Landlord and Tenant Act 1987—pitfalls and practical tips
Landlord and Tenant Act 1987—pitfalls and practical tips

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Landlord and Tenant Act 1987—pitfalls and practical tips
  • Time limits and delays
  • Conditional contracts
  • Relevant disposals
  • Disposing of several buildings
  • Associated companies
  • Non-qualifying tenants
  • The 'requisite majority'
  • Risks for buyer and lenders

Time limits and delays

The time limits for the various stages of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (LTA 1987) procedures can seriously delay the disposal of a property affected by LTA 1987. The delay might extend to seven months:

  1. two months for the tenants to accept the LTA 1987, s 5 offer

  2. two further months to appoint a nominee to carry out the disposal on their behalf, having accepted

  3. one month for submission of a contract, and

  4. two months to exchange

The principal risk for the seller is that the buyer may not be prepared to wait, particularly as there is no way they can secure a binding conditional contract for the property at the original price whilst they are waiting.

Even if the qualifying tenants have refused the offer of first refusal (eg because they have written back in response to a LTA 1987, s 5 notice saying they are not interested) the landlord still cannot proceed with a disposal to a third party until the full two month period for acceptance of a LTA 1987, s 5 notice has elapsed. There is always the possibility that the tenants might change their mind. So the minimum delay is two months.

The landlord cannot easily start the two month period running before marketing the building. This is because the LTA 1987,