fbpx

Danger of Subletting Exposed as Court Orders Flat Sale

15th June 2017 By Arman Khosravi

Owning a long leasehold, particularly one in a block of flats or which is part of a larger development, can be very different from owning a freehold. Typically the obligations of tenants are more proscriptive, being based on an acknowledgement that parts of the property are common and that there will be other people nearby whose rights need to be respected.

A recent case shows how important these issues can be. It involved an elderly widow who ran a bed and breakfast business from her £2.8 million flat in breach of her lease, with the result that she was given six months to leave her home of 40 years.

The company that owned the freehold of the mansion block where the ‘bohemian’ woman lived sought forfeiture of her 125-year lease on the basis of a covenant contained within it that required that her flat must be used solely as a private residence and not for any purpose that might cause nuisance, annoyance or disturbance to other leaseholders.

Despite her denials, a judge found that she had been renting out rooms in her flat on a short-term basis in order to supplement her meagre income. What she was doing could only be viewed as a business and other residents had complained of the noise from her constant stream of guests.

Attempts to persuade her to curtail her activities had failed and her neighbours had endured unreasonable levels of noise and disruption over very many years. The covenant having been breached, the judge gave her six months in which to arrange a sale of her flat. Failing that, her lease would be forfeited.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Relationship Status Put Under Spotlight in Divorce Case

26th February, 2024 By

Divorce proceedings are rarely cut and dry, especially where the passage of time adds complexity to matters. This was certainly so in a recent case that required a Family Court judge to rule on the validity of a decree nisi. The case centred on the divorce proceedings of a couple in their fifties and focused on a decree nisi that had been pronounced in 2012, following an application by the husband. Now seeking to finalise the divorce with a decree absolute, the husband asserted that the decree nisi had been properly...

Will Execution – Remote Witnessing Legislation Expires

22nd February, 2024 By

A legal amendment that was made during the COVID-19 pandemic allowing the witnessing of wills to take place via videoconferencing has officially expired. As of 31 January 2024, the Wills Act 1837 (Electronic Communications) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 is no longer active. It was introduced in response to the pandemic, as a means of facilitating the valid execution of wills via remote witnessing. The Order applied to wills made between 31 January 2020 and 31 January 2022, but was later extended to 31 January 2024. Section 9 of the Wills Act...

Psychotherapy Condition Leads to Contact Order Appeal

20th February, 2024 By

Wherever possible, the courts will do what they can to support contact between parents and children but, in some instances, that contact comes with conditions attached. The nature of such conditions was the cause of contention in recent appeal proceedings brought by the father of two young boys. The man appealed against a High Court order that allowed for contact periods with his children, which would progress from supervised to unsupervised and increase in length but were dependent upon him engaging in psychotherapy. This condition had been imposed following a...

Beware of Builders Offering Cut-Price Work – Court of Appeal Cautionary Tale

16th February, 2024 By

Every householder should understand the dire risks involved in opening their doors to those promising to carry out cut-price building work. A Court of Appeal decision provided distressing examples of almost the worst that can happen. A householder approaching retirement age was taken in by a workman who knocked on his door, offering to paint the front of his home for £1,000. He was introduced to another man – the offender – whom the workman described as his business partner. The pair proceeded, over a period of months, to carry...