Saracens Blog

Can a landlord withhold consent under the landlord and tenant act?

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 were passed to cure the mischief done by landlords in withholding consent unreasonably. Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 a tenant may serve a written notice for consent. The landlord then has a duty to give consent within reasonable time unless it is reasonable not t gibe consent. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 oblige landlords to serve notice on the tenant of their decision whether or not to give consent.

In this notice the landlord must specify;

  • If the consent is given subject to conditions, the conditions, and
  • If the consent is withheld, the reason for withholding it.

For the purpose of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988, it is reasonable for landlords not to give consent to a proposed transaction only in cases where, if they withheld consent and tenants completed the transaction, the tenant would be in breach of covenant. The landlords must also give consent within reasonable time under the Landlord and Tenant Act. What is reasonable has not been defined within the Landlord and Tenant Act, but case law suggests that time should be measured in weeks rather than months. In 2005 the Court of Appeal said that landlords were entitled to take adequate time to consider the implications of the application before making a decision.

Tenants may bring a claim if landlords have broken any duty under the Landlord and Tenant Act, subject to the civil proceedings. Tenants will be awarded damages. Exemplary damages are awarded for landlord breaches under the Landlord and Tenant Act to punish the landlord for its wrongdoing. Damages in respect of the tenant’s losses will be awarded in additional to the exemplary damages.

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