Is my Landlord Being Unreasonable in Delaying giving consent to assign?

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    Is my Landlord Being Unreasonable in Delaying giving consent to assign?


    I took on a 15 year lease on an empty unit at £20000 pa +vat since 2011, and its not been the best of experiences!

    Amongst the experiences was when we decided to sell the business back in June 2015, we asked the landlord via solicitor for permission to assign the business to the prospective buyer, who was vetted and approved (he had to jump through hoops to get this), which took a very long time 2 months), unfortunately the sale fell through at that time! We were in arrears at this time and we agreed with the surveyor who was overseeing the assignment, that the landlord could take the arrears from the rent deposit. which would suffice the arrears. As the sale fell through we paid the arrears.

    We are currently in year 5 of the tennancy and have agreed in a sale of the business with the original buyers, again we are in arrears. I spoke to the Landlord, stating that we have agreed the sale and as they have previously approved the buyers we should pick up from where we left off! they then said that theyve appointed bailiffs to recover the rent, with whom i have a payment plan in place. the baillifs meeting was 4 weeks ago and we have kept up to the plan as agreed! Today they sent a letter to my guarantors stating that we were in arrears for the full rent (not deducting what i've already paid!!) And that they would not give consent to assign the lease untill the rent is paid in full.

    Also, the lease was not registered by us in 2011 and has a mutual break clause at the end of year 6, which the buyer has concerns with. They requested a new lease with the same terms as the current lease to save time, as registering the lease would delay the assignment. This was promptly refused for reason unkown, So i Instructed my solictor to register the lease, who has asked the landlords solicitor 2 weeks ago to approve a plan of the premises, which has not been done as of yet!!

    My landlord does not want this sale to go through as they have stated that they have no got good vibes from the buyers!! (i do not have any proof of this as this was said in conversation)

    Please help!!

    If you can prove, having regard to what the lease says, that the landlord is unreasonably delaying and your buyer has pulled out because of that then you could sue for damages in tort.
    However, the lease might contain criteria that could override that might otherwise be thought unreasonable so negate a claim.

    As for the arrears, again subject to what the lease says, the assignee would take over all liabilities so if they don't taking on the responsibility (you could sort something out between the two of you) then there that would not necessarily be a reasonable ground for I apologise for the delay in replying to your letter refusing consent.

    Regarding non-registration of the lease, here the landlord is not obliged to grant a new lease to your buyer. As for getting the lease plan approved, why not go ahead regardless. The landlord can object laster if he has just cause. Your solicitor should advise on this.


      Thanks for your reply, we are no longer in arrears, (we have paid the bailiff in full) and are still awaiting consent.


        Hi I forgot I had posted this!

        just as an update, the lease eventually got registered, albiet a draft lease, albiet a draft lease which was dated 3 days prior to the actual lease, this was not discovered till the 11th hour, when the deal was ready to complete.

        Despite the buyer and us agreeing to rectify the mistake, the landlord outright refused consent to assign!

        we have sought legal advice and now in litigation against the landlords and have a claim for damages.


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