with s1(3)(b))” (Neuberger J, Footwear Corporation Ltd v Amplight Properties Ltd [1999] 1 WLR 551 at 559H.
However, that requirement does not prevent the landlord from adducing evidence to support his ground that he did not have at the date that he gave his reasons. Nor must the landlord’s letter be construed too narrowly:
    “… the degree of detail contained in such a letter is likely to depend to a large extent on what is said by the tenant in the application to which the landlord is responding. In practice a dialogue may develop. Once the landlord has stated in writing the ground on which he refuses consent, he cannot later rely on any other ground. But that does not mean to say that, when seeking to show that it was reasonable for him not to consent on the stated ground, he is confined to what he has said in his letter. Section 1(6)(c) contains no such restriction. And rightly so” (Ashworth Frazer Ltd v Gloucester City Council [2001] UKHL 59, Lord Roger at para 75).
See also The Royal Bank of Scotland v Victoria Street (No. 3) Limited [2008] EWHC 3052 (Ch) where Morgan J said this (para 37) in relation to the letter of refusal sent in that case:
    "That brings me to the letter of refusal, which I have read. The letter is brief, but as explained by Lord Rodger in the Ashworth Frazer case … a landlord is entitled to elaborate a reason which is stated concisely in a letter of refusal, without going outside what is permitted by s.1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988. In my judgment, the essential distinction in this area is between something which is an ... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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