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Tenants! Obey Lease Covenants or Pay the Price!

Published: 02 July 2014, in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Tenants! Obey Lease Covenants or Pay the Price!

Leaseholders who fail to obey covenants in their leases should beware after a shop tenant who unreasonably refused her landlord access to inspect the premises was put out on her ear by a Court of Appeal decision.

The woman had been tenant of a shop, with a flat above, for many years and, after her lease expired, would normally have been entitled to a new tenancy under the terms of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. However, her landlord refused to renew the lease on grounds that she had in several respects failed to comply with her obligations.

The landlord’s arguments were largely accepted by a judge who refused the tenant’s application for a new tenancy. In upholding that decision, the Court noted that there had been an ‘exceptionally difficult relationship’ between landlord and tenant and that the latter had committed ‘substantial’ breaches of covenant.

The tenant had, on numerous occasions, thwarted the landlord’s proper attempts to gain access to the premises to examine their condition. She had also damaged the landlord’s interests by failing to comply with an implied obligation in the lease that she would keep the shop regularly open for business.

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