When is it reasonable to withhold consent to sublet?

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    When is it reasonable to withhold consent to sublet?

    Where there is a qualified restriction on subletting e.g. 'not without prior written consent, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld', when is it reasonable to withhold consent?

    #2
    If your last lot of tenants were a pain in the arse to all and sundry?

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      #3
      I would say only the courts could answer that, but, I'd suggest some reasons might be:

      - tenants have refused to enter into a deed to obey the ASB covenants in the lease, and to ensure their sub-tenant do;

      - tenancy agreement gives the tenants more rights than their landlord is able to give them, under the lease;

      - tenancy agreement withholds rights that the lack of which will cause problems (e.g. no use of garage) or resentment;

      - tenants have ASB notices or criminal convictions in relation crime local to where they lived, or arson convictions anywhere;

      - any reason that would cause the building insurer to impose higher premiums;

      - HMO use where the lease says single family residence;

      - partial sub-let where the lease requires the whole to be sub-let.

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        #4
        Hmmm. I posed the question with my RMC Director hat on.

        Some of my fellow Directors (all of whom reside at the development) say that they are fed up with the high turnover of occupants due to there being so many BTL leaseholders at the development. I should explain that there are 44x flats in total and only 8 of these are actually lived in by their owners. The rest of the flats are sublet by their owners. The other RMC Directors wish to reduce the number of flats that are sublet by at least half and wish to start withholding consent to sublet until they reach that magic number. Their reasons are increased insurance costs, anti-social behaviour, lack of community feel etc.

        As a BTL'er I admit to feeling a little conflicted on this one. Has anyone ever sued because they have had consent to sublet withheld?

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          #5
          Its quite a normal situation for blocks of flats in the London area where flats are 20% owner occupied and 80 % are BTLs.

          It means the walls in communal hallways need to be painted every 3-4 years instead of 6-7 years .

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            #6
            Originally posted by Lorimer View Post
            Their reasons are increased insurance costs, anti-social behaviour, lack of community feel etc.
            Rather similar to the reasons why landlord licensing is popular with councils, even though here you will get plenty of people here who deny the validity.

            I would say the cat is out of the bag and the block has been irrevocably lost to owner occupation. I think the only thing they could do is to use any clause about not increasing insurance to surcharge landlords for the insurance, ask to see references and reject anyone with hints of anti-social behaviour, and require tenants to directly covenant to obey the behaviour rules for the estate. Proving the uplift insurance costs may be difficult.

            I'd expect any landlord to challenge a refusal on the grounds of a 50% owner occupation policy and probably win if more specific reasons couldn't be given.

            I'd also suggest that the section 257 figure of more than 1/3rd not owner occupied probably better reflects when the sense of community will be lost.

            As a landlord, albeit in another place, you should probably be encouraging the landlords to engage more with the community, but I think you will find that the landlords have even less sense of community with each other than their tenants do, and probably have no idea who the other landlords are.


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