The Landlord and Tenant Act 1988, along with usual provisions drafted into a lease, prevent landlords from unreasonably withholding their consent for their tenants to assign a lease.
Last month the High Court considered what is and what is not reasonable in respect of a residential property, and the same reasoning would apply to commercial property.
In that particular case, the landlord had withheld their consent to assign the lease because the tenant had refused to:
1. produce a bank reference for the proposed assignee;
2. allow the landlord’s surveyor to inspect the premises at the tenant’s cost of £350 + VAT; and
3. provide an undertaking to pay the landlord’s costs of £1,250 + VAT relating to the consent to assign and the surveyor’s inspection.
The High Court held that reasons 1 and 2 were reasonable noting that the £350 + VAT charge was acceptable in the context of the London residential property market. However, reason 3 failed the reasonableness test as the amount requested was too much rather than it being unreasonable to request it.
Even though Mr Trump will soon be leaving his property tycoon days behind him this case acts as a reminder that all landlords need to act reasonably. We’ll leave you to comment further on Mr Trump’s new role!