Hypothetical

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    Hypothetical

    Let’s say a tenant vacates a property and there are some things to be put right for which he is liable – making good walls where he had a TV bracket, cleaning, gardening, the usual.

    The tenant admits liability and agrees costs and the landlord has the work done without being out of pocket.

    However, the landlord claims that he is out of pocket because the work required took two weeks. During this time he could have been getting rent from another tenant had the former tenant not left him with work to do.

    This question came about when a client of mine queried this (only hypothetically, he understands that this is part and parcel of being a landlord).

    But in theory, would he have grounds to sue the former tenant for the loss?

    #2
    Yes if the loss is indeed directly caused by the tenant's breach.

    In your scenario it may not always be obvious because void periods between tenancy do happen. but if the landlord has a new tenant lined up but were obliged to delay the new tenancy, or even lost that new tenant, because the property was not inhabitable then the previous tenant should be liable.

    I don't think minor repairs are necessarily a valid cause.

    Comment


      #3
      What a landlord is up against is section 18(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 which provides:

      Damages for a breach of a covenant or agreement to keep or put premises in repair during the currency of a lease, or to leave or put premises in repair at the termination of a lease, whether such covenant or agreement is expressed or implied, and whether general or specific, shall in no case exceed the amount (if any) by which the value of the reversion (whether immediate or not) in the premises is diminished owing to the breach of such covenant or agreement as aforesaid

      How the above is applied in practice is quite complex and on the whole surveyors know more than lawyers. Google landlord and tenant dilapidations.

      Comment


        #4
        There's a general requirement to mitigate any loss - it doesn't take a fortnight to make good walls, clean and garden.
        The landlord would have to show that the work was done in as short and in as timely a period as possible - and, even then, would hit the obstacle that lawcruncher has cited.

        You could expressly provide for such an eventuality in the tenancy agreement (how you'd word it would be interesting).
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          I admit that I do not know how it is applied, but I would think that compensation for any damage and disrepair is one thing, compensation for the loss resulting from the property being un-lettable is another.
          Or, the difference in value must include repairs and consequential losses (i.e. lost rent).

          If the tenant has caused an actual loss I don't think that s.18 will absolve him.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            You could expressly provide for such an eventuality in the tenancy agreement (how you'd word it would be interesting).
            And of course you would still have the cap imposed by the L&T Act 1927.

            Comment


              #7
              Reluctantly I would say LL is not entitled to claim for loss of future rent during a void period as no new AST can exist. LL should factor in 1 month void in a 12 month period to allow for nec renovation.

              Comment

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