Saracens Blog

What is reasonableness under the landlord and tenant act 1988?

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 places statutory duties upon the landlord in relation to granting consent to dealings with leasehold property.

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 it is reasonable for persons not to give consent to a proposed transaction only in cases where, if they withheld consent and tenants completed the transaction, the tenants would be in breach of covenant.

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 the onus is on the persons who owe the duty to prove that:

  1. any consent given was provided within a reasonable time;
  2. any conditions imposed on that consent were reasonable;
  3. if consent was refused, it was reasonable to not give it; and,
  4. if notice was requested and given, it was within a reasonable time period.

A claim for breach of duty under Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 can be brought in the same way as any other claim in tort for breach of statutory duty. Exemplary damages were awarded for the first time for breach of the landlord’s statutory duty under section 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 in the case of Design Progression v Thurloe Properties (2005).

What is a reasonable time period within which to give or refuse consent is not defined in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 but has been addresses by the courts in a number of notable cases, such as Go West Limited v Spigarolo (2003).
We advise landlords and tenants on all aspects of reasonableness and consent under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 and subsequent legislation.

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