A recent Judgment in the Supreme Court has changed the way in which Landlords should review requests for consent to alter the property from Leaseholders. Landlords should take notice of this and ensure that legal advice is sought before negotiations end and consent is given.
It is not uncommon for Leaseholders to approach Landlords with requests for consent for alteration to their Property. Landlords may believe that they have the ability to grant consent on the basis of the Leaseholder’s application and consider charging a premium for the licence. However, Landlords should be wary of granting the consent without full consideration of the lease to the Property and the leases of other flats in the building.
The Supreme Court recently decided in the ‘Duval’ case to provide guidance on a Landlord’s liability when granting consent to leaseholders to carry out structural alterations.
The main points considered within the case were:
- the Leaseholder’s covenants concerning alteration of Property and
- the role of Landlord covenants for enforceability.
These are issues that vary from lease to lease and which make the issue of consent less than clear cut. If consent is given without the Landlord seeking legal advice there could be the possibility of the Landlord being in breach of the lease and liable for damages to other leaseholders.