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Leases Leasehold Covenents Notes

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A more recent version of these Leases Leasehold Covenents notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

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Land: Leases - Leasehold Covenants Terminology

covenant: promise contained in a deed. covenantor: person making the promise (bears the burden). covenantee: person to whom promise made (takes benefit). assignment: transfer of whole of residue of existing lease to 3rd party. sub-letting: grant of new lease to 3rd party by someone already tenant of same property. reversion: landlord's interest in property - usually freehold (but sub-letting: may be leasehold).

Express Obligations of a Landlord and Tenant under a Lease

- Minimum requirements for valid demise (lease):

1. formalities complied with.

2. no uncertainty over main terms: identity of landlord + tenant; property to be demised; term; commencement + expiry dates; consideration.

- No other express provisions necessary, but usually included for certainty. implied obligations: will be imposed if parties fail to make provisions (+ some implied obligations: override express provisions).

Landlord's Express Covenants

- Quiet enjoyment: not to interfere with tenant's possession or enjoyment of property during lease.

covers: acts of landlord + anyone claiming under him. does not cover: acts of someone claiming by title paramount (e.g. through superior landlord). breach dep. on facts: Owen v Gadd [1956]: erection of scaffolding hindering access ? breach. Kenny v Preen [1963]: persistent intimidation of tenant to induce him to leave ? breach. Southwark LBC v Mills [2001]: failure to soundproof flat ? NOT breach: t. must take property as he finds it. unlawful eviction: statutory protection. Protection from Eviction Act 1977: harassment/unlawful eviction of residential tenants criminal. s27 + s28 Housing Act 1988: statutory damages for tenant.

- Insure: reciprocal covenant where lease allows landlord to recover insurance premiums.

- Repair: usual where only part of building let + tenant covenants to pay proportion of costs (usually in service charge).

- Enforce covenants in other leases of same building: common where building let in multiple units. rationale: no privity of contract between individual tenants ? landlord's covenant = guarantee that no tenant will be allowed to remain in breach of covenant which might affect other tenants (e.g. being in arrears of service charge). usually required by mortgagees: refuse to accept residential leases without this protection as security.

Tenant's Express Covenants

- To pay rent.

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