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Enforcement of Lease terms

Enforcement of Lease terms

Postby diy » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:16 pm

A lives on the ground floor of a block of flats, B is above on the first floor. B has installed wood flooring in contravention of the terms of the lease and is refusing all polite requests to address the issue. A is constantly disturbed by the noise from above. A escalates to the management agent who have requested B remedy the flooring, B is refusing. The agent is unwilling to take further steps to enforce the lease. The landlord also is uninterested.

Can A:
- take court action to enforce the lease against B? B's Obligations are to the landlord, its not clear if the LL is obliged to enforce the terms of the lease on B.
- Take action against the LL or managing agent for failure to enforce the lease
- seek damages from any of the above?

A is quite fed up and there is no chance of working things out with B.

Given the LL / Agent would recover costs against B for enforcing the lease its unclear why they aren't interested.
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: Enforcement of Lease terms

Postby theycantdothat » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:39 pm

Unless, as the case may be, either of the next two paragraphs applies, the tenant's covevants in a bipartite lease can only be enforced by the landlord and the landlord is not under any obligation to enforce the covenants at the instance of a third party.

Some leases provide that some covenants are made not only with the landlord but also with the other tenants in a defined building. Such covenants would typically include covenants intended to be for the benefit of other tenants. So, if B's lease contains a covenant by the tenant with both the landlord and the other tenants to do or refrain from doing certain things and they include something relevant, A has the standing to sue B without reference to the landlord. "Something relevant" would be any one or more of the following: (a) a covenant to keep the floors covered with carpet or other sound deadening material (b) a covenant not to make excessive noise (c) a covenant not to cause a nuisance or annoyance to other tenants.

Some leases provide that the landlord will at the request of the tenant enforce the tenant's covenants contained in the leases of other units in a defined building. The provision is often qualified by requiring the tenant to provide security for costs and/or requiring assessment of the chances of success.

Absent the above, A can fall back on the law of tort and sue for nuisance. The chances of success are perhaps lower than where suing for a breach of covenant relying on a well-drafted clause as it is necessary to show that the activity complained of is continuous, substantial and unreasonable.
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Re: Enforcement of Lease terms

Postby atticus » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:51 pm

The noise nuisance may also be a statutory nuisance.

What tcdt says about leases is correct.
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Re: Enforcement of Lease terms

Postby diy » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:29 pm

Brilliant - thank you both.
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: Enforcement of Lease terms

Postby diy » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:41 am

For the benefit of the thread.. this seems relevant
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/287.html
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Re: Enforcement of Lease terms

Postby atticus » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:58 pm

An object lesson in the difficulties of getting a landlord to enforce covenants given by another tenant.

There would have been a direct nuisance claim.
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Re: Enforcement of Lease terms

Postby dls » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:31 pm

Clause 4 sets out covenants made by the tenant with the landlord "and with and for the benefit of the Flat Owners".


Big difference - not at all always present to get a start.
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