Can lease covenants prohibit children in these flats?

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    Can lease covenants prohibit children in these flats?

    Can this be legal?

    I own a flat which I have let out for many years now. It's leasehold, and I have the pleasure of having the "lease management compnay" living right next door to my flat. Let me explain - the management conmpany is run by the owners, and the "leader" lives in the flat next to mine. She is very nice but very old lady.

    My new tenant, who is visibly pregnant was moving in, when the old-lady spotted her and told her that she cannot move in as children are not allowed in these flats. She went on to say that she would arrange for the person to be evicted etc etc.

    As you can imagine this has not gone down too well - the tenant is a professional and now she is questioning if the flat is right for them.

    Is this legal? i've not checked the lease agreement, but even if it's listed it cannot be legal can it?

    #2
    I think it probably is legal - not everyone wants children in their properties - but unless it is actually in the lease (which I very much doubt) I am sure the decision would be yours - not the "management company". You will have to check the lease.

    My flat is totally unsuitable for children and as such I would not wish to let to anyone with a child, or who was pregnant. My house, however, has a very happy family living in it!!
    Mrs Jones
    I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Mrs Jones View Post
      I think it probably is legal - not everyone wants children in their properties - but unless it is actually in the lease (which I very much doubt) I am sure the decision would be yours - not the "management company". You will have to check the lease.

      My flat is totally unsuitable for children and as such I would not wish to let to anyone with a child, or who was pregnant. My house, however, has a very happy family living in it!!
      What can happen if the lease is "broken"?

      Comment


        #4
        The lease will not be broken. It either exists, or if, by some miracle/disaster the lease terms have expired and the freehold reverted back to your management company then it still isn't broken, it just doesn't exist (which means there won't be any enforceable convenants in it in the latter case).

        Comment


          #5
          It is perfectly legal to impose age restrictions on the occupiers of flats; those who sell retirement flats do it regularly. In the absence of any covenant in the lease there is no restriction.

          Comment


            #6
            I've just scanned the lease, and there looks like a "way out" - the document is over 30 years old, it's very strange, your not allowed to play your grammerphone or wireless loud at night. All floors must have carpets laid - (modern laminate is not allowed)

            But back to the children , the lease states the flat can only be occupied by 1 person or a couple with no children. but if children "come along" during the occupancy then removal is not allowed....or something like that.

            i'll contact my agent and tell them the lady can move in. The management company lady is now consulting her solicitor.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Soled73 View Post
              But back to the children , the lease states the flat can only be occupied by 1 person or a couple with no children. but if children "come along" during the occupancy then removal is not allowed....or something like that.
              Now that is unusual. Can we see the exact wording, please?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                Now that is unusual. Can we see the exact wording, please?
                Ok, here goes, but some works are missing as the copy I have is a photocopy and the left had margin is missing...

                "in view of the limited accomodation in the flat which includes .... bedroom onlythe leasee further covenants not to use the flat or ...it it to be used except as the residence of two adults or a single adult without children but nothing in this covenantr shall prevent the .....ee or any sub-lessee who is already in occupation from continuing ...side in the flat after the birth of a child or children".

                I think it should read like this.......

                "in view of the limited accomodation in the flat which includes ONE bedroom only the leasee further covenants not to use the flat or ...it it to be used except as the residence of two adults or a single adult without children but nothing in this covenantr shall prevent the .....LEASee or any sub-lessee who is already in occupation from continuing TO REside in the flat after the birth of a child or children".



                Sorry for the missing bits, and it's actuslly a large 1 bedroom flat by todays standards. The living room is approx 16x15, bedroom 15x11 kitchen 8x8.

                Comment


                  #9
                  So the clause is meaningful and contains its own justification. I therefore consider it to be binding and enforceable.
                  ['LEASee' means 'lessee'].
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Using my lay language, I interpret the clause that you are prohibited from allowing the flat to be used by people who set out to have children. In this case a pregnant woman moving in.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Poppy View Post
                      Using my lay language, I interpret the clause that you are prohibited from allowing the flat to be used by people who set out to have children. In this case a pregnant woman moving in.

                      Dare I say it but would this not be considered discrimination?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Soled73 View Post
                        Dare I say it but would this not be considered discrimination?
                        So what? That of itself does not make it inapplicable.
                        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Poppy View Post
                          Using my lay language, I interpret the clause that you are prohibited from allowing the flat to be used by people who set out to have children. In this case a pregnant woman moving in.
                          No, it merely bars people-with-existing-children.
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                            No, it merely bars people-with-existing-children.
                            Agreed, so in this case the lady does not have children so she should be ok to proceed.

                            Gettiing into whether a person is pregnant or not before had sounds a mindfield.

                            Thanks everyone I apprechite your time on this. I think I have a conclusion/approach on this now.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Oh boy, neither your freeholder nor your new tenant are happy with you. Watcha gonna do?

                              Comment

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