Q&As

A tenant has carried out unauthorised alterations in breach of the terms of a lease and without the knowledge of the landlord. Is there a time limit for the landlord to take enforcement action and when does this period start running?

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Published on LexisPSL on 02/08/2018

The following Property Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A tenant has carried out unauthorised alterations in breach of the terms of a lease and without the knowledge of the landlord. Is there a time limit for the landlord to take enforcement action and when does this period start running?

This Q&A raises the issue of the remedies which a landlord may pursue when a tenant breaches the covenants of a lease and the time limits within which it must be done.

In this Q&A it is assumed that the lease is of commercial premises. This is because when the lease is of residential premises further hurdles must be met by the landlord before the right to forfeit the lease can be exercised. This point is returned to below.

Most long leases of premises contain a covenant not to make alterations to the demised premises. This is understandable. A landlord might wish to ensure the structural integrity of other parts of the building which it owns or holds under a lease with liabilities to a superior landlord. The landlord might want to prevent a tenant making changes which although suiting its needs will make it quite unattractive to any other tenant, thereby affecting the extent to which they might be re-let. Quite often it will be a partial restriction in that the tenant may not make alterations without first obtaining the permission of the landlord, often by submitting plans for approval. It might be subject to a further obligation that when alterations are carried out pursuant to the consent which is given, the tenant will reinst

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