Does the 1987 L&T act forbid changes to regulations?

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    Does the 1987 L&T act forbid changes to regulations?

    I'm hoping someone might have a better grasp of the 1987 Landlord & Tenant act than I do - I don't want to go and pay our solicitors for yet more advice!

    Simple question: does the 1987 act forbid a Residential Management Company from making changes to the lease regulations, even if the lease contains a clause that gives them permission to do so?

    A bit more context: I chair the estate's RMC. Our lease has seven schedules of terms, and an 8th schedule of regulations. This 8th schedule is all about putting your rubbish in the bins stores, not practising the tuba late at night - that sort of thing. It includes the line that bicycles may not be placed (1) anywhere within the common areas of the grounds or buildings, or (2) in the covered parking bays. The is despite the fact that the parking bays are actually demised to the individual owners, and leaves us with the slightly bonkers situation of bike only being permitted in the flats themselves.

    Bikes are now becoming a problem - there are several in each stairwell. I clearly need to have them moved - they're a fire hazard and prevent meters from being read. The owners have been polled about having a bike store built and are very much against the idea.

    By far the easiest solution would be to suggest to everyone that they put a bike lock in the back of their parking bays (in fact some have already). And I thought we could do that - because the 7th schedule of the lease says that the company has "the power to revoke or amend ... the regulations set out in the Eighth Schedule". So all I need to do is have the board amend the paragraph about parking spaces to permit bikes. I am fairly certain no-one would object to this change.

    However, an owner has suggested that the 1987 act forbids the company from altering the lease, even though the lease itself grants the power to do so. I've been reading around this legislation, and it looks to me as though it exists to specifically grant new ways to vary a lease (sections 35-37). I cannot see anywhere that it prevents me from using the existing power in the lease to change a regulation. Can anyone say for certain?

    #2
    Ask for chapter and verse. The whole point about regulations is that they are outside the lease, and the lease only provides the initial set which can be changed at any time.

    As you suggest, as far as I know, the 1987 Act is about adding options for changing things, not about removing them.

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      #3
      Thanks - as far as I understand things, I agree with both your points. The 8th sched is part of the lease, but seems to be intended to be kept specifically 'apart' from the rest of it. And the provision in the 7th sched about giving the company the power to change it is really very clear that it is only the 8th sched we can touch, and even then any changes must not be in contravention to the preceeding lease.

      And I really can't see anything in the 1987 act that forbids this freedom. As you say, the act seems to be all about adding new powers to vary a lease, but I cannot see any mention of the existing power being revoked.

      Comment


        #4
        A lease sometimes states that the leaseholder "shall observe and perform such future rules and regulations as may hereafter constitute the rules" and the leaseholder's covenants usually provide for the freeholder or management company to vary the rules and regulations.

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          #5
          Thanks. The lease donesn't contain exactly that forward-looking statement, but it does say that the leaseholder must follow the regs in the 8th schedule, and then grants the company the power to alter those regs.

          The resident has said that
          "My clear understanding is that 'variation of lease' through section 35, 36 or 37 of the 1987 Act is currently the only way in which any action contrary to anything written in the currently registered Lease can be 'legalised'. Any amendment or revocation of an existing Eighth Schedule regulation, or any new additional regulation that contradicts what is written in the registered wording of the Lease requires to be performed as a 'variation of lease' according to section 35, 36 or 37 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, in order to have legal force. The FTT will judge all issues using the registered wording of the Lease and will ignore unregistered 'amendments' where they contradict the registered Lease."

          He does tend to be right when he says this sort of thing... I fear I'm going to need to pay for the solicitor to confirm or deny this one.

          Comment

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