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Landlord and tenant (general).

The editor of this section of the site is Sarah Thompson-Copsey

There are three cases this month:
  • Whether landlord’s consent to assign had been unreasonably withheld?
  • Whether beach huts were occupied under a lease or licence and whether the huts were chattels?

  • Whether lease clauses restricting sub-lettings should be read cumulatively or as separate individual covenants?


Reasons for refusing consent – two good, one bad

No 1 West India Quay (Residential) Ltd v East Tower Apartments Ltd
[2018] EWCA Civ 250


The Court of Appeal considered whether landlord’s consent to assign had been unreasonably withheld where two of the grounds for refusal were reasonable, but a third had been held not to be. Answer: No. The question is whether the decision to refuse was reasonable; not whether all the reasons for the decision were reasonable.


East Tower Apartments Ltd (“ETAL”) is the tenant of 42 apartments in a 33-storey building. Under the terms of its leases, it was required to obtain its landlord’s prior written consent to any assignment, such consent not to be unreasonably refused.

Section 1(3) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 imposes a statutory duty on a landlord, on application being made to it for consent, within a reasonable time:
  • To give consent unless it is unreasonable to do so, and
  • To serve on the tenant “a notice of [its] decision whether or not to give consent”, setting out any conditions for the grant of the consent, or the reasons for refusing it.
Section 1(4) adds that the landlord’s statutory duty is not satisfied if consent is given subject to an unreasonable condition. If the duty is breached and gives rise to loss, it is actionable by way of a claim for breach of statutory duty.

ETAL applied to assign some of the leases and the landlord imposed three conditions on the grant of consent, namely that:
  • The tenant pays a fee of £1,600+VAT for the grant of the licence to assign (which included the inspection fee of a surveyor of £350 + VAT);
  • Inspection by the landlord’s surveyor, to establish whether ETAL was in breach of covenant, be carried o ... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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