Rights and Obligations of a Lessor. Remedies for a breach of Lease.

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22nd Jun 2020 Business Question Reference this

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Question

what are the rights and duties of the lessor and the remedies available if there is a breach of contract

Answer

The rights and obligations of a lessor to a landlord and vice versa are numerous. Below some of the more important or commonly mentioned rights/obligations will be listed. Rights of the Lessor • The right to quiet enjoyment of the land. Unless there is an express provision within a lease that removes this covenant, it is presumed to exist. This right prevents a landlord from ‘substantially interfering with the tenant’s title’ (para, Lord Millet, Southwark), acts that ‘substantially interfere’ are vast and include excessive noise and the removal of a properties’ fixtures (Lavender). • Non-Derogation from Grant. This principle is an extension of the legal maxim of common honesty (Lord Justice Younger, Harmer). Essentially, it prevents a landlord from frustrating the purpose for which both parties acknowledged the land was leased. • Breach of repair obligations. A landlord is subject to the lessor’s right to repair of the leased property under s.11-14 of the Law of Property Act 1985, subject to s.14 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Remedies for breach of a Lessor’s rights Before the rights of the landlord are discussed, some of the potential remedies available to the lessor will be listed. • Damages. Damages can be sought for contractual breach. • Breach of repair obligations. Other alternate remedies are available to the courts for breach of repair obligations. One of the potential remedies available in these instances is the appointment of a receiver (Supreme Courts Act 1981, s.37). Said receiver takes over the landlord’s responsibility to collect rent. This rent ‘received’ is then used on repairs that the landlord neglected to perform, with the remaining money being returned to the landlord, minus any costs. Obligations of the Lessor • Express covenants decided upon by the parties. • Implied covenants including, the payment of rent (in kind? Law of Property Act 1925, s205(1)(xxvii)), using the property in a responsible manner and paying rates and taxes not expressly attributable to the landlord.

References

Harmer v Jumbil (Nigeria) Tin Areas Ltd [1921] 1 Ch 200 Lavender v Betts [1942] 2 All ER 72 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Law of Property Act 1925 Law of Property Act 1985 Southwark LBC Mills [2001] 1 AC 1

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