The Landlord & Tenant Act
Since the 1700′s there have been 10 Landlord & Tenants Acts. The current act that must be adhered to is the “Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995″:
The Government, summarises the Act as:
“An Act to make provision for persons bound by covenants of a tenancy to be released from such covenants on the assignment of the tenancy, and to make other provision with respect to rights and liabilities arising under such covenants; to restrict in certain circumstances the operation of rights of re-entry, forfeiture and disclaimer; and for connected purposes. [19th July 1995]“
As with much legislation, eviction law can be confusing so it’s important to get a good overview of the law in order to reduce your chances of unwittingly breaking it.
The 1995 Act modifies the law in relation to the obligations between landlord and tenant and how they continue to bind after either or both have assigned their interests
One of the major points of the 1995 Act are its amendments to address the continuing liability of former tenants for the performance of tenant’s agreements following assignment until the end of the term.
Specifically, the 1995 Act divided leases into two categories:
- ‘New leases’ (i.e. leases granted after1 January 1996) which can remain liable until the expiry of an AGA (authorised guarantee agreement).
- ‘Old leases’ – i.e. those granted before that date – which remain liable following assignment for the due performance of the tenant’s agreements until expiry of the term.
Another new component of the Landlord and Tenants1995 Act is Section 17, requiring landlords to serve notice on former tenants of both new and old leases. Notices are of their intention to seek to recover ’fixed charges’ (such as rent) within six months of the date on which the fixed charge is due. This is a precondition to recovering monies from former tenants (or guarantors).
A summary of other key adjustments to the Landlord & Tenants Act:
- Section 3: Simplification of the law relating to the transmission of benefit and burdens of agreements.
- Section 5: Release of tenant on assignment.
- Sections 6 – 8: Ability of landlord to apply for release of covenants on assignment of reversion.
- Section 10: Assignments in breach of covenant or by operation of law – excluded assignments.
- Section 16: Provisions enabling a tenant to enter into an “authorised guarantee agreement” on assignment.
- Section 25: Anti-avoidance provisions.
This gives a brief summary of areas to be aware of in the current Landlord & Tenants Act. Helpland Ltd advises that to understand it further, it is advisable to allow an expert to break down each section and thoroughly explain the implications.
Helpland Ltd assists landlords and letting agents throughout England, Scotland and Ireland, and gives professional, valuable advice on many areas of eviction, including serving notice to tenants via Section 8.