Limitation on action alleged breach of lease

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    Limitation on action alleged breach of lease

    When would be the start of limitation period for an alleged breach of lease ? How long would it be ?

    It starts from when the freeholder Knows a breach has happened.

    If the freeholder was unaware of a breach inside the demise, for lets say, 7 years, ( same leaseholder ) then freeholder can start the action to discus, rectify, go to court if there are problems.

    However, once freeholder knows there is a breach, then no communication must be between leaseholder and freeholder. Not even general notices, no service charge demands - etc etc, except on the remedy of the breach.

    How long has freeholder known about the breach ? - - and - - -

    See the posts at --


      It depends on the type of breach. It may be not limited in time at all. It depends also on what cross obligation terms there are in lease. Without any information the question is unanswerable.


        Originally posted by scot22 View Post
        When would be the start of limitation period for an alleged breach of lease ? How long would it be ?
        The relevant legislation is section 8 of the Limitation Act 1980:

        Time limit for actions on a specialty.

        (1) An action upon a specialty shall not be brought after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.

        (2) Subsection (1) above shall not affect any action for which a shorter period of limitation is prescribed by any other provision of this Act.

        A lease (if executed as a deed) is a specialty.

        Subsection (2) applies to rent for which the limitation period is 6 years. I cannot think off hand of anything else under a lease to which a period shorter than 12 years applies.

        In subjection (1) "accrue" means "is enforceable by action". The right to sue arises as soon as the breach occurs. Accordingly, time runs from the date the breach occurred. Knowledge is only relevant where the Act says it is, as for example in sections 11-14.

        However, as AndrewDod suggests, you have to ask what sort of breach there is to determine when it is deemed to have occurred. Breaches of lease covenants are of two types: "continuing".and "one-off"

        A continuing breach is one such as a failure to repair or decorate or use or not use the property in a specified way. Since the breach is of a continuing nature the date the cause of action accrues is always today until the breach is remedied. So if the tenant has failed to repair for 13 years the breach is current and limitation does not apply. As soon as the tenant carries out the repairs the clock starts to tick and after 12 years the landlord can take no action.

        A one off or once and for all breach is one such as carrying out alterations without consent where needed or assigning or subletting without consent where needed. The date the cause of action accrues is the date on which the breach occurred. Once 12 years have expired the landlord can take no action.

        The Limitation Act 1980 does not override the general principle that action must be taken within a reasonable time; all it does it set a date after which action cannot be taken.

        Section 32 of the Limitation Act (which extends time limits in the case of fraud, concealment or mistake) is only likely to apply if there is deliberate concealment.


          Lawcruncher many thanks for an invaluable response, more helpful than our solicitor. I forget which forum it was but it had references to contributors favourite charities so people could make a contribution, privately, in appreciation. The time and trouble in making your response is marvellous. I won't mention names, in case I inadvertently miss one, who put much effort and skill into replies. Do others have any thoughts on this ?
          How will I know if our lease is by deed, drawn up 1977 ?


            Members may like to know who is breaching the lease.
            Is it a leaseholder or freeholder ?

            It DOES make a difference.

            If a leaseholder does alterations ( safe and to building regs if regs need to be applied ) and freeholder knows about it for 12 years and does nothing, then the 12 year rule will apply.

            If a freeholder does not maintain or do repairs ( as per lease ) for 12 years, the leaseholder can continue to complain about it every year indefinitely, and issue court proceedings 13 / 14 years later from when first complained about..
            As I did after 15 years after them of not doing repairs to a certain part of the property within a reasonable amount of time. I as a leaseholder was not barred from taking the freeholder to court 15 years after my first complaint. ( of course I complained every year for 15 years )

            In those 15 years, money was almost none existent for me, hence the delay in suing them.


              Thanks ram. You are one of the gems of the forum. It is a leasehold complaint of penetrating damp. The Company has


                Thanks ram, you are one of the gems of the forum. It is a leaseholder complaint which has been ongoing for too many years.. I have had to post too many times for help !


                  Originally posted by scot22 View Post
                  How will I know if our lease is by deed, drawn up 1977 ?
                  It will almost certainly be a deed. You can check by looking at the very end. Given the year of the lease, if the landlord was an individual if it is a deed it will say "Signed, sealed and delivered by X in the presence of..." If the landlord was a company it will say: "The common seal of XYZ Limited was hereunto affixed in the presence of..."


                    Thanks. It is a deed.


                      Regarding Limitation.

                      Are you referring to this limitation ? ( standstill-agreements via Limitation Act 1980 )

                      and if so the following may be a nominal read. ( The pros and cons of standstill agreements )

                      I have no experience on this, but your first post would suggest your question is related to these two links.


                        Thanks. It certainly is. The links are useful ( put the sites on my favourites )


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