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Damages if tenant fails to allow inspection

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:40 pm
by theycantdothat
We assume for the purpose of this thread that an obligation imposed on a tenant to allow inspections by prospective tenants is enforceable.

If tenant is found to be in breach of such an obligation on what basis are damages assessed if a void period follows the end on the tenancy?

Re: Damages if tenant fails to allow inspection

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:37 pm
by atticus
What loss has been suffered that would not have been suffered had inspection taken place?

Re: Damages if tenant fails to allow inspection

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:05 am
by diy
I think you have a challenge linking the failure to the void period. The void period would very much have to pass a goldilocks test. Too short and it could be argued to be a normal transition, too long and it could be claimed that it was unrelated.

I think also the grounds for refusal might be a factor. i can see a tenant being inconvenienced by repeated viewings which he may argue breaches his right to enjoy the property

Re: Damages if tenant fails to allow inspection

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:22 am
by atticus
That confuses causation with damages. The OP asks us to assume that causation is established. He asks how damages are assessed.

Re: Damages if tenant fails to allow inspection

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:27 am
by theycantdothat
atticus wrote:What loss has been suffered that would not have been suffered had inspection taken place?


That's the tricky point. If the tenant does allow early viewing there is no guarantee there will be no void. On the other hand it is clearly advantageous to a landlord to be able to show property to prospective tenants as it reduces the possibility of a void; there will certainly be a void if prospective tenants cannot get to look at the property. Given the tenant is in breach of covenant more than nominal damages would seem to be called for as otherwise a tenant can breach the covenant with impunity. So what is reasonable?

In another forum it is reported that a My Deposits adjudicator awarded the landlord two weeks' rent.

Re: Damages if tenant fails to allow inspection

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:35 am
by atticus
That is an answer. Other than that, you are asking us to second guess a judge, who will have heard the evidence and decided the facts.

Re: Damages if tenant fails to allow inspection

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:47 am
by theycantdothat
What arguments as to quantum would you put to a judge if (a) acting for a landlord and (b) acting for a tenant?

Re: Damages if tenant fails to allow inspection

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:02 am
by atticus
A) Lots of loss. Lovely prospective tenant, urgent need, could move in immediately property vacant. Opportunity lost. Instead there was this void period.

B) the landlord's request was unreasonable. Next to no notice. Totally impractical. Intruding on my grieving for my dead budgie. Besides, asking that rent you can hardly be surprised you got no takers for months. This prospective tenant was never really likely to take it - she's now living in a nicer place for £250. month less! Loss? Yeah right.

Re: Damages if tenant fails to allow inspection

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:49 pm
by diy
Brilliant - you could do a package deal and represent both sides.

I do think though that assuming an obligation is enforcable does still open the door to an argument that it has to be subject to reasonable notice/frequency.

For example its reasonable for LL to inspect the property - I'm not sure every tuesday friday and sunday afternoon would be seen the same way?

Given that T & LL have not choice regarding deposit protection, does T have a right to sue the LL for the 2 weeks rent deducted by the deposit adjudicator? Last time I dealt with one I got the impression it was a chatbot or offshore call centre at best.

Re: Damages if tenant fails to allow inspection

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:35 pm
by atticus
tcdt did ask for the arguments on either side.